Julian Study Centre, UEA, Tues 8 March, 6.30 pm, followed by wine reception. Free and open to all. Further information here.
Was it 1999 or 2000 when I was first appointed to the position of Professor of Cultural Studies? I was at UCLan, had been since 1992 when I joined as a temporary lecturer in English and American literature. Looking back, I must have been in a bit of a hurry then, but also the university / ex-polytechnic was in a pretty creative open environment at that stage of its development, with a need for academics with some energy, and there was a group of us appointed around the same time, early/mid 1990s, who probably supported as well as drove each other on.
Then I moved to being the new Professor of Cultural Studies at Salford, 2005—long before MediaCityUK. (The early joke about that development, when there was no there there, as the saying goes: ‘MediocrityUK’. Funny, but wrong.) Brilliant, loved it there. Great colleagues, sparky attitude, even if you didn’t live in Salford (hardly any academics actually did) there was something about the place that rubbed off on you. You couldn’t not have energy and a bit of attitude in Salford. I was going to rename myself George Irwell.
But neither university managed to give me an inaugural event. So, despite 16-17 years in professorial posts, this is my very first and only inaugural. Thank you to UEA, where I have been, now with the title Professor of (or is it ‘in’?) Media Studies, for 15 months or so. Do please come. Lecture title: ‘Pop music and the disabled body.’