I'm currently Senior Lecturer in Media, having stepped down as Programme Leader for Media in August 2016 after a 6-year stint in that role. I've been with QMU for most of my professional academic life and it continues to be a genuinely great place to work. My teaching and research is in media and culture, with a particular interest in popular culture and the media industries (details elsewhere in these pages).
Early in my academic career I was broadcasting alternative and indie music (latterly electronic dance music) regularly on BBC Radio Scotland on the shows Bite The Wax and Electronica. It was my experience in production and mediation of culture as a practitioner that eventually led to my 2007 PhD (University of Stirling) which addressed the relationship between the record industry and the radio industry in the UK, as seen through the lens of the programmers and pluggers that negotiated that relationship.
Alongside academia and broadcasting, I had been involved in DJ-ing and promoting bands in various incarnations of Glasgow's 13th Note venue since the late-1990s which gave me access to a number of interesting local music scene participants. This developed into another strand of research: local music scenes, identity and notions of independence, and my interest (through my experience with noise-induced tinnitus) in discourses of loudness around popular music. More recently I have been thinking about music and musicians in superhero comics and notions of the anti-hero in superhero adaptations.
I've been a member of the UK/Ireland branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music since the late 1990s and I was Chair of the Branch from 2010 to 2014 - I was on the organising committee for the 2008 UK/Ireland Branch conference in Glasgow. I'm also part of the MeCCSA Radio Studies Network, whose biennial international conferences are essential for anyone with even a passing interest in the field.
I've been very happy to have spent some time in the southern hemisphere as an invited Visiting Scholar at Griffith University, Brisbane (2012), AUT University, Auckland (2012) and University of Auckland (2013).
In 2016 I was on the Scientific Committee for KISMIF 3 (Keep It Simple - Make It Fast), co-ordinated by Paula Guerra (University of Porto) and Andy Bennett (Griffith University, Australia). I have also been on the organising committee for the BFE one-day conference Radio and Ethnomusicology: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (October 2016) at the University of Edinburgh, alongside my excellent colleagues Annette Davison, Simon Frith, Tom Wagner and Tom Western.
It is fair to say that I love travelling and in particular meeting friends and new colleagues across the world. In the last few years I've been fortunate to attend conferences in Canada, the USA, Brazil, Portugal, The Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, and as Exchange Tutor for my Subject Area I have been able to initiate very successful undergraduate student exchange programmes in a number of these locations.
Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:
- Member of International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM-UK/Ireland)
- Member of the MeCCSA Radio Studies Network
Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:
My 2007 doctoral thesis from the University of Stirling was Making Music Radio, focused on the social dynamics of the relationship between record industry pluggers and music radio programmers in the UK.
I have written about Scottish indie music production, popular music and identity, mediation of popular music and am currently working on speed and meaning in music, and music in superhero comics.
Active Research Interests:
- Popular music industry and culture; mediation of popular music; music and identity; broadcast radio industry and culture; superheroes and pop.
- Empirical: interviews and observation; analysis of media texts.
My teaching includes: popular music industry and culture; broadcasting in general, but with a special interest in all forms of radio, and a focus on the role of public service broadcasting; interactive gaming cultures; the media, politics and democracy. I also teach in areas that emphasise employability and practical experience, bringing industry and QMU graduate guest speakers to QMU and offering undergraduate students an experience of creating media products for real world clients.
2010-2016 Programme Leader, MA (Hons) Media