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Harvey Cohen

Dr Harvey G Cohen

HarveycropSenior Lecturer in Cultural and Creative Industries

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1358 
Culture, Media and Creative Industries
King’s College London 
2C Chesham Building
Strand Campus
WC2R 2LS  


Harvey Cohen earned his doctorate in history from the University of Maryland in 2002. He taught at the University of Maryland for three years, using American music and film to trace significant themes in American culture and history from the colonial era to the present day.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • Cultural and political history
  • History and business of popular music and film in the US and UK
  • American and African American history and politics
  • Museums, publishing industry, New York City
Before joining King's College London in September 2006, Harvey Cohen was a Postdoctoral Fellow / Resident Scholar at the John W. Kluge Center, at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., where he completed the research for his book Duke Ellington's America (University of Chicago Press, 2010).
The book has earned many positive reviews: it was the cover story in the Times Literary Supplement, it received a 7-page review in The New Yorker, it was the Book of the Week in the Times Higher Education Supplement, and was featured in a full page review in the New York Times Book Review section. Cohen has also discussed "Duke Ellington's America" on BBC Radio 3 and 4, BBC Radio London and National Public Radio stations.
Further information:

Harvey welcomes applications for PhD topics related to any of his research interests.

Cohen's forthcoming book, "Who's In The Money? The Great Depression Musicals and Hollywood's New Deal" (2016), will outline the history of the Warner Bros. movie musicals during 1933 and their political, historical and cultural connections on- and offscreen with the newly elected U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal programs that sought to alleviate the economic deprivation caused by the Great Depression.  Portions of the book are being previewed at five conferences in Europe and America during 2014-2015.

For more details, please see his full research profile.

Selected Publications
  • “The Struggle to Fashion the NRA Code: The Triumph of Studio Power in 1933 Hollywood,” Journal of American Studies (2015).   
  • Duke Ellington's America (University of Chicago Press, 2010)  
  • “Hollywood's New Deal in Song and Dance: Footlight Parade and the Great Depression,” a chapter in Hollywood and the Great Depression: American Film, Politics and Society in the 1930s (Edinburgh University Press, 2016)
  • "In His Own Words: Ellington's Ode to Black History", Washington Post (20 February 2005)
  • “Music In The History Classroom”, Perspectives (American Historical Association) (Fall 2005).

For a complete list of publications, please see Harvey's full research profile.


Harvey Cohen teaches about the history and business of popular music and film; the history of museums and the publishing industry; the business issues facing cultural industries; and American and African American history. In previous teaching positions he has also taught the Harlem Renaissance and the cultural history of New York City.

In Dr Harvey G Cohen's newest MA course at King's College London, "Readings In The Music Business," he has welcomed several surprise guests from the music business to attend the seminars, including Rough Trade founder/head Geoff Travis, music business lawyer Nigel Parker and best-selling recording artist, musician and academic Damon Minchella.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Harvey G Cohen's work has appeared in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, The Independent (UK), Metro International (Sweden and Denmark), and on BBC and SkyNews radio and TV stations.  In February 2014, he discussed his forthcoming book about the political significance of the Warner Bros. Great Depression movie musicals on a half-hour broadcast on the CSPAN TV network in the United States.  
Cohen was featured again at the London Jazz Festival during November 2013. the fourth time in the last six years he has been invited to contribute to the festival.

In 2015, among other media appearances, Cohen discussed the historical significance of swing music on a BBC Radio 3 Proms programme, and commented on the "Blurred Lines" song plagiarism case on the BBC World Service.

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