Research in the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries (CMCI) at King’s stands out in two ways. First, we approach an exciting new subject area from within the rigour and intellectual context of an established, world-ranked, Russell Group University. Second, our research is focused from a multiplicity of related and connected viewpoints. In this way we are avowedly –and genuinely- interdisciplinary, placing ourselves at the confluence of the arts, humanities and social sciences.
We specialise in the reflexive analysis of creativity and of cultural labour. Our current research is conducted under three specialist themes: Cultures of Production and the Creative Economy; Digital Culture and Everyday Cultures; and Memory and Knowledge Environments.
Methodologically, we draw from sociology, cultural, gender, and media studies –in addition to the more time-honoured arts and humanities disciplines. Our approach is proudly transmedial and frequently collaborative. Over the last five years we have secured external research funding of £8.8m.
CMCI is also a rapidly expanding research department. Back in 2009 we had just four full time members of academic staff. Now, in 2014, we have over 15, with more (including another full professor) on the way.
Our special research themes
Cultures of Production and the Creative Economy
Digital Culture and Everyday Cultures
Here, we study the nature, organisation and location of cultural production. Examples include our continuing research into the fashion industry, the careers of classical musicians, the way in which classical music is sold to audiences, and screenwriting as creative labour. To these we can add our concern with value and valuation of the arts, together with our work with the Korean Arts Council on the role of cultural policy in building social consensus. Finally, CMCI researches issues of secrecy, transparency and the right to memory as part of the important current debates on regulation, human rights and international protocols.
Memory and Knowledge Environments
This is an area in which we actively collaborate with our colleagues in the Department of Digital Humanities, four of whom have joint appointments in our own Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries. Here we investigate how culture and society are changing in the increasingly digital world. Our research projects include online politics, hacking, and the digital dimensions of the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. Our work on everyday cultures connects fan cultures, subcultures, visual culture, film, popular music, American culture, body modification and the sexualisation of culture in a feminist and postfeminist context.
Under this heading we explore how cultural heritage, cultural and media memory and knowledge are made and mediated. Examples of this include how history was turned into myth in the case of the RMS ‘Titanic’, and how new mobile and social technologies affect memory and public witnessing today. We have looked at how institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum represent empire, Englishness and multiculturalism, and how Duke Ellington as both a musician and an African-American contributed to American cultural history. We also work on digital memory, global memory, memory and World War II (including the Holocaust), and memory in post Soviet states.
Journal Editors and Advisory Boards
CMCI academic staff work as editors on journals including: Media Culture and Society; New Media and Society; Social Movement Studies; and Feminism and Psychology. We also serve as editorial board members on journals including: Qualitative Communications Research; Theory, Culture & Society; Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion; Dress Cultures; the International Journal of Fashion Studies; Memory Studies, the Journal of the Philosophy of Photography, the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, and the Journal of Critical Realism.
CMCI has over 30 postgraduate research students.