Prof. George McKay (Keynote)

George McKay is Professor of Media Studies at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. Prior to this, he was Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Salford (2005-2014); previously he held a similar chair at the University of Central Lancashire (2000-2005). In September 2012 he took up a three-year AHRC Leadership Fellowship for the Connected Communities Programme, which was renewed for a further three-year period in September 2015.

His research and teaching interests are in alternative culture and media, the cultural politics of popular music—including jazz, punk—disability, festivals, and gardening. He has written or edited numerous books and collections in these fields—extensive information and links about which are available elsewhere on the site.

He writes for both academic and non-specialist audiences, though not necessarily in the same book. So he has produced academic monographs, aimed primarily at a university readership, and also written books for the informed, more general, reader, in particular for those interested or engaged in social activism,  music-making, community and cultural action. (You can read an academic analysis of the pitfalls of writing about activist culture in Keith Halfacree’s ‘I could only do wrong’, which discusses George’s position in his early writing, and its reception by some of the radical groups involved and under discussion.)

He appears periodically in the media as an ‘expert’ talking about his work, and related areas such as protest, counterculture, social movements.