Conference Organisers & Researchers in Residence

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Prof Chris Atton is Professor of Media and Culture in the School of Arts and Creative Industries at Edinburgh Napier University. His work focuses on Alternative Media where his contribution has concentrated on the notion of alternative media not as an essentialised political position but as a set of socio-cultural processes that redraw the boundaries of expert culture and media power. His research interests include popular music, the creative economy, and teaching and learning in higher education. Atton has also written on censorship and media ethics.

Dr Haftor Medbøe is Associate Professor of Music, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Popular Music and Jazz Musician in Residence at Edinburgh Napier University. His research interests include cultural identity and transnational heritage in contemporary European jazz, popular music pedagogy, interdisciplinarity and practice-as-research. Alongside his academic career, he remains active as a guitarist/composer and over the past decade has released eight albums to international critical acclaim.


Dr Zack Moir lectures across a broad range of music subjects at Edinburgh Napier University.  He is also a lecturer in music at the University of the Highlands and Islands, and is a Teaching Fellow in the Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh. He has a strong research interest in popular music education, music pedagogy, music in higher education, musical improvisation, and composition. Zack is also an active musician and composer performing as a saxophonist in ensembles and as a soloist.



Call For Papers

Continental Drift: 50 Years of Jazz from Europe

16th and 17th of July, 2016

A two-day conference at Edinburgh Napier University, UK, in association with the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival.

The organisers seek proposals for papers (to be delivered as a 20×20” slide-based presentation) based on two central themes that will function as stimulus for panel discussions:

  1. Key factors in the development of jazz in Europe.
  2. Moving forward – the future of jazz in Europe.

We intend to include a broad range of interdisciplinary perspectives around these topics including but not limited to historical, analytical, philosophical, economical, cultural, political, and pedagogical viewpoints. We welcome proposals from any disciplinary background.

Conference proceedings will take two main forms:

  1. Each presenter will be invited to submit an article based on their presentation which will be published as part of an edited collection – details TBC.
  2. The event will be filmed and released as an open-access online resource.

Proposals should include the following details:

Presenter Name
Institutional affiliation (if appropriate)
Email address
Title of paper
300-word abstract

Please send your abstract to by Tuesday the 1st of March 2016. You will be notified of the outcome by Monday the 14th of March.

Dr Haftor Medbøe, Dr Zack Moir, and Prof. Chris Atton
Conference Organisers


Continental Drift 2018: Jazz festivals edition

A symposium event organised Edinburgh Napier University in association with the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival.

14 July, 2018, 12:00 – 16:00 at Teviot Row, Edinburgh

Continental Drift presents an afternoon of panel discussions with audience Q&A. Featuring an exciting line-up of international jazz festival programmers, music journalists, musicians, and academics, we anticipate lively debate around key themes including the festivalisation of jazz, the impact of jazz festivals on local and global scenes, future proofing of festival formats, programming philosophies, cultural politics, funding, marketing and legacy.

Tickets: £10 including lunch

Tickets from EVENTBRITE


Browse highlights of our previous conferences below:


Continental Drift 2017: A century of jazz on record

Click on the link below to read journalist Neil Cooper’s inspired and energising panel presentation:
Adventures En Route to a Jazz Education: How Larry Stabbins Changed My Life

Link to Professor George McKay’s blog discussing themes from his thought-provoking and life-affirming keynote address:
George McKay: professor, writer, musician

Continental Drift: A century of jazz on record (2017 Conference) Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery 2017
Click on image to go to 2017 Conference Photo Gallery

Continental Drift 2016: 50 years of jazz from Europe

Conference Proceedings

We are pleased to announce the publication of conference proceedings from Continental Drift: 50 years of jazz from Europe, held in Edinburgh on July 16th – 17th, 2016.

The publication provides a snapshot of the breadth of perspectives that were presented during two days of lively debate and complements video and podcast outputs from four themed panel sessions available on the conference website.

We hope that the combined inputs from the first two years of Continental Drift provides a platform for continuing collaborative investigation and aim to build on these activities in years to come. The work is open access so please feel free to share and distribute as you wish – we are committed to ensuring that conference outputs are not limited to an academic audience.


Continental Drift: 50 years of jazz from Europe (2016 Conference) Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery 2016

Click on image to go to 2016 Conference Photo Gallery page