A dedication to one of media studies’ earliest innovators

Prof Higginson
Media history lecture
Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Parkside building from 4pm
Hear Prof. Steve Hawley share his research on early pioneer of media studies, George Higginson.

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As part of Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research's weekly seminars, Prof. Steve Hawley, Associate Dean for Research at the Manchester School of Art, will be presenting a paper on one of the earliest pioneers of media studies, George Higginson.

George Higginson was somewhat of a maverick of his time: in a landscape dominated by part-time young students, he entered the Manchester School of Art aged 35 and dedicated himself to full time study. He also made the first ever film produced in and about an art school, back in 1929 - a full four years before the Norman McLaren’s more widely recognised 'Seven Till Five'.

With a life that contained Army and RAF distinction as well as being a painter, artist and film maker, Higginson was a remarkable character. His refusal to engage with the professional film world allowed him to work freely as an amateur film maker and cross genre boundaries at will: art, science, education, documentary, animation and news. His innovative views on film as an educational tool and his pioneering vision of media studies will be brought to attention at tomorrow's BCMCR research seminar by Professor Steve Hawley.

Professor Paul Long, one of the event organisers said: 

Professor Steve Hawley’s paper examines the huge range of work Higginson produced as well as exploring his life and legacy as an amateur film maker at the beginning of the 20th Century.

The event will take place on Wednesday 27 April in the Parkside Building. 


Professor Steve Hawley is an artist and filmmaker who has been broadcasting and presenting his work since 1980. He is Associate Dean for the Manchester School of Art which is part of Manchester Metropolitan University.


Paul Long is a professor of media and cultural history. He leads research in the pan-European Leonardo Partnership 'Innovative Media and Music Heritage Impacting Vocational Education' and conducts research which concerns the role of class, ethnicity and gender in creative industries work. He is also undertaking a historical study of the relationship between student unions and the music business in the UK.

Kirsten Forkert is a lecturer in media theory, a researcher and an activist with a strong interest in the politics of cultural work and education. Her PhD thesis explored the conditions under which freelance artists operate in the cities of London and Berlin and this research provided a strong foundation for her book, 'Artistic Lives'.

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