London Alumni Lecture 2019: Dr Kirsty Fairclough
Rare Bird: Women and Representation in Popular Music

Rare Bird 


Date: Thursday 14 November 2019
Time: 18:30 - 21:00
Venue: Cargo, 83 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3AY


It has been two years since the first #metoo testimonies ignited fierce debate about high-profile abusers, the pay gap and lack of representation in the music industry. Yet figures show the gender pay gap is still at a staggering 30 per cent.


We ask the question – why has nothing changed in the world of music?


Join us at our annual London lecture as we invite Dr Kirsty Fairclough, Associate Dean Research & Innovation in the School of Arts and Media, Salford alumna and expert on women in pop culture to deliver her insight into these debates, as well as navigate the difficult terrain in which women in the music industry still face.


The lecture will be followed by light refreshments and the opportunity to continue the discussion with your fellow alumni, as well as catch up with former classmates and friends old and new.


About the lecture


Whether on stage or behind the scenes, the representation of women in the music industry requires both interrogation and analysis. Popular music cultures circulate endlessly repetitive representations of women that both shape and often reflect their perceived roles in contemporary culture. At both ends of the spectrum, this is a site for both regressive gender tropes and norm-shattering responses.


In terms of the industry, there is a distinct lack of representation. Only 12% of songwriters of the 600 most popular songs from 2012 to 2017  were women- (USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative) and the gender pay gap at some of the biggest music-focused companies is a staggering 30 per cent, and just 14 per cent of performers at US festivals were women in 2018. This lecture will explore this subject in detail, calling on examples such as Beyonce, Janelle Monae, FKA Twigs and Lizzo.



Dr Kirsty Fairclough 

About Dr Kirsty Fairclough


Dr Kirsty Fairclough is Associate Dean Research & Innovation in the School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford. Kirsty researches in the areas of women in pop culture, celebrity studies and popular music with an emphasis on Prince, and has published widely on popular culture in both academic circles and in commercial film, music and media.


She co-founded the Salford Popular Culture Conference series with international partner universities, producing the unique and renowned lectures I’ll See You Again in 25 Years: Twin Peaks and Generations of Cult Television, Mad Men: The Conference and Purple Reign, an interdisciplinary conference on the life and legacy of Prince.

Outside of her work at Salford, Kirsty is the co-curator of Sound and Vision: Pop Stars on Film held recently at HOME, Manchester and Chair of Manchester Jazz Festival. She recently interviewed Noel Gallagher at an intimate and rare Q&A at Salford Lads Club, selling out in in less than 60 seconds.


To Register


Please reserve your place by filling in the registration form below.


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Event Selection
Rare Bird: Women and Representation in Popular Music
14 November 2019 at 18:00