• Michael Jackson Academic Journal

    The Michael Jackson Studies Academic Journal is a peer-reviewed online academic journal which aims to bring wider attention to Michael Jackson as artist, creating and implementing an academic model for the study of his multi-modal art.

Recent Articles

Monsters, Witches, and Michael Jackson’s Ghosts

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 Article published on behalf of Willa Stillwater:

“It’s right that I be contemplated After having been stared at”

Wade Robson, a witness for the defense in the 2005 trial of Michael Jackson, recently recanted his sworn testimony that Jackson never molested him—testimony he steadfastly affirmed again and again, under oath, throughout vigorous cross-examination. However, he now says he was molested, and he and his lawyer, Henry Gradstein, have filed a creditor’s claim against the Jackson Estate seeking financial damages. In a prepared statement quoted May 9, 2013, by the  New York Daily News  and others, Gradstein told the press, “Michael Jackson was a monster, and in their hearts every normal person knows it.” In other words, Gradstein suggests “normal” people should follow their instincts and assume Jackson was guilty, before any evidence has been presented or considered, because Jackson was clearly not one of us. He was not “normal.” He was, in Gradstein’s words, “a monster.”

Michael Jackson’s Death as a Social Event

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This article is placed on behalf of Aneta Ostaszewska Institute of Social Prevention and Resocialisation (IPSiR) Faculty of Applied Social Sciences and Resocialisation University of Warsaw, Podchorążych 20, 00-721 Warsaw email: A.Ostaszewska@uw.edu.pl

The death of Michael Jackson and the media coverage between 25th June 2009 and January 2010 caused a lot of questions about contemporary culture, e.g. How does popular culture deal with death? What does the media “do” with death? What do reactions of the media and its community “tell” about the media itself and the audience? From anthropological and sociological points of view the case of Michael Jackson’s death can be analyzed as a social event, a contemporary ritual, the collective experience of the hero’s farewell. The most significant issue is that at this very moment, when Jackson died, popular culture was deprived of its biggest illusions: the immortality of its heroes. 

Arrojar Piedras Y Esconder Las Manos: La Personalidad Humana De Michael Jackson

Spanish Translation

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 A Spanish translation of Throwing Stones to Hide Your Hands: The Mortal Persona of Michael Jackson, a chapter excerpt from The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson (Praeger, 2016) exploring Jackson’s mortality.

El siguiente artículo forma parte de una serie de ensayos académicos llamados THE DANGEROUS PHILOSOPHIES OF MICHAEL JACKSON.

La intención de la autora es atraer una mayor atención hacia Michael Jackson artista creando un modelo académico para el estudio de su arte.

‚Die Insel ist voller Geräusche‘: Erneuter Besuch beim „Peter Pan des Pop“

German Translation

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This is a German translation of a 2014 article by Elizabeth Amisu, entitled, ‘The Isle Is Full of Noises': Revisiting the Peter Pan of Pop’, published by the MJAS in August, 2015.

Übernommen und gekürzt aus dem Kapitel ‚Michael Jackson: Peter Pan, Leidenschaft und Pathologie‘ aus The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson von Elizabeth Amisu (Praeger, 2016)

Dem Künstler Michael Jackson wurde oft der Beiname Peter Pan des Pop gegeben, dieser Artikel zeigt jedoch seine Verbindung mit fiktionalen Charakteren auf weitaus komplexere Art. Es werden auch Parallelen zwischen Jackson und Shakespeares Ariel und zu den Schriftstellern F. Scott Fitzgerald und Oscar Wilde diskutiert.

¿Estamos perdiendo a Michael Jackson de nuevo?

Spanish Translation

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Eliza Mosel Vallee

A Spanish translation of a 2014 article by Elizabeth Amisu, entitled, ‘Heard It Through The Grapevine': Are We Losing Michael Jackson All Over Again. The article was written to commemorate Jackson’s 56th birthday.

‘Hee hee hee': Michael Jackson and the Transgendered Erotics of Voice

Originally published on the National Sexuality Resource Centre. 28 July 2005

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‘Throats are part of the erotic act, commanding, whispering, swallowing. Through his cries, whispers, groans, whines, and grunts. Michael Jackson occupies a third space of gender.’ Francesca Royster explores the sexualisation of Jackson’s voice throughout his earlier solo works, ‘Off The Wall’, ‘Thriller’ and ‘Bad’ while contextualising his voice within the wider concept of African-American sexuality and its representation.

‘Crack Music’: Michael Jackson’s ‘Invincible’ – Dangerous Philosophies 4/12

Italian Translation

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Sommario: Sono pochi gli scritti accademici dedicati all’ultimo album in studio di Michael Jackson, Invincible. Questo articolo esplora l’album, attraverso la metafora di “Crack Music”, pezzo tratto dall’album di Kanye West “Late Registration” del 2005 e lo colloca nel contesto delle ambizioni “ nere” come una minaccia delle dominanti ideologie occidentali. articolo completo […]

‘Crack Music’: Michael Jackson’s ‘Invincible’

The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson 4/12

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‘Crack Music’: Michael Jackson’s Invincible

Inspired by the chapter, ‘ Invincible , The Denouement Album’ from The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson by Elizabeth Amisu (Praeger, 2016).

Little academic writing has been devoted to Michael Jackson’s final studio album, Invincible. This article explores Invincible through Kanye West’s metaphor of Crack Music from the 2005 album, Late Registration and places it in the context of black aspiration as a threat to dominant Western ideologies.

Das Phänomen Michael Jackson

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‘My ambition has been to write a book for the 16 year old fan as well as for the 60 year old professor of Philosophy. They all should read it with profit.’

Das Phänomen Michael Jackson was the first academic book ever written solely on Michael Jackson. On behalf of Jochen Ebmeier, the MJAS have published links to chapters of his recently re-published book from 1997.

This book is a biography which places Jackson in a broader context of the aesthetic of modern entertainment and art.

“Dangerous” by Dr. Susan Fast

Book Review by Karin Merx

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Dangerous is a must read for every Michael Jackson fan, non-fan, critic or music lover. Dr. Susan Fast meticulously researched Michael Jackson’s 1991 album in a way that has never been done before and in doing so she puts Jackson back where he belongs; in the spotlight as the highly talented black musician and artist he was… and he was dangerous too!

The book also makes readers want to re-listen to the music and re-watch the short-films again and again.

‘Heard It On The Grapevine’

Are We Losing Michael Jackson All Over Again?

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Eliza Mosel Vallee

This article was originally published on the Michael Jackson Academic Studies Online Journal on August 29th, 2014, which would have been Michael Jackson’s 56th birthday.

Marta Miquel-Baldellou – A Tell-Tale Thriller

An Intertextual an Structural Insight into Poe's Pop

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 On behalf of

Miquel-Baldellou, Marta. “A Tell-Tale Thriller: An Intertextual and Structural Insight into Poe’s Pop.” De-Centring Cultural Studies: Past, Present and Future of Popular Culture. Ed. Jose-Igor Prieto-Arranz et al. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013. 89-117.

Raven Wood – Langston Hughes’s “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” (1926)

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On behalf of Raven Woods

In 1926, poet and essayist Langston Hughes wrote a short but stirring piece that became a manifesto for the Harlem Renaissance, the great cultural movement that brought Black art, culture, and music to prominence in American society.  Last spring, when I assigned this essay to one of my American Lit classes, it occurred to me that much of what Hughes wrote in 1926 could also apply to many of the trials and tribulations that Michael Jackson would endure as an African-American artist more than sixty years later. Here is Langston Hughes’s essay. The sections that are highlighted are my emphasis, as these are important points that I will return to later when addressing the essay’s relevance to Michael Jackson:

‘Bad (1987)’

Genius. The Short Films of Michael Jackson 1/12

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(c) 1987 Optimum Productions

Michael Jackson starred in and produced upwards of forty films in a career which showcases many of the most watched short films of all time. The four-minute sequence often perceived to be ‘Bad’ (dir. Martin Scorsese, 1987) is in fact the epicentre of a much longer narrative. Parodied in ‘Moonwalker’ (dir. Jerry Kramer, 1988) in the spirit of ‘Bugsy Malone’ (dir. Alan Parker, 1976), it is nevertheless targeted towards adults. Richard Price’s screenplay was inspired by a 1985 shooting and explores several complex themes. This essay de-constructs ‘Bad’ for its cinematic significance, discussing its cultural relevance and artistry through a shot-by-shot analysis which interprets the film through mise en scène, cinematography, performances and wider context.

On Michael Jackson’s ‘Dancing the Dream’

The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson 2/12

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Michael Jackson’s words were disseminated in liner notes, magazines and even a blog. His first published book was a 1988 autobiography, Moonwalk; the second, a children’s storybook based on Moonwalker (dir. Jerry Kramer, 1988) and the last, a 1992 publication called Dancing the Dream. ‘On Michael Jackson’s Dancing the Dream’ contextualises this collection of ‘poems and reflections’ within its author’s career and positions a work which Jackson described as ‘more autobiographical than Moonwalk’ as a pivotal moment in his career. The essay poses and answers, using emerging academic study of Jackson’s art, the following questions: ‘what exactly is Dancing the Dream’ and ‘how is it significant’?