• 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

“Dangerous” by Dr. Susan Fast

Book Review by Karin Merx

Dangerous by Dr. Susan Fast

Dangerous by Dr. Susan Fast, volume 100 33 1/3, Bloomsbury, ISBN: PB: 978-1-6235-9; ePDF: 987-1-6235-6102-4; ePub: 987-116235-6156-7

‘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.

Francesca Royster – Hee hee hee: Michael Jackson and the Transgendered Erotics of Voice

(c) DePaul University

On behalf of:

Francesca Royster. ‘Hee hee hee: Michael Jackson and the Transgendered Erotics of Voice.’ Originally published on the National Sexuality Resource Centre. 28 July 2005

‘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.’ 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.

Read Full Article Here

Marta Miquel-Baldellou – A Tell-Tale Thriller

An Intertextual an Structural Insight into Poe's Pop


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.

Despite some initial hesitance, more scholars have increasingly established links between the
Bostonian writer Edgar Allan Poe and contemporary musicians like Lou Reed, Allan Parsons
Project as well as Bob Dylan. More recently, Michael Jackson has been added to the list,
especially since the King of Pop chose Vincent Price, the actor featuring in most of Roger
Corman’s films based on Poe’s tales, to participate in the highly acclaimed song and album
Thriller. Likewise, Michael Jackson admitted that he intended to play the role of Edgar Allan
Poe in a big-budget biopic entitled The Nightmares of Edgar Allan Poe, a film which was never
released. Actually, both Poe and Jackson share important biographical details such as the
pervasive influence of a tragic childhood, a tempestuous relationship with their respective
fathers, their ludicrous depiction by the press, their assumed eccentricity and popularity as
American icons, their misunderstood marriages, their financial debts, and even their untimely
death. This paper presents an intertextual analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s tales and Michael
Jackson’s songs and videoclips with the aim to underline the narratological structures shared
between both authors’s works as representatives of contemporary popular culture.

Read Full Article Here

De-Centring Culture Studies sample

Elizabeth Amisu – ‘The Isle is Full of Noises’

Revisiting the Peter Pan of Pop- Dangerous Philosophies 3/19

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By Elizabeth Amisu


Adapted and abridged from the chapter, ‘Michael Jackson: Peter Pan, Passion and Pathology’ from The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson by Elizabeth Amisu (2015)


The artist, Michael Jackson has oft been given the epithet, Peter Pan of Pop, however, this article presents his association with fictional characters as far more complex. It also discusses Jackson’s parallels with Shakespeare’s Ariel and the authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Oscar Wilde.

Read Full Article Here

Read Full Article Here

The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain

“I know my race, I just look in the mirror; I know I’m black.”-Michael Jackson


This article is placed on behalf of Raven Woods. Raven Woods is a professor of literature and composition at Alabama A&M University and JC Calhoun Community College. Her publication credits include “AURA/Literary Arts Review,” “Cedar Hill Review,” “Bogg,” “Lucid Moon,” “Black Bear Review,” and many others. She was a recipient of the 1998 Hackney Literary […]

‘Bad (1987)’

Genius. The Short Films of Michael Jackson 1/24

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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 2/19

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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’?

Throwing Stones to Hide Your Hands: The Mortal Persona of Michael Jackson

The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson 1/19

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Drawing on the emerging scholarly study of ‘Jacksonism’, a movement typified by the study of the multi-modal art, political impact and cultural significance of Michael Jackson, this article de-constructs the mythological personas of the artist by exploring both his cultural deification and many subsequent attempts to degrade his deified status.


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