Abstract: April 2016 has been incredibly exciting and thought-provoking in the world of Michael Jackson Studies.
Column by Elizabeth Amisu, MA, PGCE, editor of The Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studies and author of The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson: His Music, His Persona, and His Artistic Afterlife.
Amisu, Elizabeth. “MJ Studies Today IV (14-04-16).” The Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studies2, no. 2 (2016). Published electronically 14/4/16. http://michaeljacksonstudies.org/mj-studies-today-iv-14-04-16/.
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MJ Studies Today IV (14-04-16)
By Elizabeth Amisu
April has been incredibly exciting and thought-provoking in the world of Michael Jackson Studies. It’s important to mention the recent death of producer, David Gest, most notable in the field for 2001’s Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special. We are very fortunate at The Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studiesto have a preview copy of a brand new book on Michael Jackson, written by British journalist, Mike Smallcombe, Making Michael, for which we will be providing a detailed academic review shortly.
In other newsThe Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studieshas published two new episodes of its official podcast, Michael Jackson’s Dream Lives On: An Academic Conversation. The first new episode, The Business of Michael Jackson’s Estate, takes on our most provocative topic yet, while the second new episode, entitled Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to ‘Off the Wall’ is an in-depth discussion between myself and editor, Karin Merx, about Spike Lee’s recent documentary. We delved into Lee’s influence is in terms of film-making and culture, and then we connected that to Michael Jackson’s unique resonance in terms of culture and artistry. We particularly enjoyed discussing the Off the Wall album, and the fact that it remains so timeless and joyous a listening experience to this day.
I recently saw Professor Wole Soyinka ‘in conversation’ at the British Library, a longstanding Nigerian writer and political activist who believes radio is a most powerful medium for evoking cultural and societal change. In the last few months I have personally seen the capacity for change that podcasting, which is essentially radio for the 21stcentury, has. Our podcast, MichaelJackson’s Dream Lives On: An Academic Conversation has been warmly welcomed into the family of longstanding Michael Jackson Podcasts, which include The MJCast and MoonwalkTalks. These are without doubt the most inspired podcasts on Michael Jackson available. It’s so wonderful that listeners all over the world can download and enjoy them totally free and it’s such an important service that these podcasts serve to the whole community. I find the very fact that we are all creating this content solely for the love and appreciation of our subject wonderful. This month support our #MJPodcasts family by subscribing and leaving a thoughtful rating, particularly on iTunes.
The Article of the Month is a comment by contributor, Aisha Staggers, which is most definitely worth a close read. Aisha’s comments are incredibly astute and she offers a unique perspective on Michael Jackson and Afrocentricity which is so engaging and thoughtful. Read more here.
Over the next few months we will continue to release informative interviews, mini-documentaries and lots more, including our appearance at Kingvention this year. So don’t forget to subscribe to keep in touch.
3 Things I’m Grateful for This Week
- The wonderful creators of TheMJCast, who were very gracious and kind to The Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studies in their recent broadcast, ‘Episode 028 – Just the Two Of Us’. Do listen, especially to the section on a German book on Jackson’s artistry, Kunstwerke von Michael Jackson via blogger, Annemarie Latour.
- Fresh starts. The novelty of brand new beginnings.
- My continuing thanks goes to all who have pre-ordered The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson: His Music, His Persona, and His Artistic Afterlife. Limited Edition Pre-Order Today: Amazon UK Amazon USA
Until next month, it’s all for love,
Elizabeth Amisu, author of The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson: His Music, His Persona, and His Artistic Afterlife, holds an MA in Early Modern English Literature from King’s College London. She is co-founder and editor of The Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studiesonline. For The Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studiesshe has edited two publications, An Academic Companion to Michael Jackson Studies and Michael Jackson’s Dream Lives On: An Academic Conversation – Michael Jackson & Prince;written several articles and book reviews, most notably ”Throwing Stones To Hide Your Hands’: The Mortal Persona Of Michael Jackson‘, which has been translated into Spanish and Italian; ”The Isle is Full of Noises’: Revisiting the Peter Pan of Pop‘, available in German; ”Crack Music’: Michael Jackson’s Invincible‘, also in Italian; and ”Heard it Through the Grapevine’: Are We Losing Michael Jackson All Over Again?‘, also available in Spanish.