Stephen Hill's work focuses on the aesthetics of British popular music culture and what makes it different from American forms. In particular he is fascinated by the legacy of British Art Schools on popular music culture in the 1960s and 70s, and the Carnivalesque sensibility that has proved so enduring.

His latest work, The Panopticon of Pop, explores both the semantics of musical performance at festivals and the perpetuity of these events at a specific moment in popular music history. Stephen argues that the renaissance of British popular music in the digital age can be attributed to the fact that it has always embraced post-modern culture as opposed to denying it.

The tension between art and commerce is a recurring theme in Stephen’s work; in particular he is fascinated with the line of fault running through pop, between the counter-culture mentality and the Top 40 sensibility. In this direction his PhD thesis sought to challenge the hegemony of American rock ideology and revisionist accounts of popular music history.

One of the key themes of Stephen’s work is his positive attitude towards the new. In his teenage years he fought hard to resist the nostalgia of the 1990s, rejecting the retro-sounds of Brit Pop and Grunge, and occupying instead an imaginative space in which pop culture was the future.

Happily Stephen now lives in that future: a space in which every flavour is on the menu and no style seem to clash. Residing in Bournemouth and surrounded by nice people, his favourite record is probably a remix he's found on Soundcloud

Though Stephen writes principally on popular music culture he has previously published work on topics that include Film and Censorship, Media and Cultural Theory, Television Drama and Social Networking. He is available for free-lance writing, lectures and consultancy.


University of Southampton
PhD: Reconfiguring Authenticity in the Music Press (2010)
QTS: English and Media (2004)
MA: Literature, Culture and Modernity (2001)
BACS: English and Sociology (1999)

Lutterworth Grammar School
4 A-levels and 9 GCSEs (1992 -1996)


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