Professor Martin Barker

The Executive Committee of MeCCSA have learned with great sadness of the death of Professor Martin Barker, at the age of 76.  Martin was one of the founding titans of our field in the UK, and he will be remembered as one of the most committed, principled, enthusiastic, and effective of researchers and writers in British media and cultural studies.  

Martin’s roots were in philosophy, which he studied as an undergraduate in Liverpool. He later taught at Bristol Polytechnic (or University of the West of England as it became), Sussex, and Aberystwyth, where he was Professor of Film and Television Studies before retiring in 2011 as Emeritus Professor. Always driven by his socialist principles and energetic desire to get to the heart of an argument, he was deeply involved in both public and academic debates about racism in the media, and also about violence in the media, finding himself, for example,  a prominent critic in the 1980s of the censorship campaigns led by the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association, then headed by Mary Whitehouse.  He cared deeply about the development of the field, and was an influential voice from its outset on the executive of MeCCSA’s predecessor association, the Standing Conference on Cultural, Communication and Media Studies. Much of his recent work focused on aspects of audience studies, which he was always seeking to renew and expand, and led him to huge, collaborative, and international studies of audience responses to fantasy films and series such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Martin was an important part of the MeCCSA community.  He attended the last physical conference before Covid, at Brighton in 2020. 

Martin Barker, second from left, at the MeCCSA Canterbury conference in 2016

For many academics in our field Martin Barker was a key intellectual focus, and an inspiration. To his friends he was a warm, generous, and always helpful companion.  He will be much missed by both. 

Prof. Peter Golding

September 2022

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.