George McKay joined UEA as Professor of Media Studies in 2014. Previously he was Professor of Cultural Studies at MediaCityUK University of Salford (2005-14), and at UCLan (2000-05). He has a First Class BA (Hons) from Hull College of Higher Education (1984) and a PhD from the University of Glasgow (1992).

He was Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Leadership Fellow for its Connected Communities Programme (2012-19). As well as co-leading the programme, with over 350 funded projects and 1000 community partners, his Connected Communities projects at UEA included The Impact of Festivals in collaboration with research partner EFG London Jazz Festival, Participatory Arts and DIY Culture, the Reggae Research Network, and Creative Spaces and Public Culture. He was also most recently co-investigator (2015-17) on the EU Heritage+ project, Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in European Festivals (CHIME). In 2020 he is involved in an EIRA-funded project with the Suffolk-based international music and culture centre Snape Maltings entitled Innovative Practice in Living Archives, Digital Creativity and Music-Making. 

PhD supervision

Professor McKay is an experienced PhD supervisor, having worked (as supervisor, external, internal examiner) with approaching 50 students, of which 16 are PhD completions. He has been postgraduate external examiner at a number of institutions: for PhDs, at Nottingham, Leeds, Cardiff, Bristol, Plymouth, Durham, KCL, Monash, UWE, Napier, Sussex; for MAs, Bradford, Manchester, UWE, UCLan, London College of Music & Media, UEL.

He is interested in supervising PhD students broadly across media and cultural studies and cultural politics. More specifically: alternative cultures/ counterculture, popular music, jazz, disability in culture and media, subcultures and post-subcultures, festival and the carnivalesque, social movements and protest, gardens and gardening, autonomy/anarchism, community music, participatory arts. He has also supervised to completion several creative practice-as-research and media production PhDs.


Professor McKay’s website is; it contains comprehensive information about his research—including lots of open access links—books, events, reviews, even a little about his music (semi-pro jazz double bassist). His work can also be found openly accessible on his and researchgate pages. You can also, if so minded, follow him on Twitter @george_mckay

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