The MIPMC Research Group at Northumbria University provides a hub for staff and postgraduate researchers who are engaged with the analysis of the moving image and popular media in all its forms, from theoretical, historical, practice-based, industrial and empirical/sociological perspectives
Read more

Noel McLaughlin | Assistant Professor in Film and Television Studies

Overview of Research Interests
I am a versatile and enthusiastic senior lecturer with over twenty years full-time experience of teaching film, television and cultural studies at undergraduate and taught postgraduate levels, to both practice-orientated and more traditional academic programmes. My research interests are in the field of popular music studies with a particular emphasis on the history of popular music in Ireland and rock and popular music on film and television. I am especially interested in popular music’s relationship to cultural politics and its role in identity formation. My work is interdisciplinary in approach, drawing variously on film and television studies, fashion theories, discourse analysis and methods derived from popular musicology, performance studies and cultural studies/history.

PhD Media & Cultural Studies, University of Ulster, 1999
BA Media Studies, University of Ulster, 1991

Professional Affiliations
Member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM)

1997-present, Senior Lecturer, Northumbria University
1994-1994, Lecturer in Media Studies, University of Ulster
External Examiner, Anglia Ruskin University 2013-17

PhD Supervision and Examination
I have successfully supervised two PhDs to completion: Kimberley Mullins, ‘The Politician as Performer’ and Thitinan Boonpap, ‘Thai Television and Thai Cultural Identity’.
I was external examiner on an MPhil thesis on popular music for Anglia Ruskin University.

Publications and Research Outputs
Noel McLaughlin & Joanna Braniff, How Belfast Got the Blues: A Cultural History of Popular Music in the 1960s (Bristol/Chicago: Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press, 2020). monograph
Noel McLaughlin & Joanna Braniff, ‘Irish Lady Sings the Blues: History, Identity and Ottilie Patterson’, in Aine Mangaoang, John O’Flynn and Lonan O’Briain (eds), Made in Ireland: Studies in Popular Music (New York and London: Routledge, 2020), pp. 97-108.
Noel McLaughlin & Joanna Braniff, ‘How Belfast Got the Blues: Towards an Alternative History’, Popular Music History 10:2 (2017), pp. 207-240.
‘Another Green World: Eno, Ireland and U2’ in Sean Albiez and David Pattie (eds), Brian Eno: Oblique Music (London: Bloomsbury, 2016).
‘Another Green World: Eno, Ireland and U2’, Popular Music History 9:2 (2014), pp. 173-194.
‘Post-punk Industrial Cyber Opera: The Ambivalent and Disruptive Hybridity of Early ’90s U2’ in John O’Flynn and Mark Fitzgerald (eds) Music and Identity in Ireland and Beyond (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014)
Noel McLaughlin & Martin McLoone, ‘From Men to Boys: Masculinity, Politics and the Irish Boy Band’ in Conn Holohan and Tony Tracey (eds) Masculinity and Irish Popular Culture: Tiger’s Tales (London: Palgrave, 2014), pp. 61-74.
Noel McLaughlin & Martin McLoone, Rock and Popular Music in Ireland: Before and After U2 (Dublin/Portland Or: Irish Academic Press, 2012).
‘Rattling Out of Control: A Comparison of U2 and Joy Division on Film’, Film Fashion and Consumption 1:1 (2012), pp. 101-120.
‘Bono! Do you ever take those wretched sunglasses off?: U2 and the performance of Irishness’, Popular Music History 4:3 (2009), pp. 309-331.
‘Rock, Fashion and Performativity’ in Peter McNeill and Vicki Karaminas (eds) The Men’s Fashion Reader (Oxford: Berg, 2009).
Noel McLaughlin & Martin McLoone, ‘Irish Soundscapes’ in Martin McLoone , Film, Media and Popular Culture in Ireland (Dublin/Portland Or: Irish Academic Press, 2008), pp. 143-165.
‘Bodies Swayed to Music: Dance Music in Ireland’, Irish Studies Review 12:1 (2004), pp. 77-85.
‘Short-sighted?: Short Filmmaking in the UK’ in John Hill (ed.) Special Edition on British Cinema, Cineaste.
Noel McLaughlin & Martin McLoone, ‘Hybridity and National Musics: The Case of Irish Rock Music’, Popular Music 19:2 (2000), pp. 181-199.
‘Rock, Fashion and Performativity’ in Stella Bruzzi and Pamela Church Gibson (eds) Fashion Cultures: Theories, Explanations, Analysis (New York and London: Routledge, 2000).

Screenings and Exhibitions
The Story of Irish Rock: A Tale of Two Cities (d. Mike Connolly), BBC4 feature documentary (consultant) (screened 13.03.2015)
Producer and co-director (with Kimmo Perkkio) of ‘Greenback’, a mixed media short film for the electronic duo, BASIC on Bono and the Edge of U2’s Kitchen Recordings. It was screened in 1999 on MTV, Sky, RTE and at festivals, such as ‘UK with NY’ in November 2001.
Producer and co-director (with Kimmo Perkkio) of ‘C404’ a video for BASIC.

Recent Conferences & Talks
(2017) ‘The Political Power of a Film that might have been: Northern Ireland and the Rolling Stones’, Relational Forms IV, University of Porto
(2017) ‘Charlie is My Darling: Peter Whitehead, Belfast and the Rolling Stones’, Music and the Moving Image (MaMI), New York University
(2012) ‘Approaching Irish Rock’, Guest Lecture at Fordham University, Manhattan, New York.
(2012) Conference Organiser and speaker of ‘A Special Relationship?: Irish Popular Music in Britain’, an interdisciplinary symposium exploring various aspects of the Irish/British popular musical interface. This conference is a three-way collaboration between the Department of Arts at Northumbria University, The Centre for Media Research at the University of Ulster and the peer-reviewed journal, Popular Music History.
(2012) ‘Issues in Irish Popular Music’, The Embassy of Ireland, London.
(2012) ‘Irish rock and pop in cultural context’, talk at Belfast’s Oh Yeah! Centre.
(2012) ‘Authenticity and Hybridity in Irish Popular Music: the organic paradigm in Irish rock’. Paper given at the Centre for Media Research at the University of Ulster Guest Lecture series (February).
(2012) ‘Interview’, Dave Fanning Show, Radio 2FM, RTE.
(2012) ‘Interview – Rock & Pop in Ireland’, BBC Radio Ulster
(2010) ‘ “Bono! Do you ever take those sunglasses off?”: Clothing, masculinity and the contradictory significations of the performing Irish body’, Plenary Session at the inaugural Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (PopCAANZ) annual conference, Sydney Australia (July).
(2005) ‘The Politics of Short-Filmmaking’, Paper presented at a symposium on Filmmaking in the North East of England, Northumbria University.
(1996) ‘Postmodernism and Irish rock: Zoo TV’. Guest Lecture at the Institute of Popular Music, University of Liverpool (March).
(1996) ‘The Music Films of John T Davis’, Guest lecture at the University of Ulster (February).
(1996) ‘Postmodernism and Irish Rock: Zoo TV’. Guest Lecture at the Centre for Research in Canadian Culture Industries and Institutions, Magill University, Montreal (January).
(1995) ‘U2? Or what’s so Irish about Irish rock music?’, Plenary session paper delivered at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) VII International Conference (Music on Show: Issues of Performance), Glasgow (July).
(1995) ‘ Popular Music: Representation, Identity, Politics’, Paper delivered at Cultural Politics Conference hosted by Professor Marina Warner, The Art College, University of Ulster, Belfast (April).
(1994) ‘Camping out in the cold: Performativity in Irish popular music’, Gendered Narratives Conference, Magee College, Derry (March).

Examples of Public Engagement
I have been regularly employed in a consultancy capacity, most recently with the music cable channel, Showbiz (2016), where I advised on Irish-themed music programme content, and by filmmaker Ed Morris (2015), writing a report on independent feature filmmaking in Britain, and by rock musician, Luke Pritchard, lead singer of the Kooks (2014-15) on aspects of popular music and identity politics.
(2019) ‘The legacy of Gregory Gray’, Last Word, BBC Radio 4
(2019) ‘Studio Guest of Tom Robinson’, A special tribute to Gregory Gray, The Tom Robinson Show, BBC6 Music
Rock and Popular Music in Ireland was the subject of feature articles in the last issue of renowned music magazine, The Word and in Ireland’s longstanding premier music paper, Hot Press (both 2012).
From 2002-2006, I was a regular guest columnist for ‘Scene’, The Irish News’ weekend arts and culture supplement, writing on various aspects of popular music and film. This included articles on Van Morrison, U2, interview/features on Simple Minds, Jack L and so forth. I have also written one-off pieces for The Irish Times (Sinead O’Connor) and The Guardian (Roger Pomphrey). Most recently I co-authored a major feature article in the Weekend Review section of The Belfast Telegraph based on my most recent book, How Belfast Got the Blues, entitled ‘Written in Stone’.
I have introduced films and given short presentations at the Tyneside cinema. These include: Luis Bunuel’s Viridiana; Jim Sheridan’s In the Name of the Father and Stephen’s Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette.
I have also chaired after show Q and A sessions for Northern Stage in Newcastle, including 1984 and Noir, and interviewed novelists Tony Parsons and Tim Lott in front of Audiences at Newcastle Playhouse (1999). I have also chaired sessions with and interviewed filmmakers Third Films at Regent Street Cinema (2015), experimental filmmaker John Adams at the Tyneside Cinema, and Callum McDougall, award winning executive producer of Spectre and several other James Bond films, at Northumbria University (2012).
In my spare time, I continue to DJ and I have been fortunate enough to play at the invitation of the likes of Bono and the Edge from U2, Stella McCartney, Tony Allen, The Kings of Leon and others.

Editorial Board and Peer Review Experience
External Reviewer for the journal, Capital and Class (from September 2011).
External Reviewer for the journal, Popular Music History (from September 2012).
External Reviewer for the journal, Film, Fashion and Consumption (from May 2014).


Personal Website