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Dr Mark Duffett has recently written Elvis: Roots, Image, Comeback, Phenomenon (Equinox Publishing) which interprets the image and music of Elvis Presley to explore how they have evolved to create such a powerful and enduring myth. The book reveals how, as the most prominent performer of the rock and roll era and as a global superstar, Elvis was revolutionary. He challenged the established relationship between black and white culture fundamentally; drew the attention to the social needs of women and young people; promoted the value of Southern creativity; functioned as a bridge figure between folk roots and modernity and became a controversial figure of American unity.

The book forms part of a series, Icons of Pop Music, which looks at musical pioneers such as The Beatles, Buddy Holly, Nina Simone and Brian Wilson.

Popular Music and Automobiles (Bloomsbury), edited by Mark and Beate Peter, looks at how, since the 1950s, cars and popular music have been constantly associated. Their relationship has become part of a widely shared experience that connects individuals and society, private worlds and public spheres. Popular Music and Automobiles aims to unpack that relationship in more detail. It explores the ways in which cars and car journeys have shaped society, as well as how we have shaped them. It includes contributions written by academics from the UK, Germany and the USA.

Mark’s previous books include Counting Down Elvis (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), Understanding Fandom (Bloomsbury, 2013) and the edited volume Popular Music Fandom (Routledge, 2013). In 2013, he edited a special issue of the international journal Popular Music and Society. He has also written numerous articles for publications such as Popular Music, Volume!, Convergence, Popular Music History, Transatlantica, Participations and The Journal of Popular Music Studies, as well as completing book chapters for edited volumes such as Kraftwerk: Music Non-Stop (Continuum, 2010) and The Music Documentary (Routledge, 2013).

He teaches in the University’s Department of Music, Media and Performance on subjects ranging from media fandom and heritage culture, horror films, European cinema and cultural studies. He has featured on programmes produced by BBC World Service, TalkSport Radio and the Discovery Channel.

Mark said: “It’s been a busy time for me lately, with several projects emerging after years of work. The automobiles book had its roots in an international conference we staged in Chester back in 2012. It’s fascinating, with a real range of perspectives on music and motoring. I was invited to write the Elvis monograph around the same time. For an international icon, Presley has attracted surprisingly little attention in academia, but things are beginning to change now, particularly as historians consider his role. The book explores debates about what he achieved and how to understand why he still matters. It was a pleasure to write.”

Mark will also be taking part in an afternoon of book launches taking place on Wednesday, April 29 between 2.30pm and 5pm on Microsoft Teams and members of the public are welcome to join in. Attendees need to register on Eventbrite at least 24 hours in advance here.

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