Photo: Alexander Makhov
Dr Mark Duffett is a Reader in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Chester. His academic career began in 1991 when he was awarded a first class honors degree in geography by Oxford University. Since then he has spent his time either studying or teaching popular music. Dr Duffett’s research centres on Elvis Presley and popular music fandom, but his work has ventured into other areas of popular music and fan culture.
In 1993, Dr Duffett completed an MA at UBC in Vancouver looking into the music industry and Canadian national identity. He was then employed by Sony Music UK in a sales and marketing capacity. The University of Wales awarded him a PhD in 1999 for his thesis on Elvis fandom, Understanding Elvis: Presley Power and Performance. Simon Frith was his external examiner.
Since 1999, Dr Duffett has taught full time in media and cultural studies at the University of Chester where his duties have included postgraduate teaching, research and curriculum development. During this time, he has examined nine PhDs on diverse topics related to popular music culture. His blog has had over 90,000 hits since its inception in 2009 and it contains interviews with a range of academic writers on music fandom.
Mark Duffett organized an international symposium on popular music fandom at the University of Chester in 2010. In 2012, he presented an international keynote speech at the MARS 2012 conference in Seinajoki, Finland, and co-organized an international symposium on popular music and automobiles at the University of Chester. Mark published two books in 2013: Understanding Fandom (Bloomsbury) and the edited volume Popular Music Fandom (Routledge).
In 2014, Dr Mark Duffett spoke at Studying Music: A Conference in Honour of Simon Frith in Edinburgh. With Professor Claude Chastagner, he co-organized A Conference on Rock Music and Love at the University of Montpellier in France. The following year, he published another edited volume, Fan Identities and Practices: Dedicated to Music (Routledge).
Dr Duffett co-organized another international symposium at Chester in April 2015, this time on popular music fandom and the public sphere. He was invited to Moscow in 2016 to speak at Challenges of Participatory Culture, an international conference held at HSE. In the spring of 2017, he was an invited speaker at the Locating Imagination conference at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He is currently organizing New Perspectives on Elvis, a summer 2017 international conference at the University of Memphis, and completing a new book called Counting Down Elvis: His 100 Finest Songs.