Kirsty Fairclough

Dr Kirsty Fairclough

Director of International

Office Times

Wednesday 11-1pm


I have been teaching and researching in film and media studies at The University of Salford since 2005. During this time, I have co-convened international conferences including The Big Reveal, Style, Class and Industry (2007), the first international conference on lifestyle television and I’ll See You Again in 25 Years: Twin Peaks and Generations of Cult TV (2015), Mad Men: The Conference (2016) as well as co-organising the 2010-2013 Screens and Mediations seminar series. I am a member of the Programming Committee for the Salford International Media Festival Conference.

I was an early publisher in celebrity studies and am a member of the editorial board of the international journal Celebrity Studies (Routledge).

My current research is focused in the following areas:

• Celebrity culture and gender representations.

• Ageing narratives and female celebrity.

• Beyoncé and celebrity feminism.

• Music video and representations of female sexuality.

• Gender and contemporary Hollywood stardom.

• Television comedy and gender.

• I have lectured internationally on a number of topics ranging from stand-up comedy and gender at Second City Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, and Middle Tennessee State University and celebrity feminism at KMH Royal College of Music Stockholm and Bucknell University, Pennsylvania.

As well as developing an international research profile, I have held the position of Associate Director International (Music and Performance), Engagement Lead and am currently the School’s Director of International.

I have developed partnerships with a number of universities across the USA, Canada, Brazil and Scandinavia.

I regularly act as a peer reviewer for a wide range of scholarly journals and publishers including New Media and Society, Alphaville, Celebrity Studies, Music and the Moving Image, Volume! and Participations.

I work with a number of organisations and individuals to deliver partnerships, guest lectures, public talks and media appearances including BBC, HOME, Cofilmic, 38 Degrees, Comedy International Industry Conference, Women in Film and Television, Pilot Light Television Festival and the British Film Institute.

My blog can be found here:


My teaching and supervision ranges across both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and spans performance, film, media and cultural studies.

Research Interests

My research covers an inter-disciplinary field across cultural studies, media studies and film studies, with a particular focus on representations of female celebrity and stardom, stand-up comedy and gender, music video and representations of female sexuality, and gender and the contemporary Hollywood film industry. Other research interests lie in the areas of online celebrity gossip discourses, music documentary and music video.

I supervise a number of PhD students and welcome applications related to my research interests.

Qualifications and Memberships

I hold a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from The University of Salford, an MA in Screen Studies from The University of Manchester and a first class BA (Hons) in Media and Performance from The University of Salford.


Full Member of Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Member of the Higher Education Academy
Member of SCMS, MeCCSA, MEIEA, IASPM and the MeCCSA Women’s Media Studies Network

I have held a number of external examiner positions. Muy current position is at Kingston University - Media and Cultural Studies.


Selected publications:


Fairclough, K (2017) Beyoncé: Celebrity, Feminism and Pop Culture. London, I.B Tauris

Co-authored book:

Fairclough, K and Willis, A (2017). American Cinema: A Contemporary Introduction London, Palgrave

Edited collections:

• Arnold, G, Cookney, D, Fairclough, K, and Goddard, M (eds) 2016. Music/Video: Forms, Aesthetics, Media. New York, Bloomsbury

• Edgar, R, Fairclough, K Halligan, B and Spelman, N (eds) 2015. The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment. New York, Bloomsbury.

• Fairclough, K. & Halligan, B. & Edgar, R. 2013, 'The Music Documentary: Acid Rock to Electropop', Routledge, New York, United States.

Journal special issues:

• Senses of Cinema: Twin Peaks and Audiovisual Aesthetics. (2016)

• Series: International Journal of TV Serial Narratives: Twin Peaks, Reception and Consumption. (2016)

Refereed Journal Articles:

• Fairclough, K. 2014, Lost Voice Guy: Transcending Barriers of Disability through Technology in Live Comedy Performance in: 'Intelligent Technologies for Interactive Entertainment, Columbia College Chicago', Springer, Chicago, USA, pp.91-98.

• Fairclough, K. 2013, “Death Becomes Her? - Ageing, Female Celebrity, and Hyper- Scrutiny in the Gossip Blog - Celebrity Studies Special Issue, 'Back in the spotlight: Ageing and Female Celebrity.” Routledge.

• Fairclough, K. 2008, “Fame is a Losing Game: Celebrity Gossip Blogging, Bitch Culture and Postfeminism”, Genders, Issue 48.

Book chapters:

• Fairclough, K & Willis, A. 2016 'Steven Spielberg and the Rise of the Celebrity Film Director', in: A Companion to Steven Spielberg, Wiley Blackwell, London, United Kingdom

• Fairclough, K. 2015 ‘Beyoncé: Performing Female Empowerment in the Arena Concert’ in Edgar, R, Fairclough, K Halligan, B and Spelman, N (eds) 2015. The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment. New York, Bloomsbury

• Fairclough, K. 2015 'Growing old in the spotlight: Social Media and Ageing ', in: Martin, W & Twigg, J (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Cultural Ageing, Routledge, London, UK 

• Fairclough, K. 2014 ‘Hollywood’s Golden Girls: Meryl, Helen, and Judi: Actresses Ageing Appropriately’ in: Whelehan, I & Gwynne, J (eds.), Harleys and Hormones: Ageing, Popular Culture and Contemporary Feminism, Palgrave, London, UK.

• Fairclough, K. 2013 ‘Nothing less than perfect: female celebrity, ageing and hyper-scrutiny in the gossip industry’, in: Female Celebrity and Ageing Back in the Spotlight, Routledge, London, UK

Conference papers:

• Social Media and Feminism (Keynote speaker) at SoMeFem: British Psychological Society, Media City UK, United Kingdom, March 2015.

• Lost Voice Guy: Transcending Barriers of Disability through Technology in Live Comedy Performance . INTETAIN:Intelligent Technologies for Interactive Entertainment. Columbia College Chicago. July 2014.

• Body, Ageing and Society; The Challenge of Cultural Gerontology - Celebrity Panel (British Society of Gerontology (BSG), Oxford University, United Kingdom, September 2013.

• Meryl Streep and the Acceptable Face of Ageing Stardom in Hollywood (Revisiting Star Studies, an international conference 12-14 June 2013, Culture Lab, Newcastle University, United Kingdom, June 2013.

• I Do, Don't I? Hyper-Femininity and Celebrity Aspiration in Reality Wedding Programming. International Communication Association, London, United Kingdom, June 2013.

• Female Celebrity, Ageing and Hyper- Scrutiny in the Gossip Industry. Age Spots and Spotlights: Celebrity, Ageing and Performance, Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom, December 2012.

• Watching the Throne: Beyoncé and Jay-Z: Managing celebrity authenticity in the blogosphere. (Celebrity Couples Conference, University of Southampton, United Kingdom, November 2012).

• It's Complicated: Meryl Streep and the acceptable face of ageing in Hollywood. (Acting Their Age: Women, Ageing & Popular Cinema, Newcastle University, United Kingdom, May 2012).

• Female Celebrity, Ageing and Hyper- Scrutiny in the Gossip Industry. (Age Spots and Spotlights: Celebrity, Ageing and Performance, Birkbeck University of London, United Kingdom, December 2011).

• Jordan/Kate and The State of Becoming: Transformation narratives and the Normalisation of Cosmetic Surgery. (Cosmetic Cultures: Beauty, globalisation, politics, practices, University of Leeds, United Kingdom, June 2009).

• The Bitch is Back: Gossip Blogging, Postfeminism and Bitch Narratives, (Keywords in Communication, International Communication Association, Chicago, United States, May 2009 to May 2009). Going Cheap? Female Celebrity in the Tabloid, Reality and Scandal Genres, School of Film and Television Studies, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, June 2008).