School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Dr Darren Kelsey

Head of Media, Culture, Heritage

Background

 

Darren Kelsey is Senior Lecturer and Head of Media, Culture, Heritage in the School of Arts and Cultures at Newcastle University.

Darren has a BA (Hons) in Journalism, Film and Broadcasting, an MA in Political Communication, and a PhD from the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies (JOMEC) at Cardiff University. His research and teaching combines theoretical approaches from media and cultural studies with those of journalism studies and Critical Discourse Analysis. Darren is a mythologist who conducts research on mythology and ideology in contemporary media, culture and politics.

Darren’s recent monograph, Media and Affective Mythologies synergised approaches to critical discourse studies with the work of Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and other mythologists. His psycho-discursive approach explores the depths of the human psyche to analyse the affective qualities of storytelling.  This work provided a timely political insight to show how mythology plays an affective role in our lives. Brexit, bankers, institutional scandals, the far right, and Russell Brand’s “revolution” are just some of the topics covered through Darren’s innovative and interdisciplinary research. Darren believes we need to understand more about the power of mythology in modern society and through his research shows how we can begin to engage with this principle.

Darren's other research interests focus on the role of media and journalism in society and the relationships between media, culture and politics. His has conducted research and published papers on the role of moral storytelling and ideology in relation to a number of topics, including the London riots, the banking crisis, financial discourse and austerity. Darren has also published research on power, surveillance and national security on social media. This work saw Darren developing critical theoretical frameworks around discourse, ideology, context, affect, gender and surveillance to help us understand more about digital media cultures from socio-political and discursive perspectives.   

Darren's early research - including his first monograph, Media, Myth and Terrorism - focused on war, propaganda and mythology in media responses to terrorism. This research provided rigorous case studies of the myth of the Blitz and other Second World War mythology in British newspaper responses to the July 7th bombings. Considering how the press, politicians and members of the public were caught up in popular accounts of Britain's past, Darren explores the ideological battleground that took place in the weeks following the bombings as the myth of the Blitz was invoked. By providing conceptual discussions of myth, discourse, and ideology, Darren has developed a discourse-mythological framework designed for analysing discursive constructions of mythology. His own research considers multiple recontextualisations of the Blitz myth when popular memories of 1940 recurred in 2005. Darren encourages us to understand the politics of remembering by showing how popular yet inaccurate stories from the past have a significant impact on our perceptions of the present. Heroism, trauma, economics, Royalty, rituals, human rights, foreign policy, immigration and multiculturalism are just some of the topics covered in his work on this fascinating topic.

Darren has teaching experience in the following areas: Media and Mythology; Politics, Power and Communication; Journalism Studies; Media and Cultural Theory; Public Affairs; History of Mass Communication; Research Methods; Popular Culture; War and Propaganda.

Darren is the founder and journal editor of Journalism and Discourse Studies, co-convenor of the Newcastle Critical Discourse Group, a member of Newcastle University's Military, War and Security Research Group, and a member of Newcastle University’s Strategy, Organisations and Society Research Group.

Research

Darren’s recent monograph, Media and Affective Mythologies synergised approaches to critical discourse studies with the work of Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and other mythologists. His psycho-discursive approach explores the depths of the human psyche to analyse the affective qualities of storytelling.  This work provided a timely political insight to show how mythology plays an affective role in our lives. Brexit, bankers, institutional scandals, the far right, and Russell Brand’s “revolution” are just some of the topics covered through Darren’s innovative and interdisciplinary research. Darren believes we need to understand more about the power of mythology in modern society and through his research shows how we can begin to engage with this principle.

Darren's other research interests focus on the role of media and journalism in society and the relationships between media, culture and politics. His has conducted research and published papers on the role of moral storytelling and ideology in relation to a number of topics, including the London riots, the banking crisis, financial discourse and austerity. Darren has also published research on power, surveillance and national security on social media. This work saw Darren developing critical theoretical frameworks around discourse, ideology, context, affect, gender and surveillance to help us understand more about digital media cultures from socio-political and discursive perspectives.   

Darren's early research - including his first monograph, Media, Myth and Terrorism - focused on war, propaganda and mythology in media responses to terrorism. This research provided rigorous case studies of the myth of the Blitz and other Second World War mythology in British newspaper responses to the July 7th bombings. Considering how the press, politicians and members of the public were caught up in popular accounts of Britain's past, Darren explores the ideological battleground that took place in the weeks following the bombings as the myth of the Blitz was invoked. By providing conceptual discussions of myth, discourse, and ideology, Darren has developed a discourse-mythological framework designed for analysing discursive constructions of mythology. His own research considers multiple recontextualisations of the Blitz myth when popular memories of 1940 recurred in 2005. Darren encourages us to understand the politics of remembering by showing how popular yet inaccurate stories from the past have a significant impact on our perceptions of the present. Heroism, trauma, economics, Royalty, rituals, human rights, foreign policy, immigration and multiculturalism are just some of the topics covered in his work on this fascinating topic.

Darren is the founder and journal editor of Journalism and Discourse Studies, co-convenor of the Newcastle Critical Discourse Group, a member of Newcastle University's Military, War and Security Research Group, and a member of Newcastle University’s Strategy, Organisations and Society Research Group.




Teaching

Darren believes in research-led teaching and draws on his work in modules such as Media, Mythology & Storytelling, and Politics Power & Communication. In the acknowledgements for his recent monograph, Media and Affective Mythologies, Darren expressed his passion for research-led teaching through his praise for our students in Media, Culture, Heritage (MCH):

"Our students in MCH are fantastic. It is a pleasure to deliver research-led teaching to such talented and enthusiastic minds with great prospects. I must take this opportunity to thank all of my students who have taken my module (MCH2035) on media and mythology. Sharing and developing ideas from this project with students on that module was a wonderful and inspiring teaching experience and I thoroughly look forward to delivering this module again in future. The input, engagement and critique I receive from students provides me with enormous hope for the future, with many bright young talents moving into professions, careers, industries and positions that will make a significant contribution to society. Academics must never forget what a privilege it is to teach and share our research with students."

Darren also delivers public lectures on his research whilst demonstrating the importance and value of media education and public engagement in academic debate. 

He has teaching experience in the following areas: Media & Mythology; Politics, Power & Communication; Journalism Studies; Media & Cultural Theory; Public Affairs; History of Mass Communication; Research Methods; Popular Culture; War & Propaganda.

Darren supervises PhD students and BA / MA dissertations relating to any of his research and teaching interests.  

Publications