Dr David Buckley has written books about popular music artists such as David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, Elton John and most recently Kraftwerk. He writes regularly for the music magazine Mojo and has taught at Liverpool University, The Open University and the Ludwig Maximilian Universität (LMU).
He is from Liverpool and strongly identifies with the city and its resurgent football team. Both of his daughters enjoyed their schooling at the ESM.
The author and lecturer gave two talks to year 6 and 7 Secondary School students as part of the Identity Project. The first was to English Language 1 students and the second to the English language 2 students.
The talks were pitched at the level of a year 1 university social studies introduction to popular culture and were held on the 24th and 31st March 2014.
David gave some interesting and original views on the theme of identity. He started by looking at his home city and in particular the way that fans identify with Liverpool Football club. In the modern era, football has to some extent replaced religion as the glue that holds society together. As the great Bill Shankly said, in Liverpool football is not just a matter of life and death, it is more important than that.
The scholar went on to look at youth subcultures and we were asked to do a quiz where we had to identify amongst others Bobby Soxers, Mods, Hippies and Punks. The way that young people create an identity with a particular music or film genre was explored. As an expert on the significance of David Bowie's music and through film clips and pictures, he spoke about various identities created by Bowie including Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke. Particularly fascinating was the way that Bowie used the work of German expressionist and Japanese artists in his costumes and album artwork. The Bowie exhibition which opens on 10th May in Berlin is highly recommended.
David then went on to look at the work of the German group Kraftwerk who explore ideas such as Man and Machine and the way that machines influence our identity. The film of Kraftwerk in concert playing the song "Die Mensch-Maschine" was very thought-provoking even for those of us who are not fans of electronic music.
David has made available the PowerPoint of his talk and a range of other materials which are available for students and staff to view on Moodle under Popular Culture and Identity.
There were a variety of reactions to the talk but everyone found it stimulating and one student said that that they now knew what they would like to study at university.
Many thanks to David for giving up his valuable time to talk to us at the ESM.
- More information about David Buckley can be found here