Simon Frith (1967)

Professor of Music, School of Arts, Culture, and Environment, University of Edinburgh

My first academic job was in the new and rapidly expanding Department of Sociology at Warwick University--I was appointed specifically to develop a joint history and sociology degree. After 15 years at Warwick I moved to Glasgow, at first to co-direct the John Logie Baird Centre for the Study of Film, Television and Music, and then to chair the Department of English Studies. After 12 years there, in 1999, I moved to Stirling University as Professor of Film and Media, which is where I am now. I still regard myself as a sociologist, though I haven't been in a sociology department--or journal--for 15 years now. Berkeley did two things for me: it gave me a proper grounding in European social thought (not something I'd got from Oxford); and it meant I was in the right place at the right time to become a rock critic. Much of my academic career (at least the most enjoyable part) has been devoted to the development of popular music studies.

Dissertation Title: 
Education, Industrialisation and Social Change: the Development of Elementary Schooling in Nineteenth-Century Leeds, A Case Study in Historical Sociology