Dr Paul Rekret

Dr Paul Rekret

I am Lecturer in Media Industries in the School of Media and Communication. I have previously held posts at Queen Mary, University of London, Richmond University, and Liverpool Hope University. I hold a PhD from Queen Mary, University of London, an MA from the University of Amsterdam, and BA from the University of Toronto and I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I am the author of Take This Hammer: Work, Song, Crisis (Goldsmiths/MIT Press, 2024), Down With Childhood: Pop Music and the Crisis of Innocence (Repeater 2017), Derrida and Foucault: Philosophy, Politics, Polemics (Rowman & LIttlefield 2018), and editor of George Caffentzis' Clipped Coins, Abused Words & Civil Government (Pluto Press, 2021) and Robert Linhart and the Circuitous Paths of Inquiry (Viewpoint Magazine, 2022). My book Monopolated Light and Power (with Edward George, Louis Moreno, Ashwani Sharma, 87 Press, 2024) is forthcoming and I have published widely in journals including Theory, Culture & Society, South Atlantic Quarterly, and Constellations. My writing on art, media, and culture has appeared in The Wire, FriezeArt Monthly and elsewhere.

I embrace a breadth of disciplines, from sound and cultural studies to political economy to understand contemporary popular cultures and media, and creative industries. 

In one strand of my work, I examine relationships between global labour market conditions, creative industries and popular cultural forms, especially popular music. This continuing project takes in a breadth of themes, from recent changes to ‘world music’ industries in light of a growing craft economy, to dance music in the context of automation, or transformations to the hip-hop industry given growing job precarity. This will be published as Take This Hammer: Work, Song, Crisis (Goldsmiths/MIT Press, 2024). In an earlier book, Down With Childhood: Pop Music and the Crisis of Innocence (Repeater Books 2017), I look to shrinking labour markets and rising inequality in order to understand changing representations and the working lives of children in music, film, and television. Another forthcoming book, Monopolated Light and Power (87 Press 2024), examines the artistic and organisational strategy of Bad Boy Records as that label led the ascendancy of hip-hop atop popular music charts in the U.S. and globally in the 1990s.

In another strand of my research, I’ve sought to understand the conditions of lived experience in digital cultures, especially in light of global structures of inequality. I am especially interested in the ways that a modern Eurocentric conception of property continues to underlie contemporary digital cultures, particularly intellectual property-driven industries. Here, I situate digital cultural institutions such as streaming platforms in phenomena such as E-Waste dumping in Ghana or microchip manufacture in China as the abject conditions for contemporary digital society.

Sustainable Development Goals
In brief

Research areas

Political Economy of Media, Cultural Studies, Digital Industries, Music Industries, Critical Political Economy, Media Theory and Political Theory

Supervision interests

Cultural Studies and Political Economy of Media