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Ben Torrens

Music, Birmingham City University

Thesis title:

Dance a yard before you dance abroad: reggae as a music production culture in Jamaica and in Britain 1968 - 1981

I am a second-year PhD student in the School of Media at BCU. My research project is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of popular music cultures, drawing from the fields of media studies, cultural studies, ethnomusicology, and history, as well as over a decade’s experience as a professional musician in the UK reggae scene.

Through a framework of five commericial recordings significant to reggae’s development, I interrrogate the myths surrounding the ‘golden age’ period of the genre through conventional historical analysis, and through a novel methodology that combines ethnomusicology and discourse analysis as a way of understanding the past.

Research Area

  • Music
  • Popular Music


Global Reggae Conference, Kingston, Feb 2022 - (Re)Presenting British Reggae Culture on Film (co-delivered with Tim Wall)

Institute of Caribbean Studies March, Kingston, 2022 - Staff/Postgraduate Seminar Series 

KISMIF, Porto, July 2022 - Beyond the Archive: (Re)Visiting Reggae's Hisotry & Archives

BBC at 100 Symposium, Bradford, Sep 2022 - Popular Music Panel


Global Reggae Research Project

Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research - Popular Music Cluster

Midlands Music Research Network (M4C funded)