After gaining her PhD from Loughborough University in 2007, Emily joined Loughborough in the same year as a Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies. In 2017 she became Professor of Media and Memory Studies and in 2017 was awarded £1m Research Leadership Award by The Leverhulme Trust (2017-2022). Emily is an editor of the international journal Media, Culture & Society and is a founding member of the Global Media Studies Network.
Emily’s main research interest is memory, time and their mediation in everyday life. She is particularly concerned with the role of media in the relationship between individual, social and cultural memory. Emily’s previous research explores the roles of photography and phonography in the articulation of everyday memory and the gendered nature of mnemonic experience. In her recent work she has focuses on the relationship between migration, identity and memory. Emily’s research also involves the exploration of the temporal structures of modernity, and she has interests in cultural transmission and mobility.
Emily’s main research interest is memory, time and its mediation in everyday life. She is particularly concerned with the role of media in the relationship between individual, social and cultural memory. Emily’s research explores the roles of photography and phonography in the articulation of everyday memory and the gendered nature of mnemonic experience. Emily’s research also involves the exploration of the temporal structures of modernity, and she has interests in cultural transmission and mobility.
Her research project 'Media of Remembering: Photography and Phonography in Everyday Remembering' (with Prof Michael Pickering) was completed in 2013 and was funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The project investigated the everyday ways in which people remember using photography and recorded music and resulted in three monographs: The Mnemonic Imagination; Photography, Music and Memory; and Memory and the Management of Change all as part of the Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies Series.
Emily’s current research project is Migrant Memory and the Post-colonial Imagination (MMPI). MMPI is a five-year research project funded by The Leverhulme Trust Research Leadership Award Scheme. Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India, this research responds to the urgent need to capture cultural memories of Partition in the British Asian community. Memories of Partition continue to shape contemporary British Asian community relations and this research makes a transformative intervention in the field of Memory Studies and the sociological analysis of migrant communities. It asks how are community identities, including a sense of Britishness, produced and articulated by South Asian people in the UK through cultural practices and social processes of remembering the 1947 Partition of India?
Emily supervises a number of PhD students. Their projects have covered topics such as the politics of memory surrounding the Bhopal gas disaster, memories of child crime, and talk shows and the public sphere, citizenship and football fandom, and cultural memories of Partition. She welcomes applications for supervision in areas including, but not limited to mediated time, social and cultural memory, media and gender, and everyday media use.
Emily teaches on the BSc Media and Communication, MA Media and Cultural Analysis, and MA Global Media and Cultural Industries. She contributes to core undergraduate modules on Researching Communications and Communication and Cultural Theory and she offers an optional module on Media, Memory and History. On the postgraduate programmes Emily teaches on modules including Cultural Memory and Heritage Industries, Media and Modernity and Textual Analysis Research Techniques.
Memory and the Management of Change: Repossessing the Past. Palgrave Macmillan. 2017
This book shows how the mnemonic imagination creatively uses the resources of photography and music in the registering and management of change. Looking in particular at major transitions and turning points, it covers key issues of identity for the remembering subject and key scales of remembering in vernacular milieus. The book explores the connections of memory and remembering with transformations in intimate relationships, migration and spatial mobilities, loss and bereavement involving loved ones or those with whom close affinities are felt, resulting in a volume that helps fill the gap in memory studies caused by lack of sustained ethnographic work. Drawing on extensive fieldwork on the processes and practices of remembering in everyday life, it demonstrates how the mnemonic imagination is central to the management of change and transition, and how its cross-temporal interanimations of past, present and future are fostered and facilitated by the visual and sonic resources of photography and recorded music.
Photography, Music and Memory: Pieces of the Past in Everyday Life. Palgrave Macmillan. 2015
This book explores how photography and recorded music act as vehicles or catalysts in processes of remembering, and how they are regarded, treated, valued and drawn upon as resources connecting past and present in everyday life. It does so via two key concepts: vernacular memory and the mnemonic imagination.
Time, Media and Modernity (ed.) Palgrave Macmillan. 2012.
Time, Media and Modernity is an intervention in the theorisation of time. The essays will collectively consider how time is structured by media technologies, how it is represented in cultural texts, and how it is experienced in different social contexts and environments. This will provide an alternative account of contemporary culture which will highlight the multiplicity of temporal structures, logics, modes and experiences in late modernity, in contrast to the existing dominant narrative of speed and acceleration.
The Mnemonic Imagination. (Memory Studies series, Palgrave Macmillan). 2012, (with Michael Pickering)
Creative Memory addresses areas that have been relatively ignored or overlooked in the study of memory and its mediation. In particular it seeks to re-examine relationships between memory and imagination, experience and memory, and individual and social dimensions of remembering, and in doing so develops a number of original new concepts in order to encourage new ways of thinking where orthodoxy and convention currently seem to prevail.
Research Methods for Memory Studies (ed.) Edinburgh University Press. 2013. (With Michael Pickering).
This new textbook redresses the neglect of practical research methods in the emergent field of memory studies. It provides students and researchers with a clear set of outlines and discussions of particular methods of research. It offers not only expert appraisals of a range of techniques and approaches in memory studies, but also focuses on methods and methodology in order to help bring unity and coherence to this new field of study.
- Keightley, E and Pickering, M. (2018) ‘Interscalarity and the Memory Spectrum’, in Parks and Maurantonio. Communicating Memory & History, Peter Lang.
- Keightley, E. and Downey, J. (2017) The Intermediate Time of News Consumption. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism. (available online first)
- Keightley, E. and Pickering, M. ‘The Mnemonic Imagination and Our Re-experience of the Past’ Oxford Handbook of Imagination and Culture. OUP. 2017.
- Keightley, E and Pickering, M (2015) Memory, Media and Methodological Footings, in Hajek, Pentzold and Lohmeier (eds). Memory in a Mediated World. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Pickering, M. and Keightley, E. (2015) ‘Retrotyping and the Marketing of Nostalgia’in Niemeyer, K. (ed) Media and Nostalgia: Yearning for the Past, Present and Future. Palgrave MacMillan.
- Keightley, E. and Schlesinger, P. (2014). ‘Digital media – social memory: remembering in digitally networked times’. Media, Culture and Society, 36 (6): 745 – 747
- Keightley, E. and Pickering, M. (2014) ‘Technologies of Memory: Practices of Remembering in Analogue and Digital Photography’ New Media and Society, 16 no. 4 576-593. Journal Ranking 1st for Communication. SNIP 2.98
- Keightley, E. and Reading, A. (2014) ‘Mediated Mobilities’. Media, Culture and Society 36(3) 285-301. Journal ranked 7th for Communication, SNIP 2.02