Associate Professor Charles Fairchild

PhD SUNY Buffalo
Program Leader of Bachelor of Arts (Music Major)
Associate Professor of Popular Music

J09 - Seymour Centre
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9036 5224
Fax +61 2 9351 7340

Website Charles Fairchild

Biographical details

Charles Fairchild's work is primarily concerned with the cultural and material mediation of music. His books and articles examine how institutions and organisations shape the ways people consume and make meaning from music. Most recently, he has completed a study of how music presenters at community radio stations in Australia use music to construct distinct kinds of social relationships. Fairchild has also examined how the circulation of music through film, television, radio and digital music cultures creates varied and constantly evolving contexts through which the experience and meaning of music is formed.

Fairchild teaches units in popular music, music and media, and the globalisation of popular culture. His primary pedagogical interests are the changing nature of the music industry, music and copyright, the manufacturing of musical celebrities, and how the institutions and media through which people consume music change over time.

He has published three books, as well as articles in journals such as Popular Music, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Popular Music and Society, Media, Culture and Society and New Media and Television.

Fairchild holds a BA in Liberal Arts from the University of Illinois, a MA in Ethnomusicology from York University in Toronto, and a PhD in American Studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he was a student of the noted musicologist Charles Keil.

His publications include: Music, Radio and the Public Sphere: The Aesthetics of Democracy. Basingstoke; New York: Palgrave, 2012, Pop Idols and Pirates: Mechanisms of Consumption and the Global Circulation of Popular Music. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate. 2008, ‘Revealing What We Can Never Know: The Problem of Real Life in Gus Van Sant’s Last Days.’ Popular Music and Society, ‘Alan Freed Casts a Long Shadow: The Persistence of Payola and the Ambiguous Value of Music.’ Media, Culture and Society. 34(3), pp. 328–42, 2012, ‘Flow Amid Flux: The Evolving Uses of Music in Evening Television Drama.’ Television and New Media. 12(6), pp. 491-512, 2011, and Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014.

Selected grants

2008

  • Popular music and cultural politics: disability, activism, (post)subculture; Fairchild C, McKay G, McKay G; University of Sydney/International Visiting Research Fellowship (IVRF).

2007

  • The public culture of popular music at community radio stations in Sydney and Canberra; Fairchild C; University of Sydney/Career Interruption.

2004

  • Community radio and public culture in Australia: popular music, political discourse and participatory media; Fairchild C; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Newly Appointed Staff (NAS).

Selected publications

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Books

  • Fairchild, C. (2014). Danger Mouse's The Grey Album. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
  • Fairchild, C. (2012). Music, Radio and the Public Sphere: The Aesthetics of Democracy. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Fairchild, C. (2008). Pop Idols and Pirates: Mechanisms of Consumption and the Global Circulation of Popular Music. Aldershot, United Kingdom: Ashgate.
  • Fairchild, C. (2001). Community Radio and Public Culture. United States: Hampton Press, Inc.

Book Chapters

  • Fairchild, C. (2014). Popular Music. In Jennifer Smith Maguire, Julian Mathews (Eds.), The Cultural Intermediaries Reader, (pp. 125-133). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
  • Fairchild, C. (2010). Social Solidarity and Constituency Relationships in Community Radio. In Kevin Howley (Eds.), Understanding Community Media, (pp. 23-31). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

Journals

  • Fairchild, C. (2015). Crowds, Clouds and Idols: New Dynamics and Old Agendas in the Music Industry, 1982-2012. American Music, 33(4), 441-476. [More Information]
  • Fairchild, C. (2013). Revealing What We Can Never Know: The Problem of the Past in Gus Van Sant's Last Days. Popular Music and Society, 36(4), 523-539. [More Information]
  • Fairchild, C. (2012). Alan Freed casts a long shadow: The persistence of payola and the ambiguous value of music. Media, Culture and Society, 34(3), 328-342. [More Information]
  • Fairchild, C. (2010). Flow amid Flux: The Evolving Uses of Music in Evening Television Drama. Television and New Media, , 1-22. [More Information]
  • Fairchild, C. (2009). When a place becomes a community: Music, radio and the reach of social aesthetics. Transforming Cultures eJournal, 4(1), 82-93.
  • Fairchild, C. (2008). The medium and materials of popular music: 'Hound Dog', turntablism and muzak as situated musical practices. Popular Music, 27(1), 99-116. [More Information]
  • Fairchild, C. (2007). Building the authentic celebrity: The "Idol" phenomenon in the attention economy. Popular Music and Society, 30(3), 355-375. [More Information]
  • Fairchild, C. (2007). The ontology of 'Idol': towards a situated aesthetics of popular music. Context, 31, 181-192.
  • Fairchild, C. (2006). The grinding gears of a neo-liberal state: community radio and local cultural production. Southern Review: communication, politics and culture, 39(2), 61-76.
  • Fairchild, C. (2005). A Curious Case of American Exceptionalism: Ideology, Policy and Practice in American, Australian and Canadian Community Radio. Transformations, 10(February), 1-17.
  • Fairchild, C. (2005). The Currency of Collusion: The Circulation and Embrace of the Ethic of Authenticity in Mediated Musical Communities. Journal of Popular Music Studies, 17(3), 301-323.
  • Fairchild, C. (2004). 'Australian Idol' and the Attention Economy. M/C Journal, 7(5), 1-4.

Conferences

  • Fairchild, C. (2008). Becoming who you are: Australian Idol as a transformative and redemptive spectacle. 2006 IASPM AU/NZ Conference, Sydney: Perfect Beat Publications.

2015

  • Fairchild, C. (2015). Crowds, Clouds and Idols: New Dynamics and Old Agendas in the Music Industry, 1982-2012. American Music, 33(4), 441-476. [More Information]

2014

  • Fairchild, C. (2014). Danger Mouse's The Grey Album. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
  • Fairchild, C. (2014). Popular Music. In Jennifer Smith Maguire, Julian Mathews (Eds.), The Cultural Intermediaries Reader, (pp. 125-133). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

2013

  • Fairchild, C. (2013). Revealing What We Can Never Know: The Problem of the Past in Gus Van Sant's Last Days. Popular Music and Society, 36(4), 523-539. [More Information]

2012

  • Fairchild, C. (2012). Alan Freed casts a long shadow: The persistence of payola and the ambiguous value of music. Media, Culture and Society, 34(3), 328-342. [More Information]
  • Fairchild, C. (2012). Music, Radio and the Public Sphere: The Aesthetics of Democracy. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

2010

  • Fairchild, C. (2010). Flow amid Flux: The Evolving Uses of Music in Evening Television Drama. Television and New Media, , 1-22. [More Information]
  • Fairchild, C. (2010). Social Solidarity and Constituency Relationships in Community Radio. In Kevin Howley (Eds.), Understanding Community Media, (pp. 23-31). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

2009

  • Fairchild, C. (2009). When a place becomes a community: Music, radio and the reach of social aesthetics. Transforming Cultures eJournal, 4(1), 82-93.

2008

  • Fairchild, C. (2008). Becoming who you are: Australian Idol as a transformative and redemptive spectacle. 2006 IASPM AU/NZ Conference, Sydney: Perfect Beat Publications.
  • Fairchild, C. (2008). Pop Idols and Pirates: Mechanisms of Consumption and the Global Circulation of Popular Music. Aldershot, United Kingdom: Ashgate.
  • Fairchild, C. (2008). The medium and materials of popular music: 'Hound Dog', turntablism and muzak as situated musical practices. Popular Music, 27(1), 99-116. [More Information]

2007

  • Fairchild, C. (2007). Building the authentic celebrity: The "Idol" phenomenon in the attention economy. Popular Music and Society, 30(3), 355-375. [More Information]
  • Fairchild, C. (2007). The ontology of 'Idol': towards a situated aesthetics of popular music. Context, 31, 181-192.

2006

  • Fairchild, C. (2006). The grinding gears of a neo-liberal state: community radio and local cultural production. Southern Review: communication, politics and culture, 39(2), 61-76.

2005

  • Fairchild, C. (2005). A Curious Case of American Exceptionalism: Ideology, Policy and Practice in American, Australian and Canadian Community Radio. Transformations, 10(February), 1-17.
  • Fairchild, C. (2005). The Currency of Collusion: The Circulation and Embrace of the Ethic of Authenticity in Mediated Musical Communities. Journal of Popular Music Studies, 17(3), 301-323.

2004

  • Fairchild, C. (2004). 'Australian Idol' and the Attention Economy. M/C Journal, 7(5), 1-4.

2001

  • Fairchild, C. (2001). Community Radio and Public Culture. United States: Hampton Press, Inc.

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