Flinders mourns the passing of a pop culture pioneer

It is with sadness that the Flinders University community pays its respects to internationally-noted pop culture trailblazer, Professor Steve Redhead.

An adventurous scholar immortalised as ‘Professor Rave’, he was a pioneer in pop culture studies and the world’s first Professor of Law and Popular Culture.

His work in the United Kingdom, then Canada and Australia provided the foundations for Entertainment Law as a key sub-discipline of the field.

His wife Professor Tara Brabazon, Dean of Graduate Research, says he was a man of profound impact.

“Steve changed so many fields, including socio-legal studies, leisure studies, popular music studies, cultural studies, football studies, sports studies, leisure studies.  He is known as one of the key international scholars of Paul Virilio and Jean Baudrillard.

“In his earliest days he established the Manchester Institute for Popular Culture at Manchester Metropolitan University.  He wrote on Acid House and Rave Culture when Manchester was Madchester and then Gunchester. Steve was researching, writing, teaching and supervising in popular culture, sport, popular music and law when Manchester was the most exciting city in the world.

“Steve was a prolific writer and published 17 books and hundreds of refereed articles. He has a book under review titled Trump Studies: An intellectual guide to why citizens vote against their interests.

“As Professor of Cultural Studies at Flinders for the past two years, he supervised 10 PhD students to completion.  They were a special group. Indigenous students.  Students of Colour.  Students with disabilities and students over the age of 60 and indeed 70,” Professor Brabazon says.

PhD candidate Andrew Paterson says “Professor Steve Redhead was kind, respectful, innovative, creative and a world-class scholar. He and his wonderful wife transformed my research into a more engaging and impactful thesis and encouraged me to liberate myself from feelings of inadequacy. I will be forever grateful.”

He’s remembered as the ultimate scholar, consummate professional and perfect gentleman by PhD candidate Vicki Pascoe.

“Steve’s knowledge and wisdom seemed endless. He was generous with his time, and reflected back genuine interest in and enthusiasm for my ideas. Gentle, encouraging and always positive, he guided me thoughtfully along my path to PhD completion which made being his student an absolute pleasure and privilege,” she says.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling says Professor Steve Redhead leaves a legacy of cultural inspiration.

“A global citizen who was never afraid to push boundaries and who revelled in the ‘Professor Rave’ title, Steve influenced and inspired tens of thousands of students and was an early digital pioneer, sharing his knowledge and insights widely and generously,” Professor Stirling says.

“Many will mourn him, and our thoughts and support are with Tara at this time.”

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