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World Mourns Professor Martin Barker’s Unexpected Death at 76

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Day of Sorrow; we have lost an Emeritus Professor. Martin Barker’s death was announced and confirmed by her beloved daughter on September 9, 2022. She revealed that her father’s cause of death was due to a disease.

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Born on April 1946, the British scholar of media studies and cultural studies was previously serving at the University of the West of England and the University of Sussex.

Prof.Barker has written or co-edited fifteen books during the course of his career, gaining popularity for being one of the pioneers behind the concept of cultural racism, which he termed “new racism”.

Receiving an undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Liverpool in 1967, he lectured in cultural studies at Bristol Polytechnic later, then, from 1969 to 1998, he renamed the University of the West of England.

Barker focused his research on racism during the 1970s, identifying as a committed socialist and anti-racist, in particular its place in British children’s comics.

He stamped the idea of “new racism” while he studied growing hostility toward migrants in Britain while promoted this through his 1981 book The New Racism.

Prof. Mark gained a DPhil from that university in 1995. After a while, from 1998 to 2001, he decided to work as a reader in media studies at the University of Sussex.

It was before becoming a professor of film and television studies at the University of Aberystwyth. Noted, he remained there until 2011, at the time he became professor emeritus.

Much of his work in the 1990s and 2000s looked in particular at the audiences for fantasy fiction like The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and Game of Thrones as he focused on media audiences.

Mr. Barker was commissioned by British film censors, the BBFC at Aberystwyth University, to create research on audiences and topics around watching sexual violence on screen.

He had recently been an outspoken critic of a recent study used by the BBFC to justify enforcing tighter censorship.

To name a few of his selected works:

  • The New Racism: Conservatives and the Ideology of the Tribe, London: Junction Books 1981.
  • The Video Nasties: Freedom and Censorship in the Arts (edited and contributed), Pluto Press 1984.
  • Comics: Ideology, Power and the Critics, Manchester University Press 1989.
  • From Antz To Titanic: Reinventing Film Analysis (with a contribution by Thomas Austin), London: Pluto Press 2000.
  • Watching the Lord of the Rings: Tolkien’s World Audiences, NY: Peter Lang 2007. Co-edited with Ernest Mathijs and contributed.
  • ‘The challenge of censorship: “figuring out” the audience’, Velvet Light Trap, 63, Spring 2009, pp. 60–62.
  • A ‘Toxic Genre’: the Iraq War Films, London: Pluto Press, 2011.
  • Alien Audiences: Remembering and Evaluating a Classic Movie, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2015. Co-authored with Kate Egan, Tom Phillips & Sarah Ralph.

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More About Martin Barker’s Death

Martin Barker’s death was announced by Rosie Barker who claimed that her father passed away due to a long-term disease: “My dear Dad, Martin Barker, died yesterday after a long illness. I was able to be with him, but it hurts.”

She expressed: “He was an academic & teacher, and seeing dozens of people on Twitter say what he meant to them is a joy, but he was just Dad to two of us, and I will miss him so much.”

Prof. Barker worked for 29 years at the University of West England, pursuing his way to becoming the Head of the School of Cultural Studies.

Before that, he spent 2 years as a reader at the University of Sussex. Mr. Barker was appointed as a Professor of Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University in January 2001, where he is now an emeritus professor.

Please keep his family in prayer and respect his family’s privacy at this time as they all are deep in shock and devastated by this loss.

Since the tragic news has come out, fans and friends have been sending their sympathies and condolences through social media.

One commented: “My deepest condolences to you and your family. I met your father several times, and he was always well-informed, passionate and also polite, and friendly. This photo was taken before we both took part in a ‘Video Nasties’ panel discussion at Frightfest 2010.”

Another replied: “Rosie, where to begin? I’ve been thinking of you, your mum and your brother all day. I learned so much from him. I owe him so much and I loved him. My condolences and love to you. I can’t imagine how you must all be feeling. Hope to see you very soon.”

Liam Burke expressed: “RIP Martin Barker. Martin was incredibly supportive of junior scholars. He published my first article, encouraging me to submit it after seeing my presentation. When I needed one issue of Weird Science he donated stacks of EC Comics to me. A tremendous loss and a great career.”

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