Cath Davies

t: 02920 416665

Specialist Subject Areas

• Representations of Death in Visual Culture
• Subcultural Style
• Representations of Monstrosity, abjection and the grotesque
• Glamour, materiality and femininity
• Stardom and celebrity


Associate Fellow HEA
Postgraduate Diploma in Media Education (UWIC)
PGCE (FE and HE)(University of Wales)
BA Joint Hons English and Drama (University of Wales, Aberystwyth) 2:1


Cath is currently a senior lecturer in Visual Culture teaching primarily cultural theory within the Constellation subject area in the CSAD undergraduate scheme. She also delivers the MA Art and Design pathway on Death and Visual Culture, reflecting her specific research interests. Her experiences of teaching cultural theory were originally nurtured in the FE sector, lecturing in A level Film Studies and Media Studies from 1994 – 2001. During this period, she participated in WJEC exam board examining and moderating in both Film and Media courses, including experience as a Principal Examiner in World Cinema within the Film Studies A level programme. In addition to a range of publications aimed at A level teaching and learning, Cath has also delivered conference papers and workshops to the A level teaching sector, including sessions for Media Education Wales and the British Film Institute’s education conferences. Her interest in all aspects of film education continued in her capacity as a board member at The Film Agency for Wales from 2008 – 2014, with a role that assisted in the development of projects and resources that nurtured Film in both the formal and informal education sector. This role has included the role of Chair of the Wales’ Film Education Network Forum. At Cardiff Met, she has been instrumental in the design, development and delivery of both Broadcast Media and Popular Culture and Media Studies and Visual Cultures undergraduate programmes and also participated in the validation of two undergraduate programme collaborations with institutions in Malaysia and Singapore in 2005. In 2009 she was a BAFTA Jury panel member (Welsh Short Film). She is currently a member of the Association for the Study of Death and Society.

Current research

Cath’s research interests have focussed primarily on Stardom, Celebrity and Death with particular emphasis on textual representations and ideologies of visibility and materiality in relation to death and dying. She has contributed papers on this area in the International Conference of Death, Dying and Disposal in Bath in 2007 and Durham in 2009. She has also presented research on John Lennon at a Visual Culture symposium in Birmingham in 2009. Her published publications have developed on issues of materiality and recognisability in relation to George Best, Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon and Michael Jackson with specific attention to the spectacle of the liminal body within star personas post-mortem. Her interest in reconfiguration and the development of iconic identities within stardom also evolved into research into the recycling of subcultural traditions within contemporary Dr Martens branding – a paper that was generated from the delivery of an undergraduate option on Subcultural Identity and street style. She is currently developing a paper on Pedro Almodovar’s ‘The Skin I live In’ assessing the relationship between corporeal materiality, clothing and identity.

Principal Publications, Exhibitions and Awards

Click here to view Cath’s papers and publications on Cardiff Metropolitan University’s DSpace repository.

Journal Article: Feb 2014 – Smells Like Teen Spirit: Channelling Subcultural traditions in Contemporary Dr Martens’ branding; Journal of Consumer Culture

Journal Article: May 2012 – No Mere Mortal: Rematerialising Michael Jackson in Death; Celebrity Studies 3:2, pp183-196

Book Chapter – Nowhere Man : John Lennon and Spectral Liminality in Aaron, M (ed) Envisaging Death : Visual Culture and Dying, Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Journal Article : May 2010 Technological Taxidermy : Recognisable Faces in Celebrity Deaths; Mortality Vol 15, number 2, p138.

Exhibition Review : May 2010 The Sacred Made Real. Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700, National Gallery ; Mortality Vol 15, number 2, p138.

Book Chapter: The Music Industry in Exploring the Media : A Student’s Guide (October 2010)

Author : Teaching the Music Press (Auteur Publishing, 2006)

Author : Approaches to Pop Music (Auteur Publishing, 2006)