Dr Wiley’s ‘Putting the Music Back into Michael Jackson Studies’ appears in Christopher R. Smit (ed.), Michael Jackson: Grasping the Spectacle (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012), pp. 101-16.
Informed by his participation in the international press coverage of Jackson’s death in 2009, and crystallizing around the iconic tracks ‘Thriller’ and ‘Black or White’, the chapter seeks to refocus attention on Jackson’s music in relation to discussion of his music videos and their sociocultural contexts.
It concludes by exposing the danger of over-interpreting the art through the lens of the biography of the originating artist, asking whether Jackson’s celebrity will ultimately rest on his contribution to the late twentieth-century entertainment industry or on the serious controversies with which he became associated.
Dr Wiley’s essay is also available for download from City Research Online, the University’s research repository, at the following link: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/1211/