Geoff Stahl


Teaching in 2018

Research interests

Subcultures, scenes, art worlds, bohemias, popular music, cities, cultural spaces, semiotics, advertising, cultural economies, cultural geography, popular culture, creative/cultural labour, food.


BA McGill, MA McGill, PhD McGill

Dr Geoff Stahl received his PhD in Communications from the Department of Art History and Communications Studies at McGill University, Montreal.  He was a post-Doctoral Fellow at both Humboldt University in Berlin and the Advanced Cultural Studies Institute of Sweden (ACSIS), Linköping University.  His research is focused on the complex nature of cultural production in the city, and in particular on the social relations and systems of representation associated with urban creative labour and music making.  He is interested in urban semiotics, popular music, cultural geography, advertising, and has published articles on scenes and subcultures. He continues his research on the creative life of cities in the context of Montreal, Berlin and Wellington.

Current research projects

  • Working on the relationship found between cultural policy and music making in Wellington, Dunedin, Auckland and Christchurch.
  • Editor of a special issue of IASPM Journal, with Shane Homan (Monash) on copyright issues across a number of regional and national contexts.
  • Editor of a special issue of Culture Unbound, with an article on the sidewalks of Montreal and Berlin, reading them as emblems of the cultural economies of each.

Areas of supervision

  • Cultural Production in the City.
  • Social Relations and Systems of Representation associated with Urban Creative Labour.
  • Advertising.
  • Semiotics.
  • Cultural Economies.
  • Popular Music.
  • Cultural Geography.
  • Social Networks.
  • Urban Studies.

Major achievements

  • Co-organizer, MEDIANZ, a conference dedicated to considering the field of media studies in New Zealand (February 2007).
  • New Zealand Journal of Media Studies, Editorial Board.
  • Executive Member, International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM).
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (at Humboldt University, Berlin).
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Advanced Centre for Cultural Studies in Sweden (at Linköping University).

Selection of publications

  • “Poor But Sexy”: Reflections on Berlin Scenes. Geoff Stahl, Ed. Peter Lang, Bern (forthcoming October 2012).
  • "Is This the Next Hip Place? Musicmaking in Montreal.” Spanning the Distance: Popular Music in Canada, Charity Marsh and Holly Everett, Eds. University of Toronto Press (forthcoming 2012).
  • “Advertising:Mapping the 'New and Improved' Mediascape.” Being Cultural. Bruce M.Z. Cohen, Ed. Auckland: Pearson Education 2012.
  • “Montreal als Anglo-Bohème: Zur Bedeutungsstiftung musikalischer Mythologien.” “They Say I’m Different…”: Popularmusik, Szenen und ihre Akteur/innen. Wolfgang Fichna and Rosa Reitsamer, Eds. Vienna: Löcker Verlag, 2011.
  • “’DIY or DIT!’ Tales of Making Music in a Creative Capital.” Situating Music in Aotearoa-New Zealand, Glenda Keam and Tony Mitchell, Eds. Auckland: Pearson Education, 2011.
  • “The Mile-End Hipster: Montreal's Modern Day Folk Devil.” Orte - Situationen - Atmosphären. Beate Binder, Moritz Ege, Anja Schwanhäußer, Jens Wietschorke, Eds. Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus Verlag, 2010.
  • Understanding Media Studies. Tony Schirato, Angi Buettner, Thierry Jutel, Geoff Stahl. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • “Urban Semiotics.” The Encyclopedia of Urban Studies. Ray Hutchison, Ed. Sage, 2009.

Selection of recent conference papers

  • “Rethinking the Cultural Capital: Musicmaking in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.” Crossroads, Sorbonne, Paris, July 2012 “Berlin’s Club Transmediale: Festive Living in the New Berlin.” IASPM-ANZ Conference, Monash University, December 2011.
  • “The Mile-End Hipster: Montreal’s Modern Day Folk Devil.” Media Geographies: New Zealand Geography Society, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, July 2010.


Teaching in 2018