John Scanlan is an academic, writer and editor who works in cultural history and cultural aesthetics. His current and most recent research has focused on creativity and popular music, on place, and on cultural memory.
He is the author of five books, including Memory: Encounters with the Strange and the Familiar (2013) and On Garbage (2005), a philosophical essay on the many lives and meanings of waste, and Easy Riders, Rolling Stones (2015), which is currently being adapted for a film – titled 'Road Music' – by Los Angeles-based film director, Alex Harvey.
In 2010, he helped to create Reaktion Books' Reverb series (for which he is Series Editor), establishing a new outlet for writing about music.
Sex Pistols: Poison in the Machine (London: Reaktion, 2016), 270 pp. + 50 ill.
'Surf Life, ou l’excès à l’ère du numérique' in Réparer le monde: Excès, reste et innovation (Techniques & Culture, Vol. 65), ed. F. Joulian, Y-P Tastevin and J. Furniss (Marsielle: Editions EHSS, 2016), pp. 494-501.
Easy Riders, Rolling Stones: On the Road in America, from Delta Blues to 70s Rock (London: Reaktion, 2015), 248 pp. + 45 ill.
‘The Language of Waste’ in Recycler l'urbain: Pour une Écologie des milieux habités, ed. Roberto D'Arienzo & Chris Younes (Geneva: MetisPresses, 2014), pp. 9-21.
‘Of Longitude, Latitude and Zenith: Van Halen, Los Angeles and the Aesthetics of Backyardism”’ in The Acoustic City, ed. Matthew Gandy & B. J. Nilsen (Berlin: Jovis, 2014), pp. 68-73.