Philip Dodd (broadcaster)

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For the 19th century clergyman, see Philip Stanhope Dodd. For the author, see Philip Dodd (author).

Philip Dodd (born 1949) is an English broadcaster, writer and editor. He is chairman of the creative industries company Made in China.[1]

Early career[edit]

Until 1986, Philip Dodd was a university academic[vague] where he established a reputation in nonfiction studies and rhetoric, having founded (with the late J.C. Hilson) in 1977 the journal Prose Studies, the first journal exclusively devoted to the study of the aesthetics of nonfiction. It is still published, in the United States.

During the early 1980s, he began work on notions of national identity, precipitated by the onset of the Falklands War and in 1986 with Robert Colls co-edited the volume of essays Englishness: Politics and Culture, 1880–1920, the first modern study of the formation of modern English identity. The book brought him to the attention of both Melvyn Bragg at London Weekend Television and Alan Yentob, then Head of the Music and Arts department at BBC television. Dodd joined the Music and Arts Department as Yentob's consultant, working on series on culture, writing scripts, helping to found The Late Show, and working on the major six-part art series Relative Values: Art and Value. He also co-wrote (with Louisa Buck) the book of the series, which is still a set text on foundation art courses. In 1989, he left academic life and joined the New Statesman and Society, as deputy editor, while remaining consultant to the BBC, working on series on subjects ranging from political reform to contemporary art. From 1991 to 1998, he worked as consultant with Jane Root, co-owner of Wall to Wall TV, on a wide variety of television series.

Sight & Sound[edit]

In 1990, he left the New Statesman and Society and accepted a post as editor of the quarterly Sight & Sound, which was merged with the Monthly Film Bulletin both published by the British Film Institute.[2] The new magazine was relaunched in 1991 as a monthly newsstand magazine,[2] winning Dodd an award as PPA smaller publisher of the year. Writers who wrote for the magazine whose global circulation rose to 26,000 included J. Hoberman, Paul Gilroy, Peter Wollen, Amy Taubin, Peter Biskind, Jeanette Winterson, Ian Christie, Ginette Vincendeau, Michael Tolkin, Quentin Tarantino.

Directorship of ICA[edit]

In 1997, he accepted the post of Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, at a turbulent point at its history. The ICA had a deficit of nearly £1 million[3] and poor attendance figures. He restructured the organisation and tried to return it to its original role as an arts lab of interdisciplinary work, something recognised by the novelist J. G. Ballard, who said that Dodd had transformed the ICA into a "post 2000 ideas lab".[4] Dodd introduced many innovations, including a writer-in-residence programme, which included Zadie Smith, a scientist-in-residence programme (the first time in Britain that a major arts organisation had appointed a scientist as creator), the Beck's Futures prize[3] and the Cultural Entrepreneurs Club, a networking agency that supported 500 of London's young creative businesses.[5] and a PhD programme. In 1998, he took the ICA to China, to Shanghai and Beijing – the first British contemporary arts institution to stage events there – and in 1999, hosted "Beijing London: Revolutionary Capitals", a series of events that showcased new Chinese creativity for the first time in Britain. Artists included Wang Jianwei and Zhang Dali, Xing Xing and Zhang Yuan.[6] With events such as the Chinese season as well as a one devoted to contemporary India, Dodd moved the ICA from a white world into a global one. Annual attendance at the ICA increased from 250,000 in 1997 to 750,000 in 2004[7][8] and the balance was back in the black.[3] His tenure at the ICA was not without controversy. The then junior Minister for Culture, Kim Howells, described Dodd as a "sneering guardian of the emperor's new clothes".[8] and chairman Ivan Massow left in 2002 following Massow's criticism of the art the ICA supported.[9]

Made in China[edit]

In 2004, he left the ICA to found the agency Made in China, develop major projects between China and the UK, some cultural, some educational and some business-oriented.[3] He set up the agency in a belief that the future "belongs to a constellation of India and China".[10] Made in China was the senior consultant (2007/8) on Shanghai eArts, the first annual digital arts festival in China.,[11] was one of the founders of the UK-wide festival "China Now" in 2008, is strategist to Art HK,[12] the largest artfair in Asia, was advisor to the Chaoyang District government of Beijing[5] and creative consultant to the UK Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. Its latest initiatives are a club for Chinese students and London's creative businesses and an introductory course delivered with Chinese partners for Chinese students intending to study in Britain.

Other appointments[edit]

Dodd worked with Demos under the leadership of Geoff Mulgan and the pamphlet that he produced, The Battle Over Britain!, helped to shape the New Labour government's Cool Britannia rebranding of the UK.[5] He is visiting Professor, University of the Arts London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

He has held various visiting academic professorships, at South Bank University and at King's College London and has developed post-graduate education around the needs of the cultural economy, founding the MA programme in Creative Industries at King's College. He is a Sony award-winning broadcaster and a regular presenter of the BBC Radio 3 arts and ideas programme Free Thinking (formerly Night Waves).[13]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Englishness: Politics and Culture, 1880–1920 (1986)
  • Modern Selves: Essays on Modern British and American Autobiography (1986, editor)


  1. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Film Journals". Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Dalya Alberge (20 July 2004). "ICA chief looks East to challenge 'insular' Britain". The Times. London. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  4. ^ [1].
  5. ^ a b c "Philip Dodd". Discovering Futures. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Mark Irving (15 December 2004). "I hate (and love) the ICA". The Times. London. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "Trouble at Mall". Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  9. ^ Milner, Catherine (3 February 2002). "Massow is 'self-publicist' who has failed in his job, says ICA". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  10. ^ [3].
  11. ^ Patterson, Christina (1 November 2007). "China embarks on a new cultural revolution with celebration of digital arts". The Independent. London. 
  12. ^ Video on YouTube.
  13. ^ "Radio 3 Presenter: Philip Dodd". BBC. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 

External links[edit]