MJ Academic of the Week 12/12 – Willa Stillwater & Joie Collins


Who is a Michael Jackson Academic?

Someone who 1) views Michael Jackson as an artist 2) studies his art and writes critical discourse on it 3) values this body of work for its significant cultural impact in the twenty-first century.




Willa Stillwater is the author of M Poetica: Michael Jackson’s Art of Connection and Defiance and “Rereading Michael Jackson,” an article that summarizes some of the central ideas of M Poetica. She has a Ph.D. in English literature, and her doctoral research focused on the ways in which cultural narratives (such as racism) are made real for us by being “written” on our bodies.

Joie Collins is one of the founding Team Members of the Michael Jackson Fan Club (MJFC). She has written extensively for MJFC, helping to create the original website back in 1999 and overseeing both the News and History sections of the website.

© 2014 Dancing with the Elephant

Why? When it come to writing about Michael Jackson’s lifetime of art the single most comprehensive source available is Dancing with the Elephant. This website is a veritable Encyclopedia Britannica of sources, seminars and discussions interlaced with relevant and rare video footage, book excerpts and contributions from readers the world over.

Whether I’m writing about Michael Jackson‘s first published song, Blues Away or his Smooth Criminal short film I always start with Dancing with the Elephant. This has become my golden rule. The site is so fantastic it’s also referenced in Joseph Vogel’s Man in the Music and Earth Song: Inside Michael Jackson’s Magnum Opus.

Where? Willa and Joie can be found at their blog where they frequently communicate with their readers.

Greatest Hits – ‘Re-Reading Michael Jackson’ and Can A Mirror Reveal The Truth?

Reading List:

Stillwater, Willa:

– M Poetica: Michael Jackson’s Art of Connection and Defiance (Kindle, 2011, 2013)

– ‘Rereading Michael Jackson’ (MJFC, 2011) <http://dancingwiththeelephant.wordpress.com/rereading-michael-jackson> [accessed 17 June 2014]

Stillwater, Willa and Joie Collins (et al.):

PREVIOUS ACADEMICS: Joseph VogelSyl MortillaAdrian GrantMichael JacksonBarbara KauffmanMichael Bush, Armond WhiteZack O. Greenburg, Charles Thomson

COMING SOON: Bonus Track – MJ Academics of Note

Start your Study of Michael Jackson here

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