Latest news

Scarfie Flats panel discussion - part of Dunedin Wrtiers and Readers Festival

“Like the ancient art of couch burning (but far safer), flat-naming is a very important and unique part of the overall rite of passage of Otago University students.” So say the authors ofScarfie Flats of DunedinSarah Gallagher was so intrigued by this vibrant aspect of Dunedin’s social history that she spent 18 years researching it before co-writing a lavishly illustrated book on the subject with Ian Chapman. The two will share stories about the flats, the tenants and the colourful goings-on. Chaired by upstanding former Castle St resident (and author of one of the book’s chapters) Aaron Hawkins.

11 May, 1-2pm Hanover Hall, Free

David Bowie: the art of being different - part of the Dunedin Fringe Festival

In this sparkling interactive performance and talk, Bowie aficionado Dr Ian Chapman unravels the extraordinary marriage of sound and visual effect that lies at the heart of David Bowie, one of the most complex and enduring performers in popular music. Read more …

New Athenaeum Theatre 10pm on 28, 29, 30 March, book here.

Character flaws provide no grounds for banishing memory of individuals

Thanks to the many people who have got in touch re this opinion piece I wrote about Michael Jackson’s place in academic study, published in the Otago Daily Times this week. It sparked heaps of support, and also a handful of folks with alternate views. Please note: I didn't write the headline - that was supplied by the newspaper. Personally I’d have titled it with something a bit stronger than ‘character flaws’, but nevertheless I appreciate the ODT’s willingness to publish. Otago Daily Times, 13 March 2019. The topic was also discussed on The Panel.

Scarfie Flats of Dunedin - published!

This book, written with Sarah Gallagher of Dunedin Flat Names Project, has been published and is now available in Paper Plus and independent bookshops. University Bookshop will post internationally. Read an extract in published in the Otago Daily Times, Tracing origins of Student flats.

David Bowie: Life changer

I'm pretty thrilled to have been invited to write this piece for Warner Music Australia, for their I Like Your Old Stuff website. Thanks especially to Rachael Botur and Allison Hodge for the opportunity. 

Rocking On

“Rock music has been a defining force in Dr Ian Chapman’s life as a musician, performer and academic. It is also the inspiration for his flourishing career as a writer.” Read the full article in Otago Magazine.

Big ups to Lizzy Lukeman, Karen Hogg, Alan Dove, and Nigel Zega for their various roles in bringing this story to fruition in the latest Otago Uni magazine. Thanks you good things! :) - Ian

The Bowie paper is back!

Back by popular demand for 2019 is this paper dedicated in its entirety to David Bowie. An in depth and highly interdisciplinary examination and celebration of the artist’s work, it was a blast when I last ran it as a Summer School paper in 2015 and I’m excited to be running it again in a new and improved format. It came to the attention of Mr Bowie himself last time and it was a buzz to see it featured on his official website, Facebook page, and other bona fide Bowie social media. This time around it's running as a first semester paper in 2019. Get in the Bowie zone, buy your make-up, and enrol now!

And remember, as the great man himself said: "If the homework brings you down then we'll throw it on the fire and take the car downtown . . ."

Bowie Paper on Bowie FB Page.jpg


Below are a collection of links to a broad mix of reviews, interviews, promos and other media pieces. I am always happy to talk to media, please get in touch.

The Dunedin Sound' is celebrated nationally and internationally as being a unique event in New Zealand’s popular music history.



Otago academic on Michael Jackson, The Panel, Radio NZ

Write On with Vanda Symon, Otago Access Radio.

Book Review: Scarfie Flats of Dunedin, North & South.

Book Review: Scarfie Flats of Dunedin, Booksellers NZ.

From “Toad Hall” to “Shrieking Shack”: new book celebrates flat names, Otago Bulletin.

New book celebrates Dunedin's scarfie flats. Newshub.

Dunedin's unique student flats. Heritage Matters, Otago Access Radio.

Tracing origins of Student flats [extract from Scarfie Flats of Dunedin] / Otago Daily Times, The Weekend Mix, p.11.

A charity concert honouring Paul McCartney's cousin / Radio NZ

Scarfie Flats Phenomenon / RNZ Sunday

Dunedin's colourful student digs celebrated / Stuff


Ian Chapman Rocks WORD Christchurch Festival / Christchurch City Libraries

Dr Glam and the revelation of Alice Cooper: A light for misfits and mavericks the outcasts and estranged / Down in Edin Issue 13

Why we heart Otago: Scarfie Flats / eConnect

Ex-scarfie shares flat’s stories / Otago Daily Times

“Scarfie Flats” authors call for contributions / Otago Bulletin

Scarfie flats celebrated in new book, Otago Daily Times

Student flat book about “preserving history”, Otago Daily Times


David Bowie Performance talk by Dr ian Chapman (aka Dr Glam) and the Cosmic Jive Trio


The Dunedin Sound / Radio Live

The Dunedin Sound / Otago Daily Times

New book on the Dunedin Sound / Channel 39

The disenchanted-DIY chic of the ‘Dunedin’ sound / RadioNZ

Dr Ian Chapman – The Dunedin Sound and a passion for music / Christchurch City Libraries

Sound and Vision / Otago Daily Times

Was the Dunedin Sound a thing? / NZ Herald

Dunedin Sound in pictures planned / Otago Daily Times

David Bowie mourned in Aus and NZ / NewsHub

I cried on my daughter's shoulder when I heard David Bowie was dead' / Stuff


Life is a cabaret for the new Mr Glad / Otago Daily Times
Experiencing David Bowie: A Listener's Companion / Amazon

Interview about David Bowie with Australian Broadcasting Assoc’s, Andrew Ford

Bowie fans study star this summer / Otago Daily Times

Brushing up on Bowie the New Zealand Way / David Bowie website

Sanctioned by the source / Otago Daily Times


Death of a glam rock star / Otago Daily Times
Rock-star selection for Summer School / Otago Daily Times


Concert re-enacts 'Ziggy Stardust' / Otago Daily Times

Ziggy Stardust / RadioNZ

Interview with Footsteps


Venture back in time with Dr. Glam / Channel 39


Not afraid to shine / Otago Daily Times


Dr Glam the perfect escape / Otago Daily Times

These chicks rock / Otago Daily Times


Festival goes glam today / Otago Daily Times

Doing the time warp / Otago Daily Times

Not just platform boots and polyester / Otago Daily Times

Playing Favourites with Ian Chapman aka Dr Glam / RadioNZ

The Ziggy Zeitgeist / Stuff

Lecturer dons lycra for glam-rock shakedown / Otago Daily Times


On the Floor: Serious glitter / Otago Daily Times

Dr Glam. Glitter Spreader. Ode Records / Otago Daily Times

Dr Glam To Shake Things Up / Channel 39

Author says '70s more flair than flares / Otago Daily Times