• Room 0G.015 - Music

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applications in the fields of:
- Politics in music and song (all genres/ national/ international/ contemporary / historical)
- Folk Song and Tradition
- Cabaret and Music Theatre

1996 …2023

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Statement

I am a Reader in Music in the School of Arts, English and Languages. My main area of research is the history of political music and song. I am currently PI on an AHRC Fellowship on the work of East German Liedermacher Gerhard Gundermann. In my early career I published widely on the relationship between political song, performance and censorship in the former GDR. More recently I have focussed on the role of cultural memory and the reworking of tradition. I was PI in an AHRC and DFG-funded collaboration with the University of Freiburg on the history of reception of songs of the German 1848 revolution (2009-12). This led to the book Songs for a Revolution. The 1848 Protest Song Tradition in Germany (2000) which I co-authored. I also have a strong interest in transnational song, in particular songs that have travelled between Scotland, Ireland and Germany. 

I joined Queen’s in 1999 as a lecturer in German Studies. From 2012-19 I  convened the MA in Arts Management. My current modules include ‘Politics in Popular Song’, 'Radical Musics', 'Songwriting' and 'Work Placement’. I also contribute to 'Music in History, 'Introduction to Music' and 'Dissertation' 

I am a bouzouki-player and previously recorded and toured internationally as a member of the Scottish folk group Rua (1986-88). As a singer/songwriter I toured as support for the Proclaimers on their Sunshine on Leith tour (1988), and also performed at many festivals including Reading (1990). I have released four albums of original songs, Capture an Image (1991), Prussian Blue (1996), Star in the Morning (2005), and Ingo and the Bouncy Castle (2011 – with the Corncrakes). In 2019 I contributed to the CD Gundermann in Europa which featured songs of Gerhard Gundermann in different languages. As part of my AHRC Fellowship I am producing a CD of Gundermann songs in English.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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