Katie Harling-Lee

Katie Harling-Lee (née Harling-Challis) is a PhD student in the Department of English Studies at Durham University, UK, funded by The Wolfson Foundation. Her primary research is in musico-literary studies, exploring the thematic use of music in the contemporary novel with a particular focus on Western classical music and its significance in armed conflict situations. You can read more about her research here.

Katie has an additional interest in Old Norse and Medieval Studies, the subject of her first publication and MA research. Her Old Norse research currently informs her job as a Teaching Assistant on the undergraduate module 'Myth and Epic of the North' in the Durham English Department.

At Durham, Katie co-founded and co-runs ModCon: Modern and Contemporary Literature Network. She is involved in planning, organising, and running events aimed at post-graduate and early career researchers focused on modern and contemporary literary studies at Durham and further afield, including research seminars, literary events, and structured writing sessions. The network promotes the sharing of research in both formal and sociable sessions.

Alongside her PhD studies, Katie co-edits the blog Object, writing fortnightly on the significance and influence of objects in her day-to-day life. She plays the violin, viola, and piano, and also sings across a variety of genres, and these musical experiences inform her current PhD research. Katie also endeavours to find time for ‘fun reading’ alongside her work, and she tweets on the academic and non-academic world as @KatieOsha.

Contact: k.o.harling-lee@durham.ac.uk


October 2018-21 | Wolfson Foundation Doctoral Scholarship, Durham University

Peer-Reviewed Publications

2020 | 'Listening to Survive: Classical Music and Conflict in the Musico-literary Novel', Violence: An International Journal, (18 pages) (Open Access PDF Available Here)

2018 | 'The Mediation and Re-creation of Guðrún Gjúkadóttir in English Translations of the Poetic Edda in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries', PG English, 37 (2018), 1-33 (pdf here)

Conference Papers and Public Lectures


March 2021 | 'Listening to Survive: Sound and Music in the Literary Soundscape of Conflict' | 'Global Soundscapes' roundtable at NeMLA (Online)

April 2021* | 'Listening to Survive: Classical Music and Conflict in the Musico-Literary Novel' | at Rewriting War and Peace in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries: Contemporary British and American Literature (Barcelona, Spain)

June 2021* | 'When Music Meets Literature: Defining the Contemporary Musico-Literary Novel in Times of Conflict' | Alluvium panel “Interrogating the Boundaries of the Literary in the 21st Century: Emerging Ideas”, at English: Shared Futures (Manchester, UK )

*Postponed from 2020 due to Covid-19


Sept 2020 | 'The Marginalised Operatic Voice in Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto' | Words, Music and Marginalisation: Forum of the International Association for Word and Music Studies (St Andrews, Scotland – ONLINE)

March 2020 | 'Defining the Contemporary Musico-Literary Novel in Times of Conflict' | Music in Literature panel, at NeMLA (Boston, USA)

September 2019 | 'Classical Music, Conflict, & Identity in the Contemporary Novel' | Late Summer Lectures (Durham UK) . Listen to the Podcast here.

April 2019 | 'The Creative Possibilities of Guðrún’s Emotional Ambiguity in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century English Translations of the Poetic Edda' |13th Bergen International Postgraduate Symposium in Old Norse Studies, (Bergen, Norway)

July 2018 | 'The Mediation and Creation of Emotion, Endurance, and World-Views in Translations of Eddic Poems Relating to Guðrún Gjúkadóttir' | Norse in the North (Durham, UK)

April 2017 | 'Music, Identity, and the Self in Three Contemporary Novels: "Does it alter us more to be heard, or to hear? Is it better to have been loved, or to love?"' | Josephine Butler Research Forum (Durham, UK)