It is thanks to George Eliot's Adam Bede that I took my path into the world of literature and music. When I read her description of a character's mood as "falling at once from the key of B with five sharps to the frank and congenial C", I began to wonder whether there existed more texts which included technical musical language in them, as simile and metaphor. And so began my descent into musico-literary, and later literary sound, studies.
My research is highly interdisciplinary, as I aim to augment literary research by using an interdisciplinary methodology and to demonstrate how literary analysis can contribute to discussions across disciplines, including those of trauma theory, conflict transformation studies, ethical issues regarding the re-writing of war, sound studies, musicology, music philosophy, and literature. My previous work in Old Norse studies, while seemingly separate, was founded in my persistent interest in the attempt to translate a seemingly untranslatable concept. In musico-literary studies, this is the translation of music into the soundless text; in Old Norse studies, this is the attempt to translate the Old Norse language into English while maintaining the cultural sense of the 'original'. I am now turning my attention to the listening experience, in its various manifestations, as represented and used metaphorically within the literary novel.
Below is a list of conference papers, symposium contributions, and public lectures (past and upcoming) which I have given on my research. You can find my latest publications here, which will also give an idea of my current research projects and trajectories.
Conference & Symposium Papers and Public Lectures
Life, Music, Quaker Silence, and World War I in The Deepening Stream (Canfield Fisher)
Sounding Modernisms — London, UK
Deafening the Politics of Listening in Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire
BASAS: British Association for South Asian Studies — Leeds, UK
The Transgressive Terror of Music in Orfeo (Powers, 2014)
BACLS-WHN 2021 — (online)
Listening to Survive: Classical Music and Conflict in the Musico-Literary Novel
Rewriting War and Peace in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries: Contemporary British and American Literature — Barcelona, Spain (online)
"Learn to Live with the Unimaginable": Mortality in Hamilton: An American Musical
Music, Mortality, and Ritual Symposium — Durham, UK (online)
Participant at Symposium: Representation in/of Classical Music
Part of the AHRC-funded project 'Representing Classical Music in the Twenty-First Century' — Birmingham, UK (online)
Co-Chair — Roundtable: Examining Contemporary Representations of Armed Conflict
NeMLA — Philadelphia, PA, USA (online)
Listening to Survive: Sound and Music in the Literary Soundscape of Conflict
Roundtable: Global Soundscapes at NeMLA — Philadelphia, PA, USA (online)
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)
Defining the Contemporary Musico-Literary Novel in Times of Conflict
Panel: Music in Literature, at NeMLA — Boston, USA
Classical Music, Conflict, & Identity in the Contemporary Novel
Late Summer Lectures — Durham UK. Listen to the podcast here.
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
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
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