Izaak David

Working Title of PhD:
Hearing Change: Music, Regeneration, and Placemaking in Levenshulme, Manchester.


Overview of PhD

Renowned for its industrial heights, Manchester is now in an era where aesthetics, semiotics, and information drive its economy. In this post-industrial age, Manchester, like many other cities, has turned to culture to structure its economy in areas that can no longer rely on an industrial base.

Places in the city such as the Northern Quarter have received academic attention regarding these trends, exploring the role of culture in its economic regeneration.

My project aims to contribute to this literature by focusing on the mixed-economic suburb of Levenshulme — a case study not traditionally associated with these discourses. Levenshulme offers an intriguing insight into the role of cultural-led regeneration and the possible effects of renewal and displacement.

In my research, I focus on music not primarily by its form and content but by its sociocultural context and how it informs people about their locality during economic change within a neighbourhood.

The project is multidisciplinary by building on theories within music studies, anthropology, and urban geography to discuss how music as a cultural form demarcates social boundaries within a locale and is a device in cultural-led regeneration.

This type of research aims to contribute to academic understandings of the intersection of music, cultural regeneration, and place while exploring how communities, policymakers and planners can cultivate change sustainably and inclusive of local identities.


I received a Bachelor of Arts in 2021 from Bath Spa University and an MA in music in 2022 from the University of Manchester. My research interests lie in the intersection of contemporary capitalism and its effects on expressive cultures. I am also a keen musician who enjoys playing the piano and guitar.

In September 2023, I began my funded PhD with the University of Manchester.


Email: izaak.david@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk