Sonic Cultures

The Sonic Cultures research group is designed to incubate new ideas, share best practice and develop professional links between Manchester-based postgraduate researchers and academic staff involved in the study of music, sound and culture.

The group was launched in 2017 and evolved from the Manchester Network for Music in Culture, an interdisciplinary group founded in 2002.

One aim of the group is to provide a practical meeting point for scholars working in different disciplines and to make the Music department at Manchester a hub for all music and sound researchers in Manchester. It has provided a forum for colleagues across The University of Manchester, RNCM and Manchester Metropolitan University to share new ideas and draft publications, and to discuss recent developments in scholarship through a series of meetings each semester.

Some sessions take the shape of a reading group, while others take the form of formal presentations and discussions.

Previous meetings


  • Autumn 2019: 'Music and Home': 2 provocations and 4 responses
  • March 2019: Reading Group: 'The Politics of Sound Studies'


  • 13 June 2018: Katie Milestone (MMU, Sociology): 'Gender and Manchester's Popular Music'
  • 9 May 2018: David Butler (University of Manchester, Screen Studies): 'Inventing for Radio and Beyond: The Origins, Impact and Influence of Barry Bermange and Delia Derbyshire's 'Inventions for Radio'.'
  • 14 March 2018: Susan O'Shea (Sociology):
  • 14 February 2018: Roddy Hawkins (University of Manchester, Music):
  • 10 January 2018: Martin Blain (MMU, Music): 'The Good, The God, and The Guillotine: Collaboration, Technology, Liveness'
  • 13 December 2017: Hannah Allen (MMU, Art): 'Feminist Archives: Silence, Fragments and Absence'
  • 8 November 2017: Pete Dale (MMU, Music): Increase the Pressure? Leftist Strategies in Music After Modernism'
  • 11 October 2017: Rupert Cox (University of Manchester, Social Anthropology): 'Listening to Okinawa: Exploring Sound as a Memory of Place through Film' (Film screening and discussion)


  • 17 May 2017: Rachel Johnson, 'Art, Science, Recreation, Amusement: The contested roles of music in early-Victorian Manchester'
  • 15 March 2017: Doug Field, 'Jack Kerouac and Tom Waits'
  • 15 February 2017: Nick Crossley (University of Manchester, Sociology): 'Musical Worlds'
  • 14 December 2016: Michelle Assay, 'Shostakovich and Shakespeare'

Get in touch

For more information, please contact Roddy Hawkins (