Nationalism, mobility and identity

Our exploration of music and identity falls into two main areas.

We have a strong track record in research on Western art-music that focuses on issues of national and cultural definition. This includes:

  • David Fanning's work on the impact of the Soviet regime's attempted control of the compositional output of figures such as Shostakovich for nationalistic purposes;
  • James Garratt's research on ways in which the approaches taken to music historiography and commemoration in Germany in the long 19th century reflected a growing sense of national identity;
  • Alexander Gagatsis’s research on the development of diasporic identities among expatriate South-African jazz musicians working in Britain from the mid-20th century.

Our second strand in this core research area comprises broad-based socio-cultural research into notions of belonging and marginalisation, approached from several different perspectives. These include:

  • Chloe Alaghband-Zadeh's work considering ways in which both gender and class are implicated in embodied listening practices in north Indian classical music;
  • Caroline Bithell's extensive research on the use and preservation of traditional music to safeguard national identity in contested territories such as Corsica and Georgia;
  • Roddy Hawkins's work on the reception of English composers associated with the new complexity movement begun in the 1970s, which focuses on issues of musical marginalisation.

Staff in this core research area

Chloe Alaghband-Zadeh

Structures of power and learning in South Asia and the South Asian diaspora, particularly pertaining to the issue of gender and class.

Caroline Bithell

Cultural revival and transformation; internationalisation of traditional music; safeguarding and transmission of Georgian musical heritage.

David Fanning

Music and national identity in Soviet Russia.

Alexander Gagatsis

Jazz and diasporic identities among South-African jazz musicians in Britain.

James Garratt

German music, thought and culture in the long 19th century; musical values, globalisation and community.

Roddy Hawkins

Marginality and belonging in contemporary music and listening practices.