I completed a PhD in American History at University College London (UCL) and am currently finishing my first book, Harnessing Harmony: Music, Politics, and Power in the United States, 1788-1865, which is due for release with the University of North Carolina Press in Fall 2020. It explores the significance of why and how music was incorporated into early American political culture and, in turn, sheds light on the relationship between elite power and ‘the people’ through their uses of culture in politics. The work has received support from the Newberry Library, the Royal Historical Society, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Maryland History Society. A selection from this project about Federalists and “The Star-Spangled Banner” was published in the December 2015 issue of the Journal of the Early Republic. And my forthcoming article about Confederate music and the politics of treason and disloyalty during the American Civil War will appear in the Journal of Southern History next year.
Before coming to UBC, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in History with the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri, a doctoral exchange scholar at Yale University, and held teaching posts at Queen Mary University of London and the University of Portsmouth. Born in Houston but raised in Sydney, Australia, I earned my BA with honours and the University Medal from the University of New South Wales.
Survey from colonial period to present examining political system, slavery, Civil War, race relations and civil rights, westward expansion, industrialization, feminism, expanding international presence, Cold War, and modern culture. HIST 237 will introduce students to the methods of historical practice, including primary-source analysis, historical writing, library and research skills, and public history.
The complicated political, economic and social history of the United States in the three decades following the Civil War.
The contributions of music to American political life can be easy to observe but hard to assess. What is the point of a presidential campaign song? How can we measure the impact of a protest song? And what does a larger history of music and politics tell us about the American political experience? This course provides a foundation for thinking through the political implications of American music and a framework for considering how and why connections between music and politics may have changed over time. Beginning in the colonial period and continuing through to present day we explore how Americans of all kinds have approached the politicization of music and ask what light a musical perspective can shed on the connections between American art, culture, society, and power.