Department of Music

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Harriet Boyd-Bennett

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

Prior to starting at Nottingham, I undertook a Junior Research Fellowship at Christ Church, Oxford. I completed my PhD at King's College London, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. I also hold a BA from Oxford University and a MMus from King's.

Expertise Summary

My research interests primarily concern the social and cultural history of music in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I am particularly interested in music in modern Italy, theories of modernism and the avant-garde, opera, film music, the history of electronic music, and technology and media studies.

Teaching Summary

I have taught a range of courses on nineteenth and twentieth-century music history, music analysis and criticism, and musicological theory. My interests primarily lie in opera, music and technology,… read more

Research Summary

I have been working on a series of publications about workers' songs in Italy in the early decades of the twentieth century. These have covered topics such as the use of nineteenth-century opera in… read more

Recent Publications

  • HARRIET BOYD-BENNETT, 2018. Opera in Postwar Venice: Cultural Politics and the Avant-Garde Cambridge University Press. (In Press.)
  • HARRIET BOYD-BENNETT, 2016. Excavating Attila Cambridge Opera Journal. 28(2), 167-70
  • HARRIET BOYD-BENNETT, 2016. Review: 'Luigi Nono: A Composer in Context' Tempo. 70(277),
  • HARRIET BOYD-BENNETT, 2015. Modernist mise-en-scène: Luigi Nono and the Politics of Staging Journal of the Royal Musical Association. 140(1), 225-35

I have taught a range of courses on nineteenth and twentieth-century music history, music analysis and criticism, and musicological theory. My interests primarily lie in opera, music and technology, modernism and the avant-garde, music and war, and music in Italy. I have supervised dissertations on a variety of topics, from eco-musicology to Verdi.

I normally convene the first-year module 'Aesthetics of Electronic and Computer Music'. For second-year students, I offer a module, jointly delivered with History, on 'Politics and Protest: The Last Hundred Years of Music History'. At levels 2 and 3 I deliver modules on 'Music and War', and 'Revolutionary Opera'. At level 3, I offer research seminars on 'Anti-Opera: Twentieth-Century Music Theatre' and 'Music and Media'. I also often convene the Dissertation or Editorial/Analytical Project module.

Current Research

I have been working on a series of publications about workers' songs in Italy in the early decades of the twentieth century. These have covered topics such as the use of nineteenth-century opera in this repertory, and the relationship between local identity and worker internationalism.

I have also been undertaking research on music tours around around Italy in the aftermath of the First World War and during the rise of Fascism. I am interested in how a modern music culture can be seen as emerging in Italy at this point, and how-with the aid of national radio and the modernisation of the railways-musical events helped to cement cultural continuity at a time in which modernity was threatening the traditional fabric of Italian society. This work has fed into a British Academy Rising Stars Engagement Award for a project called 'Everyday Fascisms', concerned with ways we can use such historical work on fascism to engage with current political discourse.

Past Research

I recently completed my first book, Opera in Postwar Venice: Cultural Politics and the Avant-Garde (Cambridge University Press, 2018), which was awarded the 2019 Kurt Weill Book Prize. It looks at what was happening to opera at midcentury in one particular, idiosyncratic locale-in the aftermath of Fascism and World War Two, and in relation to the rise of new media. Although long obsolete as a site of political authority, Venice took on new life in the twentieth century, both as a hub of avant-garde activity and as a site of cultural recuperation. I explore a series of operatic events in Venice's nascent postwar culture as a lens onto broader issues of modernism, opera performance and modern Italian culture.

I have also published on Italian Futurism and modern opera performance.

Future Research

I have recently started work on a new project, looking at the role of women in the history of electronic music. My initial research so far has been on Daphne Oram, Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

  • HARRIET BOYD-BENNETT, 2018. Opera in Postwar Venice: Cultural Politics and the Avant-Garde Cambridge University Press. (In Press.)
  • HARRIET BOYD-BENNETT, 2016. Excavating Attila Cambridge Opera Journal. 28(2), 167-70
  • HARRIET BOYD-BENNETT, 2016. Review: 'Luigi Nono: A Composer in Context' Tempo. 70(277),
  • HARRIET BOYD-BENNETT, 2015. Modernist mise-en-scène: Luigi Nono and the Politics of Staging Journal of the Royal Musical Association. 140(1), 225-35
  • HARRIET BOYD-BENNETT, 2014. Review: 'Crosscurrents' Tempo. 68(270), 100-102
  • HARRIET BOYD, 2014. Staging Crisis: Opera aperta and the 1959 Venice Biennale Commissions Opera Quarterly. 30(1), 49-68
  • HARRIET BOYD, 2013. Futurism in Venice, Crisis and la musica dell'avvenire, 1924 Journal of California Italian Studies. 4(1),
  • HARRIET BOYD, 2012. Remaking Reality: Echoes, Noise and Modernist Realism in Luigi Nono's Intolleranza 1960 Cambridge Opera Journal. 24(2), 177-200

Department of Music

The University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts Centre
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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