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Dr Ross Cole

Dr Ross Cole

Junior Research Fellow, Homerton College


I am currently a Junior Research Fellow at Homerton College. Prior to this, I held a Temporary Lectureship in 20th / 21st-Century Music at Cambridge; I was awarded the Faculty of Music’s Teaching Prize in 2016.

Focusing equally on transatlantic popular culture and the avant-garde, my research interests include the history of black music, folksong, the aesthetics of minimalism (particularly the work of Steve Reich), postcolonialism, vernacular music, experimentalism, mass media, critical theory, 1960s countercultures, and the poetics of song.

I completed an AHRC-funded PhD thesis entitled ‘Ballads, Blues, and Alterity’ in 2015, supervised by Nicholas Cook. I also hold an MRes in experimental music from the University of York, a Bachelor's degree in music from the University of Oxford (where I received the Gibbs Prize for the highest mark), and an LRSM in saxophone performance.

Departments and Institutes

Homerton College:
King's College:

Key Publications


‘“Here Come the Judgement Train”: Nick Cave, the Bad Seeds, and the Blues.’ In Zuleika Beaven et al. (ed.), 40 Years of Mute Records. London: Bloomsbury (forthcoming).

‘Performing Alterity: Mastery and Masquerade in the Transatlantic Blues Revival.’ Journal of the Royal Musical Association (forthcoming).

‘Marxist Balladry, Mass Culture, and the Politics of Realism in Cold War Britain.’ Journal of Musicology (forthcoming).

‘Review of Popular Music Matters: Essays in Honour of Simon Frith edited by Lee Marshall and Dave Laing.’ Music & Letters, 97/3 (2016): 532–34.

‘Review of Pioneers of the Blues Revival by Steve Cushing.’ Music & Letters, 96/4 (2015): 679–81.

‘“Sound Effects (O.K., Music)”: Steve Reich and the Visual Arts in New York City, 1966–68.’ Twentieth-Century Music, 11/2 (2014): 217–44.

‘“Fun, Yes, but Music?” Steve Reich and the San Francisco Bay Area’s Cultural Nexus, 1962–65.’ Journal of the Society for American Music, 6/3 (2012): 315–48.



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