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Fatima Lahham

Fatima Lahham

PhD Student


Fatima Lahham is a recorder player and PhD student at Cambridge University, UK, where her research is supported by a DTP AHRC studentship.

Fatima's dissertation rethinks improvisation as a historical tool with which to unpack the formation and development of coloniality, print, and concomitant ideas of gender and race in early modern England. She has interests in premodern critical race theory, post-colonial theory, feminist theory, and critical improvisation studies.

As a musician, recent performances include concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall, St James's Piccadilly, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Jubilee Hall in Aldeburgh, the Brighton Early Music Festival, York Early Music Christmas Festival, the London Festival of Baroque Music at St John's Smith Square, the Buxton Festival, and several appearances on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune programme, as well as performances throughout Europe at the Festival d’Ambronay, France, Ghislierimusica’s Barocco Fuori festival in Pavia, Italy, the Festival d'Ambronay, France, and the Styriarte Festival in Austria.

From 2011-2014 Fatima read Music at Magdalen College, Oxford University, where she was awarded several exhibitions and received the Joan Conway scholarship twice. While studying for her degree, she continued her recorder studies under Ashley Solomon. At Oxford Fatima was also able to experience playing historical recorders in the Bate Collection, which led to recording projects on the iconic Bressan recorder of 1720, as well as several concert performances on it. She wrote her undergraduate dissertation on Mabel Dolmetsch and the role of women in the historical performance movement, and graduated in 2014 with first class honours.

From 2014-2016 Fatima was a Masters student in recorder at the Royal College of Music in London, where she was an RCM scholar and also received the Help Musician UK Postgraduate Award. While at RCM Fatima completed her Masters research on the recorder and domestic music-making in eighteenth-century London. She graduated in 2016 with distinction.

Fatima has been teaching privately and in primary and secondary schools since 2011, and has also led and assisted on numerous workshops in a variety of settings. She supervises undergraduate courses at Cambridge and teaches her own course on historical improvisation at the RCM, London. 


Research Interests

- Early modern studies 

- Critical improvisation studies 

- Feminism, Eco-feminism  

- Islam in seventeenth-century Britain 

- Shakespeare and race, pre-modern critical race studies 

- Sound studies in the early modern Ottoman Arab lands 

- Music and politics


I currently supervise the following courses:

Music and Musicology Today

Music History I (Early Modern Period c. 1580– 1750)

Pop, Politics and Protest