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Dr Ross Cole

Dr Ross Cole

Research Fellow, Homerton College


I studied at the University of Cambridge (PhD 2015, King’s College), the University of York (MRes 2010), and the University of Oxford (BA 2009, Christ Church), where I received the Gibbs Prize.

My interests extend from the late 19th century up to the present, with a particular focus on popular culture and experimentalism. I've published essays in leading journals on a wide range of topics from the early work of Steve Reich to folk and blues revivalism, as well as shorter pieces on populism, higher education, and fascism. More recently I’ve become interested in digital culture, principally vaporwave and AI composition (you can find my recent interview with vaporwave producer Strawberry Illuminati here). Forthcoming projects include an edited volume entitled Remixing Music Studies: Essays in Honour of Nicholas Cook and a monograph on folk song and the political imagination.

Before taking up a four-year Junior Research Fellowship in January 2017 I spent a year as a Temporary Lecturer at Cambridge and received the Faculty of Music’s Teaching Prize for courses on 1960s countercultures and popular music of the black Atlantic.

Full pdfs of most of my essays are available on my website, but do email me ( if you’d like copies of anything.

Colleges, Departments and Institutes

Homerton College:
King's College:


- MPhil, Musicology and its Debates

- IB / II, Dissertation

Key Publications


  • The Folk: Music, Modernity, and the Political Imagination (University of California Press, under review).
  • Remixing Music Studies: Essays in Honour of Nicholas Cook, ed. Ross Cole, Matthew Pritchard, Ananay Aguilar, and Eric Clarke (Abingdon: Routledge, forthcoming).

Journal Articles

  • 'Popular Song and the Poetics of Experience.' Journal of the Royal Musical Association (forthcoming).

  • 'Vaporwave a e s t h e t i c s: Internet Nostalgia and the Utopian Impulse.' ASAP/Journal (forthcoming).
  • ‘The Problem with AI Music: Song and Cyborg Creativity in the Digital Age.' Popular Music (forthcoming).

Book Chapters

  • 'Towards an Ecological History of Music.' In Remixing Music Studies, ed. Ross Cole, Matthew Pritchard, Ananay Aguilar, and Eric Clarke (Abingdon: Routledge, 2020), forthcoming.
  • 'Traversing the Great Divide? Stravinsky, Modernism, and Mass Culture.' In Stravinsky in Context, ed. Graham Griffiths (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), forthcoming.


  • Book review: 'Rethinking Reich edited by Sumanth Gopinath and Pwyll ap Siôn.' Music & Letters (forthcoming).