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Dr Ross Cole

Dr Ross Cole

Research Fellow, Homerton College

Director of Studies (Easter 2020), Homerton College


I'm a Fellow of Homerton College, where my research interests concern the relationship between music and politics from the late 19th century up to the present. 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.

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 for the Times Higher Education, The Conversation, and the AMS blog Musicology NowMore 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 the edited volume Remixing Music Studies: Essays in Honour of Nicholas Cook and a monograph entitled The Folk: Music, Modernity, 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, approved for contract).

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, 5/2 (2020), in press.
  • ‘The Problem with AI Music: Song and Cyborg Creativity in the Digital Age.' Popular Music, 39/2 (2020), in press.

Book Chapters

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

Other Writing

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