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Dr Ross Cole

Dr Ross Cole

Research Fellow, Homerton College

Ross Cole is available for consultancy.


Ross Cole is a musicologist and Fellow of Homerton College Cambridge. His research attends to the relationship between music and politics during the ‘long’ 20th century, with an emphasis on representation and the question of utopia. His work focuses on music’s significance at moments of profound change, whether the 1960s, the fin de siècle, or the present.

His writing appears in leading international journals including ASAP/Journal, Ethnomusicology, Popular Music, and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association. Under contract with University of California Press, his book The Folk: Music, Modernity, and the Political Imagination traces a new genealogy of vernacular song from 1870 to 1930, and beyond to the contemporary alt-right. It follows an insistent set of disputes surrounding the practice of collecting, ideas of racial belonging, and the pre-history of European fascism. He is co-editor with Matthew Pritchard, Ananay Aguilar, and Eric Clarke of Remixing Music Studies: Essays in Honour of Nicholas Cook.

Ross received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2015, funded by the AHRC. Prior to this, he studied at the University of York and the University of Oxford, where he was awarded the Gibbs Prize. Before taking up a highly competitive Junior Research Fellowship in 2017 he spent a year as a Lecturer at Cambridge and received the Faculty of Music’s Teaching Prize.

Colleges, Departments and Institutes

Homerton College:

Key Publications


  • The Folk: Music, Modernity, and the Political Imagination (Oakland: University of California Press, 2021), forthcoming.

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

Other Publications

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