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Professor Isabella van Elferen

School Head of Department

About

I am Professor of Music, Head of Department of Performing Arts, and Director of the Visconti Studio.

I publish on music philosophy, Gothic theory and subcultures, film and TV music, video game music, and baroque sacred music. My books are Gothic Music: The Sounds of the Uncanny (2012), Mystical Love in the German Baroque: Theology - Poetry - Music (2009), Nostalgia or Perversion? Gothic Rewriting from the Eighteenth Century until the Present Day (ed. 2007), and Goth Music: From Sound to Subculture (with Jeffrey Weinstock, 2015).  Sounds of the Uncanny won the Alan Lloyd Smith prize for best book in Gothic Criticism 2011-2013. I am currently finalising a monograph on timbre, Timbrality: Aesthetics of Vibration.

I am First Vice-President of the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts, editor for The Soundtrack, member of the advisory board of Horror Studies and Aeternum, and guest editor for Journal for the Fantastic in the Arts (2013), Horror Studies (2016) and Contemporary Music Review (2017). I was a member of the AHRC funded network Music-based Games, Creativity and Music Education and member of the Advisory Panel of the EC-funded project Europeana Sound led by the British Library.  

I currently first-supervise six PhD students on a variety of topics: Goth and psychedelic music (Claire Bannister), speculative realist music philosophy (Adam Hope), synthetic voices and sound theory (Malte Kobel), silence in film (Sven Raeymaekers), Chiptune fan cultures (George Reid), musical identities and jazz (Meredith White).  

Areas of specialism

  • Musicology
  • Music philosophy
  • Gothic criticism and subculture
  • Horror, science fiction, fantasy, weird
  • Film, television, game music
  • German baroque music

Qualifications

  • PhD Musicology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • Senior qualifications academic teaching and research, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Professional membership

2016-               Elected First Vice-President of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (annual conference, ca. 500 delegates)

2014-2017       Member Advisory Panel of EC-funded project Europeana Sound led by British Library

2013-15          Member AHRC-funded network Music-based Games, Creativity and Music Education, University of Kent

2013-               Member computer game research group Dark Play: Difficult Content in Playful Environments (Copenhagen, DK/Tampere, FI/Utrecht, NL).

2012-               Division Head "Visual and Performance Arts and Audiences" of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts

2011-13           Project History of Game Music with Music Institute Multimedia Amsterdam (game composers, designers, students and researchers).

2011-               Member Centre for the Research of Games and Play (GAP), Utrecht

2007-10          Member AHRC-funded research group Global Gothic, Stirling University

2007-              Member International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA)

2007-2009      Member advisory board Royal Society for Dutch Musicology (KVNM)

2005-              Member International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM)

2004-              Member International Gothic Association (IGA)

2003-2006      Symposium committee Royal Society for Dutch Musicology (KVNM)

Research student supervision

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