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Professor Isabella van Elferen

School Head of Department


I am Professor of Music, Director of the Visconti Studio, and Director of Research of the School of Performing and Screen Studies. 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), the editor of Nostalgia or Perversion? Gothic Rewriting from the Eighteenth Century until the Present Day (2007), and, with Jeffrey Weinstock, Goth Music: From Sound to Subculture (2015). My 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.  

Areas of specialism

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


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

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