Programme 2018-19

About the Song Seminar

The Song Seminar is run by the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Song Group, a network of researchers from a range of disciplines, including English, Music, Modern and Medieval Languages, Philosophy, Theology, History, and Classics. We are all of us, in our different ways, interested in songs – what they are, how they work, how they are used. Our regular lunchtime seminar fosters cross-disciplinary conversations about songs – their forms, functions, relations, histories – and about the poets, composers, songwriters, and performers who make them. We consider songs of all periods and traditions, and try to feature live performances when we can. See below for a list of past events, and watch this space for upcoming sessions. If you’d like to hear about the seminar programme and to receive materials (texts, scores, links to recordings), please join our email list by clicking here and following the instructions.


Upcoming sessions

All meetings of the seminar are on Wednesdays, 12.30-2 pm in Emmanuel College

20 February 2019 (Harrods Room)
Miranda Stanyon (KCL) – ‘This is not a love song: Bodmer contra Minnesinger’

13 March 2019 (Harrods Room)
Chloë Alaghband-Zadeh (Manchester) – ‘Femininities in Circulation: Gender, Emotion and North Indian Semi-Classical Music’

8 May 2019 (Old Library)
Kirsteen McCue (Glasgow) – tba

22 May 2019 (Old Library)
Polly Paulusma (Cambridge) – tba

seminar conveners: Corinna Russell and Gavin Alexander
song seminar poster LT19


Other events

15-17 February 2019
Cambridge Song Festival

27 February 2019
Workshop on John Clare and song, co-organised with the Centre for John Clare Studies, Faculty of English, and featuring Stephanie Kuduk Weiner – more details to follow


Past sessions

13 February 2019 – Helen Abbott (Birmingham): ‘Songs from Baudelaire: towards a thick description of poetry-as-song’ [abstract (pdf)]

28 November 2018 – Paul Hamilton (QMUL): ‘Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies

21 November 2018 – Naomi Weiss (Harvard): ‘Performance, Memory, and Affect: Animal Choruses in Archaic and Classical Greek Vase Painting’

24 October 2018Emma Dillon (KCL): ‘The Châtelain de Coucy and his song: A vous, amant, plus qu’a nulle autre gent‘ (with a performance by Gopal Kambo)

9 May 2018 – Micha Lazarus: ‘The English PetRAAWRK! Birdsong in an Elizabethan Madrigal’

25 April 2018 – Ewan Jones: ‘What entrainment can teach aesthetics’

21 February 2018 – Caroline Egan: ‘Aztec Baroque: the uses of Nahuatl in Sor Juana’s carols’

7 February 2018 – Heather Glen: ‘What happens to words in songs?’

23 November 2017 – Lucy Taylor (mezzo-soprano) and Jeremy Thurlow (piano) performing and discussing Baudelaire settings with Miranda Gill

8 November 2017 – Sean Curran: ‘Music writing and music history in a thirteenth-century song’

25 October 2017 – Discussion session: Katherine Bergeron, ‘A Bugle, A Bell, A Stroke of the Tongue: Rethinking Music in Modern French Verse’, Representations 86 (2004): 53–72

17 May 2017 – Rachel Adelstein on what we talk about when we talk about ‘a song’

3 May 2017 – Ross Cole: ‘Cannibal Song? Poetics and Personae in “Visions of Johanna” and “Diamonds & Rust”‘

8 March 2017 – Phyllis Weliver (Saint Louis): ‘Triangulated Criticism, Song, and Daniel Deronda

22 February 2017 – Simon Jackson and Simone Kotva: ‘Writing animal song: the case of Charles Butler’s “Melissomelos, or Bees’ Madrigall” (1624)

8 February 2017 – Ceri Owen and Corinna Russell on Vaughan Williams’s ‘Linden Lea: A Dorset Song’

23 November 2016 – Composers Jeremy Thurlow and Tim Watts in performance and conversation

9 November 2016 – Katharine Dell and Danielle Padley on the Psalms

26 October 2016 – Gavin Alexander and Edward Wickham on Dowland’s ‘In darkness let me dwell’