Prof James Garratt

Professor of Music History and Aesthetics

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Research interests

  • German music, thought and culture in the long 19th century
  • music, politics and political theory
  • aesthetic theory; history of aesthetics from the Enlightenment to the present, in particular social aesthetics; music and values
  • historicism, historiography, philosophies of music history
  • Wagner, Liszt and the New German School
  • Mendelssohn
  • music, religion and art-religion
  • music reception; the Palestrina, Handel and Bach revivals

Some recent and upcoming conference papers

'"Flag as Inappropriate": Music, Censorship and Power Relations under Contemporary Neoliberalism', keynote address, Music and Censorship in the 20th and 21st Centuries, International Conference, Lucca, 10-12 February 2023.                                                       

'Christ in the Kulturkampf: Competing Truth Regimes in German Religious Art and Music of the 1870s', Chigiana Conference on Music and the Spiritual since the French Revolution, Sienna, 1-3 December 2022.                                                                                   

'Music and Radical Hope "After the Future": Prefigurative Politics in Practice and Theory', keynote address, 5th AEMC Conference on Music and Politics, Montecassiano, 25-26 June 2022.   

‘Beyond Beauty: the Aesthetics of Ugliness in German Musical and Artistic Debates of the Mid-19th Century’, Music and the Figurative Arts in the 19th Century, International Conference, Lucca, 16–18 November 2018.

‘On Messiah and Messianicity: Historical Experience and Aesthetic Agency in Handel Reception’, STIMU Symposium, Utrecht Early Music Festival, 24–26 August 2017.

‘Ein gute Wehr und Waffen’: The Functions of Organ Music in the First World War’, Music and War From the French Revolution to Word War One, International Conference, Lucca, 28–30 November 2014.

'Right-Extremist Rock and the Idea of Metapolitical Activism', Protest Music in the 20th Century, International Conference, Lucca, 15-17 November 2013.

'Handel and the Problem of Classicality: Consuming Messiah in the Global Age', Handel after Handel, International Conference, University of Tours, 18-20 October 2012.

'Our Common Culture? Musical Values, Globalization and Community', 19th Congress of the International Musicological Society, Rome, 1-7 July 2012.

'Composing Useful Histories: Music Historiography and the Practical Past', Constructing Historiography of Music: The Formation of Musicological Knowledge, Georg-August University, Göttingen, 3-5 November 2011.

'Aesthetic Pluralism in Liszt's Weimar Output', Guest Lecture, University of Vienna, 11 April 2011.

'Music, Memory and Collective Identity: Commemorative Festivals in Vormärz Germany', The Public Commemoration of the Past, CIDRA, University of Manchester, 9 February 2011.

'Between Paris and Weimar: Conflicting Currents in Liszt's Writings and Music Around 1850', Chopin and Liszt, International Conference, Lucca, 2-4 December 2010.

'Nietzsche as Music Historian', 16th Biennial Conference on 19th-Century Music, University of Southampton, 8-11 July 2010.

'Liszt and the Challenge of Social Art', Public Lecture, Cardiff University, 27 April 2010.

'"Vulgar Sociologism" and "Pseudo-Philosophical Phrase-Making": Eisler and the Social History of Music', International Conference: Hanns Eisler, IMR, University of London, 19-20 April 2010.

'German Manliness and Moral Strength: Gervinus's Handel', Purcell, Handel and Literature, IMR, University of London, 19-21 November 2009.

'Hanslick, Literary Criticism, and the Critique of the New German School', International Conference on Eduard Hanslick, University College Dublin, 24-6 June 2009.


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display