Dr Katia Chornik

Honorary Research Fellow

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I am a cultural historian and ethnomusicologist, with main specialisms in music and human rights, music and literature, cultural memory, oral history, digital humanities and applied research. 

I direct and edit the bilingual digital archive Cantos Cautivos (Captive Songs), compiling testimonies on musical experiences under political detention in Chile. I developed this project as part of my 2013-16 Leverhulme research ‘Sounds of Memory: Music and Political Captivity in Pinochet’s Chile (1973-1990)’, in collaboration with ex-prisoners and the Chilean Museum of Memory and Human Rights

I have recently worked on the project ‘Common Ground: Migration in/to Europe since 1945’ (led by Prof Peter Gatrell), focusing on cultural aspects of migration and on personal testimonies.

I am the author of the book Alejo Carpentier and the Musical Text (Legenda, 2015) and co-editor of the Handbook Don Juan in Music and Other Arts (under contract with OUP). With Prof Patrice McSherry (Long Island University / Universidad de Santiago), I am currently co-writing a monograph titled Music and Historical Memory: Political Captivity and Exile during the Pinochet Dictatorship in Chile.

My articles have been published by the peer-reviewed journals The World of MusicLeonardo Music JournalIASPM@JournalInternational Journal of Cuban StudiesWorking With English: Modern and Medieval Language, Literature and Drama, and Resonancias, as well as by media outlets, including BBC News Online, the BBC World ServiceThe GuardianThe Big IssueDiagonal (Spain) and El Mostrador (Chile).

In 2013 I spoke about my research at the Council of Europe. My work has been cited by over 100 media outlets, most recently by The Observer and BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme

Before becoming an academic, I worked as a full-time violinist of the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra (Chile). Among other artistic projects, in 2005-6 I managed the revival of the most influential Chilean silent film, The Hussar of Death (dir. Pedro Sienna, 1925), showing it for the first time in Europe with live music performed by my group at the London Film Festival, Viva Film Festival (Manchester), Ciné-Concerts Festival (Bordeaux) and Giornate del Cinema Muto (Pordenone). At present, I play Latin American popular music in gigs on an occasional basis.


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
PhD, Open University
Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM)
Masters & Postgraduate Performance Diploma, Royal Academy of Music
Diploma in Arts Management, Birkbeck College, University of London
Intérprete Musical Superior (Bachelor's degree), Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

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