Associate Professor Sarah Collins
Started at UWA: 2018
British Academy and Leverhulme Trust Grant, with Laura Tunbridge (Oxford) and Barbara Kelly (Royal Northern College of Music) on ‘Music Institutions and the Politics of Internationalism’, 2018–2019
ARC Discovery Project, 'The Cultural and Intellectual History of Automated Labour', with Ionat Zurr (UWA), Oron Catts (UWA), and Elizabeth Stephens (UQ), 2021-2024
Elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2020
2019 McCredie Musicological Award, Australian Academy of Humanities
Animating the Inanimate
Discussions about opera, public broadcasting, and early sound film during the 1920s and 30s are replete with tropes of musical mechanization: from the depiction of machinic characters that are animated by music, to concerns about the effects of radio music programming on standardizing musical tastes, and nostalgia for performer presence over the disembodied effect of sound recording. It is tempting to view these tropes as a product of the cultural lag that accompanies new technologies, or of concerns over the atomising effects of modern life, capitalist markets or centralised bureaucratic systems. Yet this project explores how the idea of music animating the inanimate had a far longer history, and shows that this idea substantially shaped the aesthetic of new media during this period.
Music and the liberal imagination
This project investigates how ideas about music shaped the liberal intellectual tradition, from the height of liberalism in the mid-nineteenth century through to the anti-liberal tendencies of inter-war modernism, and the neoliberalism of the later twentieth century.
Associate Professor Collins has been supervising PhD students since 2013. She welcomes potential PhD students interested in researching any aspect of cultural modernism, music and literature, and film, or the arts and politics of any era. To enquire about PhD opportunities with Associate Professor Collins, get in touch using the contact details below.