Sara Speller


Sara is a doctoral student in historical musicology. Her research interests concern the philosophy of music, specifically aesthetics, pedagogy, and historiography of “Western art-music” from the late-19th century onward. She looks at ways to interrogate the institutional biases and rigidities buried within presiding narratives of music analysis and pedagogy, and how these narratives may or may not (actively) enforce supremacist ideology. She is interested in approaches that refigure composers and their music as case studies within the material and political world of their times, which allows for experimental historiography, including but not limited to contextual music analyses that situate ‘standard canon composers’ as the Other, and the musico-political implications of musical iconoclasts — such as Erik Satie or Tyler, the Creator — being held up as icons to future generations. Before entering this department, Sara received a BA in Music from Yale University, as well as an MPhil in Musicology from University of Oxford. She has overwatered every cactus that has ever crossed her path.