Research

The Mauritian ravane, a traditional séga instrument.

I study the manifestation of political, religious, and social tensions in music and drama. I am very interested in political sponsorship of the arts, and in situations where musical practice is co-opted or adapted for political ends. I also study military history – a topic that is interlinked with music much more often than you might think, especially when looking at pirates and maritime history. For my doctoral dissertation, I wrote a musical and military history of the island of Mauritius in the southern Indian Ocean – once the greatest French military base in the Eastern Hemisphere.

I am currently engaged in adapting my dissertation research for publication and in research on music during the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804).

Some of my other research interests that I am presently pursuing include:

The 2012 International Kreol Festival in Mauritius. December 2012.

  • Colonial music traditions in British, Dutch, and French overseas island possessions
  • The Filles d’Opéra Singer-Courtesans in Parisian Society circa 1730-65
  • Nationalism in French opéra comique during the July Monarchy (1830-1848)
  • American Musical Theatre (especially P.G. Wodehouse and racism in the theatre)

Some of my past research areas include:

  • Reformation hymnody
  • 16th-century Anglo-French motet manuscripts
  • 17th-century Roman sacred opera
  • 17th-century sacred music theory

For information about my conference activities, please see the About page.

French and Australian tourists dancing séga on a catamaran in Mauritius, as the boat’s Mauritian crew look on.