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Dr Katherine Hambridge

Dr Katherine HambridgeAHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Email: K dot Hambridge at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL


I studied for a BA in Music and an MPhil in Historical Musicology at the University of Cambridge, and remained there for my PhD with an AHRC Studentship, under the supervision of Benjamin Walton. After a research placement in Berlin, awarded by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, I joined the French Department at Warwick in October 2013 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the interdisciplinary AHRC-funded project French Theatre of the Napoleonic Era.

Research interests

My research focusses on French and German musical life in the first half of the nineteenth century. In my PhD thesis, entitled ‘The Performance of History: Music, Politics and Identity in Berlin, 1800-1815’, I explored how music – in concerts and in the theatre – articulated and shaped Berliners’ relationships with the past and their political affiliations in a turbulent period that included Napoleonic occupation. This work drew on engagement with non-musical journals and literature, and neglected, unpublished repertoires to show that many of the features of musical life associated with the development of the modern nation – such as canon formation, or the establishment of politicised choral singing – developed within the framework of conservative monarchical structures. I'm currently publishing my PhD as a series of articles. The first of these, ‘Des fêtes anniversaires royales aux fêtes nationales? Pratique musicale et politique à Berlin 1800-1815’ (‘From Dynastic Birthdays to National Festivals? The Evolution of Political Music-making in Berlin, 1800-1815’) appeared in the Annales de la Révolution française in March 2015; the second, ‘Staging Singing in the Theater of War, Berlin (1805)’, was published in the Journal of American Musicological Society in April 2015. I am also contributing to a new edited volume on the operatic canon with Oxford University Press.

My post-doctoral work builds on my PhD research on theatre and theatre music in Berlin. The aim of the wider project is to redress the comparative neglect of theatre under Napoleon in the light of recent scholarship on revolutionary theatre. I'm particularly interested in the assertion and reception of theatrical genre: the different relationships between words, music and stagecraft associated with the different genres; and the extent to which these categories were meaningful for audiences. I am working on a book project that addresses these issues by tracing the transfer and circulation of theatre repertoire and personnel between Paris, Vienna and Berlin, and the conflicts in understandings of genre that result.

Joint with the King’s College London project ‘Music in London 1800-1851’, on which I am a Research Associate, I organised a conference in March 2014 on early nineteenth-century melodrama across Europe, entitled ‘The Melodramatic Moment, 1790-1820’; I am editing the resulting essay collection with Jonathan Hicks. Together Katherine Astbury and Mark Philp, I am curating and editing the online exhibition ‘The Last Stand: Napoleon’s 100 Days in 100 Objects’, which aims to offer a more balanced commemoration of the events of 1815.


BA, MPhil, PhD (Cambridge)