Yvonne Liao

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Personal profile

Biography

BA (Oxon, 2002) MA (SOAS University of London, 2003) MA (Columbia University, 2010) PhD (King's College London, 2017)

Yvonne Liao is a music historian. Her current work centres around the assessment of European music cultures and their coastal lived experiences in China’s treaty port history; and the reappraisal of ‘global’ musical circulations and maritime musical legacies in colonial and postcolonial Asia of the 20th century.

From 2017 to 2021 Yvonne was based at Oxford as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Music Faculty and TORCH, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (2017–20); as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Humanities at St Cross College (2017–20); and as a Research Associate at TORCH (2020–21). She joined the Reid School of Music in September 2021 as a Teaching Fellow in Musicology.

Yvonne read Music as an undergraduate at Christ Church, University of Oxford (1999–2002) and graduated with First Class Honours. After completing an MA in Chinese Studies at SOAS University of London, she worked at Naxos and Universal Music as a project manager and marketing manager, and gained an MA in Arts Administration from Columbia, before returning to higher education (2012) and obtaining a PhD in Musicology from King’s College London (passed without corrections 2016, awarded 2017). The dissertation was awarded 1st Honorary Mention for the International Musicological Society’s (first) Outstanding Dissertation Award in 2018. Yvonne’s writings among other publications have appeared in Cambridge Opera Journal, and The Musical Quarterly, for which she was awarded the Royal Musical Association’s Jerome Roche Prize in 2017 for a distinguished article by an early career scholar.

In terms of her wider collaborative work Yvonne is a founding co-lead of CPAGH, Colonial Ports and Global History, an interdisciplinary research network established at TORCH with Julia Binter, Olivia Durand, Helena F. S. Lopes, Katharina Oke, Min-Erh Wang, and Hatice Yildiz. With Joe Davies Yvonne is a founding co-lead of WIGM, Women in Global Music, a research and industry network. With Olivia Bloechl and Gabriel Solis she is a founding member of the American Musicological Society’s Global Music History Study Group.        

Teaching

Yvonne’s wide-ranging interests in the classroom extend from critical discussions of ‘music history’ and historiography to their applications in contemporary creative practice, and their imbrications with social formations of class, gender, and race.  

As a Teaching Fellow in Musicology she will be contributing to PGT and UG courses at Reid such as Introduction to Musicology (MMus); Music, Philosophy and Politics (MMus); Thinking about Music (BMus); and Research Methods in Music (BMus).

Research

Yvonne’s forthcoming publications include 'Post/Colonial Bach', a book chapter in Rethinking Bach (edited by Bettina Varwig, forthcoming with Oxford University Press 2021); and a special issue of Postcolonial Studies, titled ‘Music, Empire, Colonialism: Sounding the Archives’, to which she is contributing both a co-authored introduction and an individual article on the ‘post/colonial music archive’. With Erin Johnson-Williams and Roe-Min Kok she is co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Music Colonialism (forthcoming 2024). She is also working on her monograph, Imperfect Global: Thinking European Music Cultures in Shanghai and Hong Kong, 1897–1997 (under contract, University of Chicago Press/ New Material Histories of Music Series). 

 

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