Professor Vanessa Agnew
Professor Agnew completed her Thesis, entitled ‘Red Feathers, White Paper, Blueprint: Exchange and Informal Empire in Georg Forster's 'Voyage Round the World’, in 1998. She is now Associate Professor of Germanic Languages and Literature at the University of Michigan.
Vanessa Agnew does research on eighteenth-century music discourse, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century travel writing and natural history, postcolonial theory, and historical re-enactment.
Her teaching includes courses on German opera and writings about music, travel, and eighteenth-century racial discourse. Vanessa has held various research fellowships at numerous prestigious institutions across the World. Vanessa was a participant consultant in the BBC2 History Channel series The Ship, and is co-editor of a new series on historical re-enactment.
Her award-winning monograph, Enlightenment Orpheus: The Power of Music in Other Worlds (Oxford University Press, 2008), is a study of Anglo-German debates about the power of music (ca.1760-1810). Focusing on Charles Burney's German journey, the book traces the central role of travel and cross-cultural encounters in transforming musical thought.
Her latest book project, co-authored with Tony Dold, deals with an expedition by two women scientists, Dorothea Bleek and Mary Pocock, through Southern Africa in the 1920s. In her spare time, Vanessa is working on a degree in Natural Science through The Open University. For details of her work, visit http://www.lsa.umich.edu/german/faculty/
Studying in the School provided wonderful educational opportunities, excellent supervision and a rich cultural life. She remains indebted to the University for having supported her postgraduate studies and for having introduced her to the Welsh National Opera, the Gower, and cream teas.