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Leverhulme Early Career Fellow joins School of Music

3 December 2018

Loyalist mural in Belfast
A loyalist mural in Belfast

Dr Stephen Millar has joined the School of Music after being awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship.

Joining us from Glasgow Caledonian University, Dr Millar will be working on a project examining the history of loyalist songs in Northern Ireland and their role in expressing a Protestant working-class culture and identity. The project explores the role loyalist songs played during the Northern Ireland Conflict (1968-1998) and why musicians and audiences continue to produce and consume such material.

The project will examine how loyalist songs connect to and comment on cultural and political developments in Northern Ireland, with loyalist songs providing a unique context for understanding a divided island and a fragmented continent after Brexit.

The 3-year project is the first of its kind and will produce the first online archive of political music-making in Northern Ireland, entitled ‘Songs of the Northern Ireland Conflict’ (SoNIC). The SoNIC archive will use innovative methods to curate and contextualise political song during and after the troubles. It will also show how political song continues to shape present-day issues and identities.

Dr Millar will be working alongside Professor John Morgan O’Connell, who has carried out extensive work on music and conflict, much of which has focused on Ireland. His current work on Irish music-making during WW1 connects with the historical legacy of loyalist paramilitaries who fought in WW1 and who continue to be invoked in loyalist song.

Dr Millar will be teaching on various modules within the School, including Disciplining Music, Doing Ethnomusicology, and Issues in Popular Music.

I’m thrilled to have received the Fellowship and am very excited to begin work on my new project. Cardiff has a great reputation for Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies, both of which are central to my academic interests. I look forward to contributing to the research environment within the School and working alongside Cardiff’s distinguished faculty

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