Project: 'More than jazz and jiving': An interdisciplinary study of Duke Ellington's synthesis of the arts (working title)
Year of start: 2021
Supervisors: Prof Paul Gilroy (principal) and Dr Daniel Matlin, KCL (subsidiary)
PhD Research: Esteemed composer Duke Ellington (1899-1974) created some of the most enduring work in the history of jazz. But his legacy reaches beyond music: often in collaboration with his writing partner Billy Strayhorn, he also wrote poetry and drama, and created genre-transcending mixed-media works, which have been overlooked in Ellington scholarship. This study will research Ellington's unpublished writing, programmatic music and holistic, mixed-media approach to form as pivotal in the synthesis of the arts, to place his work in a tradition, build a critical framework and develop a vocabulary for analysing his synaesthetic work and its contexts.
- Synthesis of the arts (orality and literacy; the politics of the silent text; imagined sound as a literary technique and its history; a critical vocabulary for analysing mixed-media works)
- Race and identity (African American music and history; diasporic identities)
- Classism (the political economy of popular music; business vs artistic integrity; urban culture)
Honours, Awards & Funding: