School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Dr Richard Elliott

Senior Lecturer in Music



Richard Elliott is Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of the BA in Contemporary and Poplar Music at the International Centre for Music Studies. He returned to ICMuS in 2016 after four years as Lecturer in Popular Music at the University of Sussex. Prior to that he combined teaching positions at ICMuS with work as a teacher of English for Academic Purposes at Newcastle University. Richard graduated from the University of Warwick in 1997 with a BA in Comparative American Studies. He completed his MA with the Open University, having turned his attention to the study of popular music. He then completed a PhD investigating aspects of loss in popular music under the supervision of Richard Middleton and Ian Biddle at ICMuS.


Richard is a member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM).


Research Interests

Richard Elliott is a cultural musicologist whose research to date has mostly explored how music reflects and produces time and space. In order to do this, he has studied issues such as loss, memory, nostalgia and revolution in popular music, theories of place and spatiality, musical materiality, and the ways in which music creates or evokes 'memory places' that are significant to individuals and communities. Just as important are the ways in which music soundtracks lives and histories and, to this end, Richard has explored the representation of time, age and experience in popular song. Recent work has explored relationships between sound, meaning and sense, sometimes through musical examples but also through the study of sound more generally.

Other areas of specialisation include

  • popular music history
  • recorded music (phonography)
  • world music
  • music and cultural theory
  • urban musicology
  • the poetics of song
  • the politics of authenticity

Published Work

Richard is the author of the books Fado and the Place of Longing: Loss, Memory and the City (Ashgate, 2010), Nina Simone (Equinox, 2013), The Late Voice: Time, Age and Experience in Popular Music (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015) and The Sound of Nonsense (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018). He has also published articles, book chapters and reviews on a range of topics, including popular music, literature, consciousness, memory, nostalgia, place and space, affect, language and technology.

Current Work

Richard is currently conducting research on the materiality of song and on the representation of global popular musics in the phonographic era.

Postgraduate Supervision

Richard supervises MA dissertations and PhD theses on areas relating to the topics above.


AHRC doctoral award.


Undergraduate Teaching

MUS2083 American Popular Music (module leader)
MUS3009 Global Pop (module leader)

Postgraduate Teaching

MMus elective: Popular Music and the Politics of Authenticity

MMus dissertation supervision

PhD supervision