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Dr Amanda Hsieh

Assistant Professor (Musicology)

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Assistant Professor (Musicology) in the Department of Music  


I am a music historian whose research interests lie at the intersection of transnational opera studies, global music history, and Asian-German studies.

Currently, I am focused on exploring the movements of people and ideas for and around the business of opera – its creation, consumption, adaptation, translation, and reformulation – across imperial Japan, colonial Taiwan, and both Weimar and Nazi Germany. Tentatively entitled ‘Opera in the Japanese-German Imagination, 1913–1939’, this project will result in my first monograph.

In the meantime, I am writing several book chapters (of various sizes) for projects on global music history, music and transpacific studies, and metaphor in music. I am also co-editing a volume on global musicology (with Vera Wolkowicz, and under contract with Palgrave Macmillan).

Previously, a winner of the Royal Musical Association’s Jerome Roche Prize (2020) for ‘an outstanding article by a scholar in the early stages of their career’, my historically informed hermeneutic reading of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck constitutes part of my doctoral dissertation on representations of masculinity in Austro-German opera in and around the years of the First World War. Sections of this work have been revised and published in the Cambridge Opera JournalMusic & Letters, and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association.

My work has been generously supported by a range of funders. Earlier iterations of my present monograph project proposals have received a ‘Seal of Excellence’ from the European Commission (2020), a Direct Grant from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2021), and a Grant Seedcorn Fund from Durham University (2022). My doctoral work was funded by the DAAD, the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto, and the Austrian Culture Forum New York, to name but a few.

As an editor, I am responsible for the review sections of the Royal Musical Association’s two flagship journals: the Journal of the Royal Musical Association and the Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle. I am also part of the curatorial team of the American Musicological Society’s digital publication platform, Musicology Now.

As a citizen of musicology and its sister disciplines, I am invested in building equitable and geographically diverse scholarly networks. I co-founded and presently co-organise (with John Gabriel) an Asian-German Studies in Music Working Group affiliated with the International Musicological Society Global Music History Study Group, and I co-chair (with Kunio Hara) the American Musicological Society’s Global East Asian Music Research Study Group. I also serve as Secretary for the newly established International Nineteenth-Century Studies Association.

Prior to joining Durham University as Assistant Professor in Musicology in January 2022, I was Research Assistant Professor in Musicology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Before then, halfway across the world again, I taught as Sessional Lecturer in Music at the University of Toronto, where I obtained my PhD in Musicology (2020). I hold an MPhil in Musicology (2013) from the University of Oxford, and a BMus in Music (2011) from Royal Holloway, University of London.