musicologist and information specialist
My research in the field of country music has explored a range issues, including geography and identity, politics and censorship, domestic abuse, and gender and sexuality. Over the last ten years, my main research project has focused on the complex relationship between artist and place, looking specifically at the ways in which country musicians invoke place themes (notably that of their origins or youth) in their music and publicity as a way to construct elements of their artistic identity, what I call a “geo-cultural” identity. Drawing on scholarship from the fields of cultural geography, ecomusicology, ecocriticism, musicology and music theory, my doctoral dissertation at Université Laval interrogated how Corb Lund negotiates his “geo-cultural” identity in and through his music. In particular, I consider how Lund’s songs contribute to the construction of an artistic identity that is not just Western Canadian, but one that is intimately tied to the history, cultures, and traditions of his youth in rural southern Alberta.
My current research program seeks to undertake data-driven analyses of country music’s geo-cultural history through the use of bibliographic metadata. The database and dataset in development for this project will serve as the foundation of a long-term research program that seeks to use computational techniques to frame musicological inquiries about country music’s geo-cultural history, as well as issues regarding gender representation and changes in musical style.