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Dr Laura Hamer

Profile summary

  • Regional Academic Staff
  • Staff Tutor in Music
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Arts & Humanities
  • Music
  • laura.hamer

Professional biography

Laura Hamer is a cultural musicologist specialising in women in music. She holds a BA in Music from Brasenose College, Oxford, and an MA and PhD in Musicology from Cardiff University. She completed a PG Cert in Academic Practice (HE teaching qualification) at Liverpool Hope University in 2013, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is also a pianist, and holds an LRSM in Advanced Piano Performance.

Laura initially worked for the Open University as an Associate Lecturer in 2010 and 2011. She was also a Lecturer in Music at the Open University in 2011. Between 2012 and 2017 she worked for Liverpool Hope University, including four years as Head of Music. She has also taught Music at Cardiff University, Rose Bruford College, and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire of Music. She served on the Central Committee of the National Association for Music in Higher Education (NAMHE) between January 2014 and December 2016.

As a Staff Tutor, Laura oversees tuition and supports students and Associate Lecturers on a range of Arts modules in the South of England.

Research interests

Laura’s primary research interests lie in women in music, encompassing both classical and popular traditions. Her monograph Female Composers, Conductors, Performers: Musiciennes of Interwar France, 1919-1939, was published by Routledge in 2018. She has also  published articles and book chapters on a wide range of female musicians, including composers, songwriters, conductors, and all-woman orchestras, and also on Olivier Messiaen, Gerard Manley Hopkins, reception and criticism studies, and digital musicology. She is editor of The Cambridge Companion to Women in Music since 1900 (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press). She is currently working upon a joint research project which investigates the Liverpool-based dance-band leader Mary Daly Hamer (no relation) with her Liverpool Hope colleague, Dr Mike Brocken.

She has organised a number of conferences and events. In 2013 she organised the Eighth Biennial International Conference on Music since 1900, and in 2015 she organised the Women in Music since 1913 Symposium. In 2015 she co-chaired Hopkins at Hope (a celebration of the time spent in Liverpool by Gerard Manley Hopkins) with Dr Guy Cuthbertson. She has supervised a number of PhDs, and is currently supervising projects on the history of women’s musical education. She would particularly like to hear from potential PhD students in any area of women in music.



Laura Hamer, Female Composers, Conductors, Performers: Musiciennes of Interwar France, 1919-1939 (London and New York: Routledge, 2018).

Laura Hamer (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Women in Music since 1900 (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).


‘“Every impulse and spring of art seems to have died in me, except for music”: Gerard Manley Hopkins as Composer’, The Musical Times (forthcoming 2018).

'False Memories and Dissonant Truths: Digital Newspaper Archives as a Catalyst for a New Approach to Music Reception Studies', Studies in the Digital Humanities (Sheffield: HRI Online Publications, 2014) (Co-authored with Christopher Dingle).

‘Negating Gender Politics and Challenging the Establishment: Women and the Prix de Rome, 1919-1939’, Women’s History, 70 (Autumn 2012), 4-12.  

‘On the Conductor’s Podium: Jane Evrard and the Orchestre féminin de Paris’, The Musical Times, Vol. 152, No. 1916 (Autumn 2011), 81-100.

‘Germaine Tailleferre and Hélène Perdriat’s Le Marchand d’Oiseaux (1923): French Feminist Ballet?’, Studies in Musical Theatre, Vol. 4, No. 1 (August 2010), 213-20.

Book Chapters and Sections:

‘Introduction’, in Laura Hamer (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Women in Music since 1900 (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

‘In the Pit and on the Podium: Women Conductors and Orchestras of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries’, in Laura Hamer (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Women in Music since 1900 (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

‘A Cultural Formation: Paul Dukas and Elsa Barraine’, in Helen Minors and Laura Watson (eds.), Paul Dukas: Legacies of a French Musician (Routledge, forthcoming).

‘The Gender Paradox: Criticism of Women and Women as Critics’, in Christopher Dingle (ed.), The Cambridge History of Music Criticism (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

‘Critiquing the Canon: The Role of Criticism in Canon Formation’, in Christopher Dingle (ed.), The Cambridge History of Music Criticism (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

‘Beyond Neoclassicism: Symphonic Form, Catharsis, and Political Commentary, Elsa Barraine’s Deuxième symphonie (1938)’, in Deborah Mawer (ed.), Historical Interplay in French Music and Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 2018), 121-138. 

‘Olivier Messiaen and the prix de Rome as a Rite of Passage’, in Christopher Dingle and Robert Fallon (eds.), Messiaen Perspectives 1: Sources and Influence (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013), 13-43 (Co-authored with Christopher Brent Murray).

‘Armande de Polignac: An Aristocratic compositrice in fin-de-siècle Paris’ in Paul Fryer (ed.), Women in the Arts in the Belle Époque: Essays on Influential Artists, Writers and Performers (Jefferson, North Carolina and London: McFarland, 2012), 165-185.

‘Entre Satie et Stravinsky: Les modèles néo-classiques de Germaine Tailleferre’, in Pascal Terrien (ed.), Musique Française, esthétique et identité en mutation 1892-1992 (Paris: Delatour France, 2012), 89-96.

Other publications

Laura has also written review-articles and reviews for Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Music & Letters, Women’s History Review, Ars Lyrica, and H-France Review; entries (on Elsa Barraine and Lili Boulanger) for the Routledge Encyclopaedia of Modernism, and programme and CD liner notes.

Teaching interests

Laura is on the module team for A224 ‘Inside music’. As an Associate Lecturer, she taught on AA302 ‘From composition to performance: musicians at work’ and AA317 ‘Words and music’. At Liverpool Hope University, she led on redesigning undergraduate and postgraduate taught provision, and acted as both BA Music and MA Music Course Leader. She has taught across a wide range of musical areas, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, including music history, analysis, aesthetics, opera studies, music theory, performance, popular music studies, study skills, and dissertation supervision (including both Music and Music Education projects). In 2018 she was awarded a Hope Star Award for Innovation in Teaching (student-led teaching award) by Liverpool Hope University’s Students’ Union.

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