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Dr Laura Hamer

Profile summary

Professional biography

Laura Hamer is a Staff Tutor and Lecturer in Music. She is currently Associate Director of Student Support for the School of Arts and Humanities.

Laura 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 between 2010 and 2011. She was also a Lecturer in Music at the Open University in 2011. Between 2012 and 2018 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 Music modules throughout the UK (A224, A232, and A342)

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), and co-editor, with Helen Julia Minors, of The Routledge Companion to Women and Musical Leadership: The Nineteenth Century and Beyond (forthcoming, Routledge). Please see the Publications tab for a full list of publications.

Laura has organised a number of conferences and events. In 2013 she organised the Eighth Biennial International Conference on Music since 1900. In 2015 she organised the Women in Music since 1913 Symposium, and the same year she co-chaired Hopkins at Hope (a celebration of the time spent in Liverpool by the poet, musician, and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins) with Dr Guy Cuthbertson (Liverpool Hope University). In 2019, she co-chaired the International Women and/in Musical Leadership Conference with Dr Helen Julia Minors (Kingston University).

Laura has supervised a number of completed PhDs:

  • Dr Carly Rowley, ‘The Interactions of Music and Literature in the Musical Works of Anthony Burgess’ (2016);
  • Dr Jessika Rittstieg, ‘Continuity and Change in Eugène Ysaÿe’s Six Sonatas, Op. 27, for Solo Violin’ (2018);
  • Dr Zaina Shihabi, ‘The Changing Position of Female Composers and Songwriters in A Level Music Curricula Provided by Examination Boards in England: A Historical Investigation between 1980 and 2016’ (2019).

She is currently supervising projects on Cécile Chaminade and fin-de-siècle salon culture and structure in the twentieth-century English song cycle. She would particularly like to hear from potential PhD students in any area of women in music.

Teaching interests

Laura is on the module team for A224 Inside music. She is currently authoring units for A234 Understanding Music and A113 Revolutions. As an Associate Lecturer, she tutored 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.

Impact and engagement

Laura regularly participates in outreach events, pre-concert and public talks specifically related to women in music/female composers. She is a member of the Advisory Council for Donne: Women in Music,


[Book Review] Paul Dukas, Composer and Critic (2020-02)
Hamer, Laura
Music & Letters, 101(1) (pp. 172-174)

'Every impulse and spring of art seems to have died in me, except for music': Gerard Manley Hopkins as composer (2018)
Hamer, Laura
The Musical Times, 159(1945) (pp. 27-41)

[Book Review] La Grande Guerre en musique, Vie et création musicales en France pendant la Première Guerre mondiale by Florence Doé de Maindreville and Stephan Etcharry (eds.) (2016-03)
Hamer, Laura
H-France Review, 16(43)

[Review-Article] 'Paths to the Podium' Review-Article of The Musical Work of Nadia Boulanger: Performing Past and Future Between the Wars by Jeanice Brooks (2016)
Hamer, Laura
Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 141(2) (pp. 495-504)

[Book Review] Perspectives on the Performance of French Piano Music by Scott McCarrey and Lesley A. Wright (eds.) (2015-02)
Hamer, Laura
Music & Letters, 96(1) (pp. 133-135)

[Book Review] Music and Ultra-Modernism in France: A Fragile Consensus, 1913-1939 by Barbara L. Kelly (2014-10)
Hamer, Laura
H-France Review, 14(158)

[Book Review] The Musical Legacy of Wartime France by Leslie A. Sprout (2014-09)
Hamer, Laura
H-France Review, 14(153)

'False Memories and Dissonant Truths: Digital Newspaper Archives as a Catalyst for a New Approach to Music Reception Studies' (2014)
Hamer, Laura and Dingle, Christopher
Studies in the Digital Humanities

[Book Review] Sovereign Feminine: Music and Gender in Eighteenth-Century Germany by Matthew Head (2014)
Hamer, Laura
Women's History Review, 23(3) (pp. 505-507)

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

[Book Review] Olivier Messiaen, Journalism, 1935-1939 by Stephen Broad (2012)
Hamer, Laura
Ars Lyrica, 21 (pp. 223-227)

On the conductor’s podium: Jane Evrard and the Orchestre féminin de Paris (2011)
Hamer, Laura
The Musical Times, 152(1916) (pp. 81-100)

Germaine Tailleferre and Hlne Perdriat's Le Marchand d'oiseaux (1923): French feminist ballet? (2010-08)
Hamer, Laura
Studies in Musical Theatre, 4(1) (pp. 113-120)

Female Composers, Conductors, Performers: Musiciennes of Interwar France, 1919-1939 (2018-07-23)
Hamer, Laura
ISBN : 9781138212039 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

Critiquing the Canon: The Role of Criticism in Canon Formation (2019-08)
Hamer, Laura
In: Dingle, Christopher ed. The Cambridge History of Music Criticism. The Cambridge History of Music (pp. 231-248)
ISBN : 9781139795425 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press

The Gender Paradox: Criticism of Women and Women as Critics (2019-08)
Hamer, Laura
In: Dingle, Christopher ed. The Cambridge History of Music Criticism. The Cambridge History of Music (pp. 272-290)
ISBN : 9781139795425 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press

A Cultural Formation: Paul Dukas and Elsa Barraine (2019-05)
Hamer, Laura
In: Minors, Helen Julia and Watson, Laura eds. Paul Dukas: Legacies of a French Musician (pp. 131-149)
Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon and New York

Beyond neoclassicism: symphonic form, catharsis, and political commentary in Barraine’s Deuxième symphonie (1938) (2018)
Hamer, Laura
In: Mawer, Deborah ed. Historical Interplay in French Music and Culture 1860 - 1960 (pp. 121-138)
ISBN : 9781472474759 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon and New York

Olivier Messiaen and the prix de Rome as a Rite of Passage (2013)
Hamer, Laura and Murray, Christopher Brent
In: Dingle, Christopher and Fallon, Robert eds. Messiaen Perspectives 1: Sources and Influence (pp. 13-43)
ISBN : 978-1409426950 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Farnham

Armande de Polignac: An Aristocratic Compositrice in Fin-de-siècle Paris (2012)
Hamer, Laura
In: Fryer, Paul ed. Women in the Arts in the Belle Époque: Essays on Influential Artists, Writers and Performers (pp. 165-185)
ISBN : 9780786460755 | Publisher : McFarland | Published : Jefferson, North Carolina and London

Entre Satie et Stravinsky: les modèles néoclassiques de Germaine Tailleferre (2012)
Hamer, Laura
In: Terrien, Pascal ed. Musique française : esthétique et identité en mutation 1892-1992 (pp. 89-96)
ISBN : 9782752101068 | Publisher : Delatour France | Published : Paris

Der Einfluss der Eisenbahn auf das Konzertwesen des 19. Jahrhunderts (2009-07)
Hall, Mark M. and Hamer, Laura A.
In : Angewandte Geoinformatik 2009 - Beiträge zum 21. AGIT-Symposium Salzburg (8-10 Jul 2009, Salzburg Universität, Austria)