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Jenny Cubin

Research student

Bowland North Lancaster University Bailrigg Lancaster LA1 4YN


United Kingdom

Thesis Title

Where the waves meet the sky: Virginia Woolf, Kate Bush, and the expression of musical androgyny

Thesis Outline

The overarching aim of my research is two-fold. In the first instance I want to suggest a possible reformulation of the concept of androgyny, and in the second instance I want to explore the possibilities of an androgynous musical subjectivity. Drawing upon the threads left by Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own and by suggesting that The Waves is an example of an androgynous creative practice, I work to understand a Woolfian androgyny. I focus my studies on Kate Bush’s song cycle A Sky of Honey, creating a dialogue between Woolf and Bush to explore musical articulations of androgynous expression. I work with each piece to guide my interpretations and to explore the ways in which androgyny is communicated through musical and non-musical aspects. My research is situated amidst wider issues concerning musical performance in relation to subjectivity, consciousness, sexuality, gender fluidity, multiplicity, sound, listening and expression. I am also interested in how the 'doing of' research contributes towards the overall process of conceptual engagement and reformulation.

Research overview

Broadly, I am interested in the relationship between music and expressions of self. In exploring links between artistic mediums, I ask questions about the cultural investment in gender, working to open a space for alternative expressions of subjectivity and being. The connections between music, sound, listening and self are thematic in my research, particularly as an articulation of wider cultural and philosophical narratives and revolutions. I find the problem of meaning a preoccupation; how meaning is formed, reformed, manipulated and expressed through musical performance. 


BA Hons Music, International Centre for Music Studies, Newcastle University

MLitt Music, International Centre for Music Studies, Newcastle University, beneficiary of The Dame Florence Hilda Yates Studentship

Supervised By

Debra Ferreday and Nicholas Gebhardt

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