Harriet Boyd-Bennett has been a Junior Research Fellow in Music at Christ Church since October 2013. Prior to that she undertook an AHRC-funded PhD at King’s College London. She received her BA (Hons) in Music from the University of Oxford and the MMus in Musicology from King’s. Her research explores the cultural nexus between music, modernism and technology in twentieth-century Italy. Her doctoral research focussed on operatic culture in the aftermath of the Second World War, and her current project looks at pieces of music that toured all over the peninsula in the aftermath of the First World War and during the rise of Fascism.
Her research project in collaboration with TORCH and the Fondazione Giorgi Cini has two strands. First, she will be consulting the remaining material for her nearly completed book project entitled Opera and the Politics of Culture in Postwar Venice. The monograph’s focus is the role of opera in the city’s nascent postwar culture. Although long obsolete as a site of political authority, Venice took on new life in the twentieth century, both as a hub of avant-garde activity and as a site of cultural recuperation. She examines a series of operatic events that took place across the decade in this idiosyncratic locale. Second, she will be undertaking research towards her new research project, also envisaged as a monograph and provisionally entitled Modern Migrations: Musical Travels in Italy during the 1920s. This project focuses on pieces that travelled around Italy in the aftermath of the First World War and during the rise of Fascism. In particular, she is investigating how, with the aid of national radio and the modernisation of the railways, musical events helped to cement cultural continuity at a time in which modernity was threatening the traditional fabric of Italian society.