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Durham University



Mr James Strowman

Member of the Department of Music

Contact Mr James Strowman


James’s PhD thesis, supervised by Dr Patrick Zuk and Prof. Julian Horton, examines how the music of Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013) engages with social, cultural, and political concerns in France since 1945. More specifically, the thesis investigates how the reoccurring trope of memory in this repertoire’s critical reception can be grounded historically and culturally in relation to Dutilleux’s and France’s preoccupations with the Second World War. 

Prior to his doctoral studies, James completed a BA (2014) and MA (2015) at Durham University Music Department. He is the recipient of Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Studentship awarded by Northern Bridge. 

‘L’idée de la mémoire chez Henri Dutilleux : Contextualisation historique et culturelle de la Deuxième symphonie’, Congrès doctoral international de musique et musicologie, (Paris, Maison de la recherche, 5-7 April 2018). 

‘Breaking the Silence: Representing Trauma in The Shadows of Time by Henri Dutilleux’, Trauma Studies in the Medical Humanities International Conference: New Directions for Research, (Durham University, 12-14 April 2018).

 ‘La mémoire, l’histoire, l’oubli chez Henri Dutilleux’, Congrès doctoral international, (Paris Sorbonne III, 14 May 2018).

 Work placement (editor) at the Centre Pompidou’s magazine, Balises, (Paris, 1 November 2018 – 30 May 2019).

Research Interests

  • French poetry and literature
  • Music and memory
  • Musical modernisms
  • Phenomenology
  • The music of Henri Dutilleux
  • Twentieth-century French history