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Durham University



Dr Erin Johnson-Williams

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Music

(email at


Erin Johnson-Williams is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Music. Her research focuses on music and de/colonialism, the imperial legacies of music education, trauma studies, gender, and soundscapes of colonial violence. Erin’s current Leverhulme project, entitled 'Audible Incarceration: Singing Communal Religion in Colonial Concentration Camps', examines the role of singing, religious experience and trauma in spaces of colonial incarceration, with particular focus on the concentration camps of the Boer War in South Africa.

Erin received her PhD from Yale University in 2015, which examined the role of empire and authority in constructions of musical education in late nineteenth-century Britain. Her doctoral dissertation was awarded the Walter L. Arnstein Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interdisciplinary Victorian Studies by the Midwest Victorian Studies Association. Prior to working at Durham, Erin was a lecturer at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, and was also a Visiting Research Associate to the interdisciplinary ERC-funded project ‘Music in London 1800-1851’ at King’s College London. In 2016, Erin became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

At Durham, Erin is a member of the Advisory Board for the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, and is currently working on several interdisciplinary publication projects, including a monograph on soundscapes of violence in colonial concentration camps.


Chapter in book

Book review

Journal Article