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Anton Blackburn




M.St. Musicology, Wadham College, Oxford University (2021)
B.A. Music, Jesus College, Oxford University (2020)


Anton Blackburn is a second-year Ph.D. Candidate in Ethnomusicology with a secondary specialisation in (Comparative) Literature and a Certificate in Feminist Studies. Their work lies at the intersections of trans theory, queer theory, critical theory, media theory, and popular music studies; music and dance in UK trans nightlife; and the anthropology of death and afterlife. Anton has previously worked on drag performance socialities as well as historical-ethnographic research on music labels and discourses of modernity and time, in particular relation to the avant-pop label PC Music. Their master's thesis can be read here: 'Queering accelerationism: Virtual ethnography, PC Music, and the temporal politics of queerness'.

As a cultural theorist and ethnographer, Anton's doctoral thesis will examine "Trans Sound," including the sonic afterlives of SOPHIE in trans nightlife in London. Through hauntological ethnography, this thesis will seek to articulate the social significance of SOPHIE in the trans aesthetic and political imaginary, whilst attempting to convey the ordinary and spectacular lives of trans musicians and performers in the UK. 

Since coming to Duke, Anton has produced peer-reviewed articles on: 'Dragging music: Towards a queer socio-cultural semiotics,' which has been accepted for publication in The Journal of the Royal Musical Association; and 'Transaurality: On listening to SOPHIE against queer theory,' accepted for publication in Contemporary Music Review

Current Appointments & Affiliations