Georgina Born Georgina Born

University of Oxford

Georgina Born is Professor of Music and Anthropology at Oxford University and a Professorial Fellow of Mansfield College. Earlier she worked as a musician on cello and bass guitar, performing with the groups Henry Cow, Art Bears, Michael Nyman Band and other ensembles, as well as playing improvised music as a member of the Feminist Improvising Group, the Mike Westbrook Orchestra, the London Musicians’ Collective and with Derek Bailey’s Company.

Georgina Born’s work combines ethnographic and theoretical writings on music, media and cultural production. Her books are Rationalizing Culture: IRCAM, Boulez, and the Institutionalization of the Musical Avant-Garde (California 1995); Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music (edited with David Hesmondhalgh, California 2000); Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC (Vintage 2005); Music, Sound and Space: Transformations of Public and Private Experience (ed., Cambridge 2013); Interdisciplinarity: Reconfigurations of the Social and Natural Sciences (edited with Andrew Barry, Routledge 2013); and Improvisation and Social Aesthetics (edited with Eric Lewis and Will Straw, Duke 2017). From 2010, Born has directed the research programme ‘Music, Digitisation, Mediation: Towards Interdisciplinary Music Studies’, funded by the European Research Council, which examines the transformation of music by digitisation and digital media through ethnographies in seven countries in the developing and developed world.


Gender has become (just) one theme of this research. She co-edited with Kyle Devine a special issue of the Contemporary Music Review on gender and electronic music and sound art (v. 35, n. 1, 2016); and since August 2016 she has been centrally involved in GRiNM (Gender Relations in New Music), a movement to redress inequalities and injustices centred on gender and diversity in the European new music scene which came out of the Darmstadt 2016 international summer school, on the occasion of Damrstadt’s 70th anniversary. GRiNM aspires to animate a network of networks addressing these issues worldwide: the aim is institutional change, and the project is partnering five European festivals to effect this change.


Among Born’s visiting professorships are, from 2013 to 2015, holding the Schulich Distinguished Professorship in Music at McGill University, in 2014 the Bloch Distinguished Professorship in the Department of Music, University of California, Berkeley, and from 2014 being Honorary Professor in Anthropology at University College London and Professor II in Musicology at Oslo University. She is a Fellow of the British Academy where she Chairs the section on Culture, Media and Performance, and in 2016 she was awarded an OBE for ‘services to Musicology, Anthropology and Higher Education’.