Welcome to Imagining Musical Pasts!

Imagining Musical Pasts explores issues of sources, interpretation, and readership in works by three late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century music scholars: Vernon Lee, Rosa Newmarch, and Edward Prime-Stevenson. I am especially interested in the strategies Lee, Newmarch, and Prime-Stevenson used to find ways of addressing (or, in some cases, strategically not addressing) issues surrounding gender and sexuality in the decades prior to the development of any kind of organized feminist or queer approaches to musicology.

To find the book, go to About the Book (and website).

To learn more about the theoretical ideas and inspiration for this project, read the Introduction.

To learn more about Lee, Newmarch, and Prime-Stevenson, visit the Dramatis Personae or start diving into the Virtual Library

To read my most recent blog posts (in progress) on queer musicology, public scholarship, and other research-related issues, go to the Blog. Throughout October 2023 (across Queer History Month and leading up to the publication of Imagining Musical Pasts), I will be posting weekly notes on additional sources and research questions.

To read some things I’ve written elsewhere, visit Academic Publications and/or Other Public Scholarship.

To check out my future talks and other events , check out Upcoming Talks and Conference Presentations.

To invite me to speak at your department colloquium, conference, or other event, send me a note at the Contact page.

About Me: Kristin M. Franseen (she/her/hers) is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History at Concordia University, where her research is supported by a postdoctoral knowledge mobilization grant from the Fonds de recherche du Quebec – Société et culture. She received her PhD in Musicology from McGill University in 2019 and MA in Music History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. Her research focuses on issues of gossip, anecdote, and other unreliable sources in the history of musicology, with particular focuses on queer and feminist histories, the composer biography as a literary genre, and fiction on musical subjects. She has presented her work at meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, the Société québécoise de recherche en musique, the Historical Fictions Research Network, and the International Crime Fiction Association, among other places. Articles stemming from her research appear in various journals, including Music & Letters, 19th-Century Music, the Cahiers de la SQRM, Keyboard Perspectives, and the Journal of Historical Fictions, as well as in edited essay collections on women’s suffrage and queer music theory.

In 2024, she will begin a new project at Western University entitled “The Intriguing Afterlives of Antonio Salieri: Gossip, Fiction, and the Post-Truth in Music Biography.” This project will use Antonio Salieri’s posthumous reception as Mozart’s supposed rival and as the instructor of several 19th-century composers and performers to explore the intersections of factual biography, biofictions, and semifictional sources (including gossip and anecdote) in composer life-writing from the 1820s to the 2020s.

Other research interests include depictions of female philosophers in 18th-century comic opera, celebrity endorsements in early metronome advertising, musical (self-)parody, and women’s labor in the history of music theory. When not doing musicology, Kristin is also an avid Holmesian and is a member of the Notorious Canary Trainers of Madison, WI and the Bimetallic Question of Montreal, QC.