Julia Hamilton

Assistant Professor, Music Theory, History Composition
School: School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
Specialty: Music History

Dr. Julia Hamilton is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Musicology at Ithaca College. She teaches the Music History sequence as well as courses for non-majors, including "Rock Styles Since 1955." She completed her BA in Music and English at the College of the Holy Cross (2012), her MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of Southampton (2014), and her PhD in Music at Columbia University (2021). Her dissertation, entitled “Political Songs in Polite Society: Singing about Africans in the Time of the British Abolition Movement, 1787 to 1807,” explored a set of scores whose textual and musical content critiqued Britain’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. These scores were included in the music collections of British women from the era, and thus represent a variety of musical activities through which women promoted abolitionism from their homes.

She has written two publications on abolitionist culture and women’s domestic music-making in the eighteenth century: a 2021 article in Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture and a forthcoming essay in A History of Women and Musical Salons (eds. Jacqueline Avila and Rebecca Cypess). Her current book project, “Abolitionism at Home: Women, Music, and Material Culture in Britain, 1780 to 1840,” traces shifting musical approaches to antislavery activism from the eighteenth-century movement to abolish the slave trade to the nineteenth-century movements to abolish slavery and apprenticeship. 

Dr. Hamilton is always excited to share her research with students and members of the public. She has taught an undergraduate course on the history of antislavery music at Columbia University, contributed blog posts on William Cowper's "The Negro's Complaint" and Ignatius Sancho's music to music history websites ("Our Subversive Voice" and a forthcoming website about Ignatius Sancho, respectively), and organized an interdisciplinary conference on "Abolitionism and the Arts in the Long Eighteenth Century." The video of the concert of antislavery songs that was performed at this conference is available here, and a curated list of resources on abolitionism and the arts will soon be available on the "Abolitionism and the Arts" website.

Dr. Hamilton maintains an active interest in music history pedagogy and is excited to join in pedagogy conversations with faculty across Ithaca College.