Dr D Ferrett

Job title
Course Coordinator/Senior Lecturer, Popular Music
01326 255911 Ext: 5911

Dr D Ferrett is course leader for BA(Hons) Popular Music and a senior lecturer in Music. Since beginning her employment at Falmouth University in 2011, D has been instrumental in the development of the curriculum for music subject and has played a leading role in writing Falmouth's contemporary Popular Music degree course.

Previous to joining Falmouth, D studied film, music and culture and was awarded a first class honours for both her undergraduate degree and her MA. She proceeded to teach at the Centre for Cultural Studies, the University of Leeds as a PhD researcher under the supervision of Dr Barbara Engh and alongside Professor Griselda Pollock and Dr Marcel Swiboda. At Leeds, D specialised in cultural studies, film theory, feminist philosophy, critical musicology and critical theory. She was also a co-editor of the internationally renowned cultural studies journal, Parallax published by Taylor and Francis, Routledge. D was awarded her PhD at the University of Leeds in 2009 for a thesis based on the mythologies of the ineffable in music discourse and the repertoire of experimental singer/composer Diamanda Galás (as examined by Professor Derek B Scott and Professor Sheila Whiteley).

D's music practice is based in a diverse range of music styles extending through blues, punk, indie rock, drum and bass, and improvised music. In her early twenties, she won the Young Blues Musician Award and played on the festival stage that featured Nina Simone, Taj Mahal and Van Morrision. She has performed in America and Europe as both a blues musician and as part of a punk group who were based in the Leeds DIY scene. In various guises, D has performed at radical festivals such as Ladyfest and Queeruption whilst also giving live performances for BBC Radio and Leeds Carling Festival. As part of a live dnb collective, support slots include Pendulum, Skream and Prime Cuts.


YearQualificationAwarding body
The University of Leeds
MA Cultural Studies
The University of Leeds
BA (Hons) Media and Popular Culture
Leeds Metropolitan University
BTEC ND in Media and Music
Leeds College of Technology

Honours and awards


FXU Innovative Teaching Award


AHRC Full Funding Scholarship Award for PhD Research


AHRC Full Funding Scholarship Award for MA Study


Best Dissertation Award


Young Blues Musician of the Year Award

Research interests

Research interests and expertise

D's research into music pedagogy investigates ways of providing multiple access points to learning and developing music practice as it engages with critical thought. 

As both a writer and a singer, D researches politically subversive vocal practices that challenge traditional ideological understandings of gender in music discourse. She is particularly interested in semiotics, post-structuralism, critical theory, psychoanalysis, philosophy and how these fields may open up ways of reading identity and subjectivity as it emerges in voice, music, visuals and sound. She has published work based on singer-composers such as Diamanda Galás and Maggie Nicols. Her writing attempts to interpret the social and political potential of 'outsider' music practice through cultural theory and critical philosophies.

She offers supervision for MFA and PhD students with interests in voice, popular music studies, songwriting, performance, philosophy, critical theory and cultural studies.

Research topics

Popular Music Studies
Sound Art
Noise & Experimental Music
Cultural Studies
Feminist Theory and Philosophy

Research outputs



'Dark Sound: Destructive Pop', Performance Centre, AMATA.


Areas of teaching

Cultural Studies; Popular music studies; Critical Theory; Film and Media Studies; literary studies; gender and sexuality studies; song-writing and performance; voice studies; critical musicology

Courses taught

BA(Hons) Popular Music
BA(Hons) Creative Music Technology
BA(Hons) Music