Sonic Political Agency and the Environment

Edit Page Sonic Political Agency and the Environment

This Research & Knowledge Exchange Doctoral Project brief summarises our priority areas of research interest under the heading of: Sonic Political Agency and the Environment.

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with and in response to this brief.

Project brief details

This PhD project is governed by two interrelated primary questions: a) what constitutes sonic political agency in relation to being (human and more than human life)? b) how might sonic political agency address social inequalities, environmental issues and function as a tool to bring about social and environmental change? 

The scope of this project is therefore concerned with investigating the relationship between sound, being and the environment and questioning how agency and change might be considered, fostered and brought about. Therefore, candidates are invited to consider sound’s affective, resistant, disruptive, imaginative and communicative qualities in terms of the power to produce effects in the context of interrelated social inequalities and environmental challenge and crisis.  

We invite a wide range of interpretations and research methodologies, encouraging in each instance, research that seeks to creatively engage with sonic political agency, being and the environment through one or more of the following frameworks: sound studies, sound art, composition studies, critical musicology, philosophy. Importantly, all proposals should aim to establish a sense of how sonic political agency in relation to life quality and the environment potentially shifts opinion, creates empathy, disseminates ’knowledge’, imagines futures, enacts political transformation and/or effects policy change.  It would therefore be useful for applications to identify an area of focus as demarcated, for example, by community, region, culture, place. 

We encourage active engagement with the regional development of Cornwall, creative deployment of sound technologies as well as anticipate co-authorship within the hosting department AMATA and the supervisory team.  

Strategic alignment

Projects deriving from this brief are expected to sit within the Research & Knowledge Exchange strategy and the following department.

Department Academy of Music & Theatre Arts

All successful research degree project proposals must emphasise a clear alignment between the project idea and our Research & Knowledge Exchange strategy. 

Project brief lead

D Ferret
D Ferret

Project supervisor: Dr D Ferrett

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. She is the author of Dark Sound: Feminine Voices in Sonic Shadow (Bloomsbury, 2020) which adopts a critical feminist approach to music discourse and to the study of 'dark sound', developing a darkfemphonosophy through listening to artists whose music embodies dark themes.

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How to apply

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We welcome all research degree applications aligned with this Doctoral Project brief. ​To apply in response to this brief or learn about the application process click the button below.

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Project brief & project proposal enquiries

To discuss this project brief, ideas or project proposal responding to this brief, please contact: Dr D Ferrett.


Application enquiries

For all other application related enquires please contact the Research & Development team.


T01326 255831

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