Course Coordinator/Senior Lecturer, Popular Music

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.

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.

Contact details

Telephone 01326 255911



Year Qualification Awarding body
2010 PhD The University of Leeds
2005 MA Cultural Studies The University of Leeds
2003 BA (Hons) Media and Popular Culture Leeds Metropolitan University
1999 BTEC ND in Media and Music Leeds College of Technology

Honors and awards

Year Description
2014 FXU Innovative Teaching Award
2006 AHRC Full Funding Scholarship Award for PhD Research
2005 AHRC Full Funding Scholarship Award for MA Study
2003 Best Dissertation Award
2001 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 centre and group affiliations


Research Topics

  • Popular Music Studies
  • Voice
  • Songwriting
  • Sound Art
  • Noise & Experimental Music
  • Improvisation
  • Cultural Studies
  • Feminist Theory and Philosophy

Research Outputs

Publications and research outputs

  • Ferrett, D

    (2020), Dark Sound: Feminine Voices in Sonic Shadow, Bloomsbury, New York, ISBN: 9781501325809, Item availability may be restricted.
  • Ferrett, D, Thomas, Gustav and Hayden, Bridget

    (2018), Weaving intuitive illegitimate improvisation, In: Liminalities: Unforseen Encounters,, Online open access, 14 (1), pp. 90-109, ISSN: 1557-2935
  • Ferrett, D

    (2014), Improvising Themes of Abjection with Maggie Nicols, In: Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, Taylor & Francis, Abingdon, 19 (1), pp. 81-90, ISSN: 1352-8165, Item availability may be restricted.
  • Ferrett, D

    (2016), Halloween, Witchcraft and the Power of Spells, Aired on Community Radio Station, Source FM, Falmouth
  • Ferrett, D

    Lamb, Johny, (2015), Dark Sound: Destructive Pop 2015, AMATA, Falmouth University
  • Bossey, Adrian

    (2023), Live Audience Accessibility & Augmentation (‘LAAA’), In: Live Audience Accessibility & Augmentation, 17-19 May 2023, AMATA


2015 '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