Stephen studied at University College Dublin (BMus) and King’s College London (MMus) before coming to Goldsmiths in 2008 to do a PhD on ‘underground’ music. Aftercompleting the PhD in 2012 and joining the staff of the Music Department, Stephen expanded and developed the research into a book; Sounds of the Underground was published by University of Michigan Press in May 2016.
In terms of other writing, Stephen completed a chapter on Popular Modernism for The Routledge Research Companion to Modernism in Music (2018), and on zine and blog writing on fringe music for Writing on Contemporary Musicians (Routledge, 2020). His article on late style and popular music appears in the JRMA in 2020, and a piece on fringe music writing in the 1970s was published in Twentieth Century Music in 2019. An article on X Factor and reality television appeared in the January 2017 issue of Popular Music, and a piece on form in Justin Timberlake was published in American Music in 2014.
Ongoing projects include a book on the ‘music’ of noise for Bloomsbury (to be published in 2023), a wide-ranging and collaborative research project on music since 1970 (alongside Dr Roddy Hawkins at the University of Manchester) and a collaborative, multi-generic history of twentieth century music for Cambridge University Press (to be published in 2022).
Stephen runs the Fringe and Underground Music Group at Goldsmiths. He also engaged in a wide range of knowledge exchange, from appearing in a Channel Five documentary on Abba to hosting a musicology podcast to consulting on changes to the Music Theory curriculum for the ABRSM.
Stephen is Head of the School of Arts and Humanities. He previously served as Acting Head from January 2021 until June 2022 and was Co-Head of the Music Department from 2018 to 2021.
Current PhD Students
Maria Perevedentseva - 'Something for Your Mind, Your Body, and Your Soul: Timbre in Underground Electronic Dance Music'
Ben Assiter - 'Sound, space and community in London’s electronic dance music cultures'
Shereen Mouratsing – practice-based work on experimental songwriting
Edna-Mairi Holywell – project on Dido and Aeneas
- Mapping the Avant-Garde in British Popular Music: Limits, Boundaries, ErasurePanel at University of Manchester, May 2022.
- EDIMS Parenting and Caring Working Group’s workshop at the RMA/BFE Annual Students' Conference, University of Plymouth, 6 January 2022.
- ‘Introduction’ at Beyond the Avant-Garde? Rethinking the Vanguard in British Music since 1970, Goldsmiths, 9 July 2021.
Twentieth and twenty-first century music, including underground, experimental, popular, and art musics; music and cultural theory/philosophy; music and politics; modernism, postmodernism and beyond postmodernisms; analysis; music journalism.
Publications and research outputs
Graham, Stephen. 2016. Sounds of the Underground: A Cultural, Political and Aesthetic Mapping of Underground and Fringe Music. Michigan: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 9780472119752
Graham, Stephen. 2018. Modernism for and of the Masses? On Popular Modernisms. In: Björn Heile and Charles Wilson, eds. The Routledge Research Companion to Modernism in Music. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 239-257. ISBN 9781472470409
Graham, Stephen. 2019. From Microphone to the Wire: Cultural change in 1970s and 1980s music writing. Twentieth-Century Music, 16(3), pp. 531-555. ISSN 1478-5722
Graham, Stephen. 2017. The X Factor and Reality Television: Beyond Good and Evil. Popular Music, 36(1), pp. 6-20. ISSN 0261-1430
Graham, Stephen. 2015. Boogie Nights: Joe Cutler, Danserye: Michael Wolters, Kathrine and Peter Play the Recorder: Michael Wolters (CD Review). Tempo, 69(272), pp. 80-83. ISSN 0040-2982
Graham, Stephen. 2015. Frank Zappa and the And. Edited by Paul Carr (Book Review). Popular Music, 34(1), pp. 147-150. ISSN 0261-1430
Graham, Stephen. 2014. Justin Timberlake’s Two-Part Complementary Forms: Groove, Extension, and Maturity in Twenty-First-Century Popular Music. American Music, 32(4), pp. 448-474. ISSN 0734-4392
Graham, Stephen. 2013. 'Popular Music and Television in Britain' Ian Inglis (ed.). (Book Review). Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, 7(1), pp. 83-88. ISSN 1753-0768
Graham, Stephen. 2011. Beyond the Postmodern: Music and Theory at the Start of History. The Musicology Review(7),
Graham, Stephen. 2011. David Toop, Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener (2010) (Book Review). Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland(6), pp. 93-100.
Graham, Stephen. 2011. Ronald Schleifer, Modernism and Popular Music (Cambridge: 2011) (Book Review). Popular Music, 32(3),
Graham, Stephen. 2010. (Un)Popular Avant-Gardes: Underground Popular Music and the Avant-Garde. Perspectives of New Music, 48(2), pp. 5-20. ISSN 0031-6016
Graham, Stephen. 2009. August Halm, A Critical and Creative Life in Music (University of Rochester Press, 2009) (Book Review). The Musicology Review(6),
Graham, Stephen. 2012. Notes from the underground: a cultural, political, and aesthetic mapping of underground music. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London