European Popular Musics

Crowd at a concert - European Popular Musics Research Group, University of Leeds

Academic convenors

Dr Stuart Green (

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Stuart Green is Senior Lecturer in Spanish at the University of Leeds, UK, and has been co-convenor of EPMRG since its founding in 2011. His current research focuses on self-representation of artists of African descent in Spanish culture of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Much of this centres on music's role in this regard, and he has written about rappers such as Frank T, El Chojin and Arianna Puello, cover versions of an anti-racist anthem written in Spain in 1968, singer Concha Buika's experiments in a variety of national and international genres, and Mallorcan-Equatoguinean singer-songwriter Guillem d'Efak. He also works on film, theatre, television and translation. At the moment, he is writing a book on Afro-Spanish rappers since the 1990s to the present day. With Isabelle, he co-edited the EPMRG's two collaborative publications to date, and organises its monthly online seminars.

Dr Isabelle Marc (

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Isabelle Marc is Associate Professor in French Studies at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. She works on French contemporary culture, especially on mainstream popular music and literature. Her research focuses on the relationship between aesthetics (popular, highbrow, middlebrow), identity (national, gender and racial) and transcultural phenomena in the European context (cultural transfers and music diplomacy). From a cultural studies and gender studies perspective, she has published extensively on French ACI (auteur-compositeur-interprète) and popular music in general and on French contemporary women writers. In 2014-2015, she was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to study music transfers and cultural public policies at the University of Leeds, and in 2022 was USIAS Fellow at the University of Strasbourg working on a project on French Pop Divas. Together with Barbara Lebrun, she is the editor of a special issue on the ‘feminisation” of French Popular Music in the 21st century to be publish in Transposition. Musique et sciences sociales in 2024. She is currently working on a monograph on French pop star Mylène Farmer. Together with Stuart Green, she launched the European Popular Music Research Group in 2011 and has convened the conferences and publications of the group.

Professor Catherine Rudent (

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Catherine Rudent is Professor of Musicology at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, France, where she teaches about popular music (20th and 21st centuries). Her main research themes are the analysis of popular music voices, the study of popular musical spectacles (including the notion of the « sonic spectacular »), and the stylistic effects of global musical circulations. She co-edited, with Gérôme Guibert, Made in France (Routledge, 2018), edited the 2020 thematic issue of the journal Volume !, « La voix pop », and has published many papers about popular singing and repertoires.

Our research

Our group facilitates the exchange of knowledge and ideas between our own disciplines and musicology, the social sciences and the humanities, and disseminates the results of such collaboration in print and at public events. We also engage with those directly involved in the production and consumption of music, not only the artists themselves but the media and the music industry.

Some of the issues that we open up to debate are:

  • The relationships between Anglophone (including Anglo-American) and continental musical spaces;

  • National and transnational performance and reception;

  • Song as musical, verbal and performative text;

  • Geographical, ethnic, gender and sexual identities;

  • Dialogues with other cultural forms such as cinema and literature;

  • Diasporic musics in Europe.

If you would like to join the EPMRG, please email If you are interested in the possibility of postgraduate or postdoctoral research with the group, or of collaborative postgraduate opportunities, please write to one of the convenors.

History of the European Popular Musics Research Group

The EPMRG was established at an international symposium on the topic of European popular music held in June 2011 at the University of Leeds. This event was organised by Isabelle Marc during a visiting research fellowship, following an invitation from Professor David Loosely, expert in French popular music and founding member of the University of Leeds's Popular Culture Research Network. Some of the research delivered there was later developed in a special issue of the Journal of European Popular Culture in 2013, where co-editors Isabelle and Stuart Green defined the group's focus on "a shared contemporary geopolitical reality within which coexist diverse languages and cultural and musical histories linked by organizational structures, common economic policies and cultural affinities that in many ways facilitate more dynamic musical exchange than with other spaces."

Subsequently, the EPMRG grew beyond the boundaries of the PCRN within which it initially sat, holding its first conference, "From Adele to Zeca Afonso: The Singer-Songwriter in Europe", in June 2012. This led to the publication of The Singer-Songwriter in Europe: Paradigms, Politics and Place (Routledge, 2016) as part of Ashgate's Popular and Folk Music Series. During the COVID-19 pandemic, EPMRG set in motion a series of monthly online seminars, which allowed members long-standing and new, ranging from established academics to postgraduates, to present work in progress. The momentum accumulated in this way over the next three years enabled the organisation of EPMRG's second conference, "Music beyond Borders: Artists, Industries and Representations in and beyond Europe" at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in July 2023.

Select outputs

The Singer-Songwriter in Europe: Paradigms, Politics and Place, ed. Isabelle Marc and Stuart Green (2016).

'European Popular Musics: A Polycentric Dialogue', special issue of Journal of European Popular Culture, edited by Stuart Green and Isabelle Marc, 4.1 (2013)


  • Marina Arias Salvado, Complutense University of Madrid: Reggaeton, Latin Music, Música urbana latina, Music Production Analysis, Identities, Spain
  • Marco Biasioli, University of Manchester: Russia; Ukraine; Belarus; popular music; national identity
  • Jara Fernández Meneses, University of Southampton: Popular music / Industry / Spain and Latin America / English / Urban Music
  • Marta García Quiñones, Tecnocampus de Mataro: Italian and Spanish popular music, popular music history, music psychology and listening, music technologies, sound studies
  • Ádám Havas, Universitat de Barcelona: Improvised music, Eastern and Southern Europe, globalization, "race"/ethnicity, cultural sociology
  • Ruben Höppner, Universität Potsdam: Czech hip-hop & rap, marginalization, spatial theories, cultural strategies
  • Ádám Ignácz, HUN-REN BTK Zenetudományi Intézet: Hungarian popular music, East Central European popular music, History of East Central European musicology, History of popular music studies, Cold War studies
  • Barbara Lebrun, University of Manchester: French popular music (all genres); cultural representation; performance; France
  • Sue Miller, Leeds Beckett University: Latin music (Cuba, the USA and France); Cuban charanga; jazz; French popular music (including chanson), 20th century popular music; improvisation
  • Santiago Morales-Rivera, University of California Irvine: Sound Literary Studies, Music in Modern Spanish Narrative, Poetry and Songwriting
  • Céline Pruvost, Université de Picardie Jules Verne: Singer-songwriter, Intermediality, France, Italy
  • Christina Richter-Ibáñez, Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main, HfMDK: Translation in popular music, Europe, Germany, Latin America, 1960s to 2000s
  • Elia Romera-Figueroa, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid: Spain, female singer-songwriters, cantautoras, copla, drag, protest music
  • Michaël Spanu, University of Manchester: Cultural and creative industries, night time economy, urban development, cultural policy, globalization, Europe, North America
  • Jacopo Tomatis, Università di Torino: Italian popular music; Political songs; Music and media; Singer-songwriters; Discography
  • Eduardo Viñuela, Universidad de Oviedo: Popular music, rock and mainstream pop, music video, music and social media
  • Duncan Wheeler, University of Leeds: Spain; rock; Latin America; journalism; democratisation; flamenco.

Past events


Seminar Series 2022–2023

  • October 19: Barbara Lebrún (University of Manchester), "Blackness in 1980s French pop" 

  • November 16: Michaël Spanu (University of Manchester), "The institutionalization of European popular music: the case of music exports" 

  • December 14: Ekaterina Ganskaya (University of Turin), "Two dimensions of Soviet rock journalism" 

  • January 18: Sue Miller (Leeds Beckett University), "Où sont passés mes pantoufles? Where are my slippers? Sexy Belgian Chachachá? The Latin Music of Jean Constantin" 

  • February 15: Carlos van Tongeren (University of Manchester), "Rhythm and heritage in modern flamenco guitar: proposals for the digital and global age" 

  • March 15: Ádám Havas (University of Barcelona), "The Cultural Politics of Europe’s Musical ‘Others’" 

  • April 19: Amanda Blake Davis (University of Derby), “'Load Every Rift With Ore': Transmuting Romantic Poetry into Metal” 

  • May 17: Christina Richter-Ibáñez (University of Tübingen), “"Gracias por la música". ABBA's records in Spanish” 

  • June 14: Karl McLaughlin (Manchester Metropolitan University), "Tenerife’s Carnival Murgas: harmless festival fun or an effective platform for social issues?" 

'Transnational Musical Exchange' online seminar series, 2021–2022

  • 20 October: Welcome back and research catch-up

  • 17 November: Jacopo Tomatis (University of Torino), 'A cultural (and transnational) history of the canzone all'italiana'.

  • 15 December: Samuel Llano (University of Manchester), 'Bedouins and Peasants: North African music, the folklore ideology and the European imagination'

  • 19 January: Christina Richter-Ibáñez (University of Tübingen), 'Latin American songs transferred to the European stage: the case of La Foule'.

  • 16 February: Marina Arias Salvado (Complutense University of Madrid), ''This is gonna last two summers': pachangueo, Latin American immigration and the assimilation of reggaeton in 2000s Spain'

  • 16 March: Céline Pruvost (University of Picardie), title to be confirmed

‘Current Debates in European Popular Musics’ online seminar series, 2020–2021

  • 15 October 2020 – 'The Soundtrack to Democracy and Dictatorship: Popular Music in Spain', Professor Duncan Wheeler (University of Leeds)

  • 19 November 2020 – 'Popular Music and Blackness in Europe', Dr Stuart Green (University of Leeds)

  • 17 December 2020 – 'Mylène Farmer: French Pop Diva', Dr Isabelle Marc (Complutense University of Madrid)

  • 21 January 2021 – 'Dalida: French Disco Queen', Dr Barbara Lebrun (University of Manchester)

  • 18 February 2021 – 'Reading the Popular Music Star as Intermedium: The Case of Mina, Italian Popular Music Diva’, Rachel Haworth (University of Leeds)

  • 18 March 2021 – ‘‘Latin’ Gainsbourg and the Parisian Nightclub Scene’, Sue Miller (Leeds Beckett University)

  • 15 April 2021 – 'Writing for Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 series: Édith Piaf's live album Récital 61’, David Looseley (University of Leeds)

  • 20 May 2021 – 'Iberian Cantautoras: Elisa Serna and Teresa Rebull’, Elia Romera Figueroa (Duke University)

  • 17 June 2021 – 'From Stereotype to Novelty? The Transnational Spread of Russian Popular Music’, Marco Biasioli (University of Manchester)