Dr Christopher Wiley publishes major book chapter on musical biography in Oxford University Press volume

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Dr Christopher Wiley has written a major book chapter on musical biography for a new essay collection published by Oxford University Press, The Oxford Handbook of Music and Intellectual Culture in the Nineteenth Century, edited by Paul Watt, Sarah Collins, and Michael Allis.

Dr Wiley’s 12,000-word chapter, entitled ‘Biography and Life-Writing’ (abstract available here), discusses the advent of musical biography, its proliferation in the long nineteenth century, and its legacy up to the present. It includes two case studies: a compilation of anecdotes, to explore how Victorian values were reflected in contemporaneous life-writing; and a collected biography, to investigate the role of women as characters within musical biographies.

Dr Wiley is an internationally acknowledged expert on musical biography, the subject of his doctoral dissertation, and has previously published widely on the subject.

Bibliographic citation

Wiley, Christopher. ‘Biography and Life-Writing’, in Paul Watt, Sarah Collins, and Michael Allis eds. The Oxford Handbook of Music and Intellectual Culture in the Nineteenth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020, pp. 77–101. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190616922.013.4

Full text

The full text of Dr Wiley’s chapter is available here: https://www.academia.edu/35186914/Biography_and_Life_Writing_Oxford_Handbook_of_Music_and_Intellectual_Culture_in_the_Nineteenth_Century_

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers paper at conference on biography at the University of Nottingham

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1200px-University_of_Nottingham_logo.svgDr Christopher Wiley has presented a paper at the multi-disciplinary conference ‘Biography and Public History: Constructing Historical Narratives through Life-Writing’, held in the Department of Music at the University of Nottingham on Wednesday 20 June 2018.

Dr Wiley’s paper, ‘Anecdote as a Genre in Musical Biography’, drew primarily on his recent research on Victorian life-writing, while also discussing the foundational role of anecdote within musical biography from its advent at the turn of the nineteenth century onwards.

Proposing that biographical anecdote warrants recognition as a genre in its own right given its extraordinary staying power and the sophisticated narratives that developed around specific examples, Dr Wiley demonstrated its potential to contribute to a greater understanding of associated culture through the recounting of stories of its most cherished figures.

The one-day conference was attended by some 50 international delegates. Dr Wiley also chaired the opening session, which featured papers on archaeology, buildings architecture, and literature.

Further information may be found at the conference webpage: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/conference/fac-arts/humanities/music/biography-and-public-history/biography-and-public-history.aspx

The full conference programme is available online here: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/humanities/departments/music/documents/2018/final-programme.pdf