Sarah Collins

Associate Professor

  • The University of Western Australia (M413), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Sarah Collins has published widely on the relationship between music and literary aesthetics and broader intellectual and political currents in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. She is the author of Lateness and Modernism: Untimely Ideas about Music, Literature and Politics in Interwar Britain (Cambridge UP, 2019), and The Aesthetic Life of Cyril Scott (Boydell, 2013); editor of Music and Victorian Liberalism: Composing the Liberal Subject (Cambridge UP, 2019); and co-editor with Paul Watt and Michael Allis of The Oxford Handbook of Music and Intellectual Culture in the Nineteenth Century (Oxford UP, 2020). Her research has appeared in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Twentieth-Century Music, Music & Letters, Musical Quarterly, Cambridge Opera Journal, and elsewhere. Sarah lectures in musicology at the University of Western Australia. She has held visiting fellowships at Harvard University, the University of Oxford and Durham University, and has received competitive research funding from a range of sources including the British Academy, the Australian Research Council, and the European Commission.


In 2019, Sarah received the McCredie Musicological Award from the Australian Academy of the Humanities, which “recognises outstanding contribution in musicology by an Australian scholar. It is Australia’s most prestigious award for the study of music” (AAH website). In 2020 she was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.


Sarah is currently co-editor of Music & Letters, and has previously been reviews editor for the Journal of the Royal Musical Association and the RMA Research Chronicle.


She is the current national President of the Musicological Society of Australia, and has previously served as the state President of the Victorian and Western Australian chapters of the MSA, and as secretary and treasurer respectively of the Queensland chapter. Sarah is also the inaugural host of the MSA podcast series.

Sarah welcomes propective Masters and PhD students interested in researching any aspect of nineteenth- or twentieth-century cultural history, modernism, music and philosophy, sound studies, music and economic or political theory, opera and theatre, or sound and music in film and literature.


Roles and responsibilities

President, Musicological Society of Australia

Chair of Musicology, UWA Conservatorium of Music

Co-editor, Music & Letters (Oxford University Press)

Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities

Member of Council, Australian Academy of the Humanities

Deputy Head (Research), UWA Conservatorium of Music

Associate Chair of the Academic Board, UWA

Board Member, UWA Press

Council Member, Royal Musical Association (UK)


Current projects

Lead CI, 'The Cultural and Intellectual History of Automated Labour', ARC Discovery Project, 2021-2024, with CIs Ionat Zurr (UWA), Oron Catts (UWA), and Elizabeth Stephens (UQ)

Research interests

Cultural History





Teaching overview

MUSC4101 Contemporary Debates in Music

MUSC2431 Music and Practices of Listening

MUSC3341 Music, Society and Ideas

MUSC3336 Music in Film, TV, and Video Games


Public Talks/Panels

  • ‘The Rise of AI’, In Conversation, WA Museum Boola Bardip, Aug. 2023
  • ‘ChatGPT: Why is everyone talking about generative AI, and what does it mean for us?’, Conversations in the Grove, UWA Law School and UWA Tech & Policy Lab, UWA, Perth, 7 Feb., 2023
  • ‘Automation Cultures Digestion Panel: Seedbox Community Garden Event’, 3SDC, PS Gallery, Fremantle, 10 Feb., 2022
  • ‘The Future of Artificial Intelligence and Humans’, French Dialogues, City of Perth Library, Perth, 6 Oct. 2022
  • Callaway Lecture 2021, ‘The Unproductive Arts?: Cultural Economy After Covid’, University of Western Australia (later broadcast on ABC Radio National ‘Big Ideas’, 2 Dec. 2021)
  • BBC Radio 3, ‘Music Matters’, 11 Jan., 2020
  • ABC Radio National, ‘The Music Show’, 17 Sept., 2019
  • ‘Sounds All Around’, Museum of Sounds series, Perth City Library, 23 May, 2019
  • ‘Edmund Gurney and the Power of Sound’, UWA Friends of the Library, 14 May, 2019
  • ‘Automating Creativity?: Machine Learning and Imaginative Labour in Historical Perspective’, Institute of Advanced Research’s ‘Intellectual Tapas’, 24 Sept. 2019

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Law, Bachelor of Laws, University of Queensland

Award Date: 1 Dec 2011

Musicology, PhD, University of Queensland

Award Date: 21 Mar 2010

Musicology and Performance, Bachelor of Music (Hons), University of Queensland

Award Date: 1 Dec 2006


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