Emily Baker

My academic work originates from my experience of performing and writing songs. It was between writing, releasing and promoting two albums that I became aware of a burning desire to examine the pressures in process I was encountering from a cultural and critical theories perspective, interrogating that which might at first appear a 'natural' way of doing things.

My PhD is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and supervised by Freya Jarman and Sara Cohen. My thesis examines the function, properties and impact of the aesthetic of Age in the voice. I am particularly interested in age as a site of resistance to normative assumptions of sex, gender and sexuality and how this is expressed in singing voices.

The thesis is underpinned by phenomenological, feminist and queer perspectives on identity and the body; discourse on Age/ ageing processes and studies on the voice and production practices in popular music. In other words, I spend a lot of my time listening to, and watching the performances of, Dolly Parton, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith and Grace Jones.