Dr Stephen Wilford


Stephen's research explores the role of music and sound in encounters between Algeria and France, in both historical and contemporary contexts. He is interested in everything from colonial soundscapes and Andalusi musical traditions to the contemporary Franco-Algerian hip hop scene.


Stephen studied at the University of Aberdeen, Leeds Conservatoire, and Goldsmiths, University of London, before completing his AHRC-funded PhD at City, University of London. He initially came up to Cambridge to take up a postdoctoral position within the Faculty of Music, before being appointed Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, Popular Music, and Sound Studies from September 2022. He has previously taught at City, Goldsmiths, and the University of Southampton. He is Treasurer of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, Honorary Secretary of the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Ethnomusicology-Ethnochoreology Committee, and a member of the Virtual Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology. He is also a member of the Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement at Cambridge.


Stephen’s research sits at the intersection of ethnomusicology, music history, popular music studies, and sound studies. He is interested in the musical and sonic cultures of Algeria, both historical and contemporary. He is currently completing a monograph that focuses upon the musical and sonic encounters between Algeria and France (Liverpool University Press) and is co-editing two volumes: Sonic Conversations in the Western Mediterranean (British Academy), with Dr Vanessa Paloma Elbaz; and Ethnomusicology and its Intimacies: Essays in honour of John Baily (Routledge), with Professor Stephen Cottrell and Dr Dafni Tragaki. He has published articles in a number of leading journals, as well as numerous book chapters. He is part of the team working on the ERC-funded research project Past and Present Musical Encounters Across the Strait of Gibraltar, and recently co-founded the network DZArts with Dr Tamara Turner, which supports academic work and creative practice relating to the arts and culture within Algeria.