Stephen R. Millar is a Visiting Leverhulme Research Fellow at the Popular Music and Popular Culture Research Cluster at UL. Millar’s research focuses on songs of social and political protest, stretching from broadside ballads in the Age of Revolution to contemporary football chants and the contestation of public space.
Stephen holds a B.Mus. in Music from the University of Glasgow, an M.Phil. in Music Studies from the University of Cambrige, and recently completed a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at Queen’s University Belfast. His doctoral thesis explores the use of music as a means of multimodal resistance against the British state, stretching from the 1792 Belfast Harp Festival to the present. Through archival work, long-term participant observation, and interviews with artists and audiences involved in the production and consumption of Irish republican music in Belfast, the thesis demonstrates how such music provides a form of collective, emancipatory, participatory entertainment, as well as an articulation of what republicans hope to achieve, politically.
Stephen’s research at UL extends his study of the rebel music scene to include sites in the Republic of Ireland, exploring how, in the absence of a thirty-two county state, Irish republicans use music to construct their own Irish nation through an emotional appeal to public memory, a distinct pantheon of heroes, and the commemoration of important republican events.
Stephen has presented his research at various international conferences and workshops, including the annual meetings of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), and the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM). His work has been published in various academic journals, including Popular Music, Popular Music and Society, Music and Politics, Echo: A Music-Centered Journal, Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly, and Scottish Affairs. Stephen is keen to make connections with staff and students in cognate disciplines, particularly those interested in cultural resistance; music, nationalism, and identity; and performance, fandom, and contemporary culture.
Dr. Millar will be mentored by Dr. Aileen Dillane (IWAMD) and Dr. Martin J. Power (Sociology)