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Dr William Fourie

BMus (Stellenbosch), MSt (Oxon.), PhD (RHUL)



William holds a PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London. His doctoral project used a hermeneutic approach to considered issues of musical modernism in post-apartheid South Africa. He also holds a master’s degree in musicology from Merton College, University of Oxford and a BMus from Stellenbosch University. He won several prestigious scholarships and awards during his studies including a Clarendon Scholarship at the University of Oxford and an Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Scholarship at Royal Holloway. Prior to his appointment at Rhodes University, William was a research fellow at Stellenbosch University’s Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation. He is also an associate fellow of the British Higher Education Academy.

William has published in a number of leading journals including Twentieth-Century Music and Tempo on topics spanning decoloniality, the musicological discipline, and more focused interpretative work in journals such as South African Music Studies and Muziki on a number of contemporary South African composers. He has forthcoming articles in international journals such as Perspectives of New Music and the Boydell & Brewer journal, African Theatre. He regularly presents at conferences around the world and has been an invited speaker at the University of Bayreuth and the University of Cape Town. He recently co-authored a chapter on Jacques Rancière and music for Edinburgh University Press and has also edited conference proceedings published with Brill.

A keen arts administrator, William has worked on a number of contemporary music festivals and has curated a festival for experimental electronic music at the University of Cape Town. He also served as the Chair of the International Society of Contemporary Music’s South African section, NewMusicSA, and has been involved in various ways in the production and dissemination of new music in the country.  


2023. With G. Haggett, 'Difference in Contact: Early Music, Colonialism, and the Archive' Journal of the Royal Musical Association 147(2), 629–643. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/rma.2022.18

2022. 'Xavier Livermon, Kwaito Bodies: Remastering Space and Subjectivity in Post-Apartheid South Africa' Transposition: Musique et Sciences Sociales 10. https://journals.openedition.org/transposition/7203

2021. ‘Spectral Resistance in Andile Khumalo’s “Bells Die Out”’, Perspectives of New Music 59(2), 147-171. DOI: 10.1353/pnm.2021.0013

2021. 'Too Late for the Prayers: Tamusuza, Justinian and Blake, Michael (2020). Too Late for the Prayers . Stellenbosch, South Africa. AOI Edition. AOI CD 02. Producers: Michael Blake and Justinian Tamusuza. Compact Disc ZAR150.00, available from Africa Open Institute <https://aoinstitute.ac.za/>' Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa 18(1), 155-157.

2021. ‘Morton Feldman, Morton Feldman Piano. Philip Thomas. Another Timbre, AT144x5’ Tempo 75:295, 102-103. DOI: 10.1017/S0040298220000741

2020. ‘On the Fragile Joys of Interpretation: A Response to Kevin Volans’, SAMUS 40, 23-28.

2020. With C. Venter, ‘Coloured Opera and the Violence of Dis-identification’ in Rancière and Music (eds.) J. P. Cachopo, P. Nickleson and C. Stover (Edinburgh University Press), 156-174.

2020. ‘Naomi André, Donato Somma and Innocentia Jabulisile Mhlambi, eds, Special Cluster: ‘New Voices in Black South African Opera’, African Studies vol. 75, no. 1’, African Theatre 19, 258-262. DOI: 10.2307/j.ctv105bbfp.28

2020. ‘Musicology and Decolonial Analysis in the Age of Brexit’, Twentieth-Century Music 17:2, 197–211 DOI: 10.1017/S1478572220000031.

2020. ‘Kevin Volans: piano:string quartet:chopin, x:y:k. Melvyn Tan, Calefax, Signum Quartet. Wigmore Hall, 11 December 2019’, Tempo 74:293 (2020), 85–6. DOI: 10.1017/S0040298220000042

2020. ‘Between the Musical Anti- and Post-Apartheid: Structures of Crisis in Kevin Volans’s String Quartet No. 5, “Dancers on a Plane”’, SAMUS: South African Music Studies 39, 134–174.

2019. ‘Spectral Dissensus: Politics in Andile Khumalo’s “Bells Die Out”’ in SASRIM 2017 Conference Proceedings (ed.) Mareli Stolp (SASRIM), 2-11.

2018. With Venter, C., J. M. Pistorius and N. Muyanga, ‘Decolonising Musicology: A Response and Three Positions’, SAMUS: South African Music Studies 36/37, 129-154, https://www.ajol.info/index.php /samus/article/view/173493.

2018. ‘Splinter and Loss: Reading Clare Loveday’s “Johannesburg Etude 2”’, SAMUS: South African Music Studies 36/37, 464-489, https://www.ajol.info/index.php/samus/article/view/173521.

2016. (Editor). Urban Assemblage: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Brill). ISBN: 978-1-84888-458-8.

2016. ‘Silent Lines: Urban Space and the Aesthetics of Crime’, in Urban Assemblage: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (ed.) W. Fourie (Brill), 15-24.

2016. ‘Introduction: Reading into the Spaces between Different Speeds, Dates and Subjectivities’ in Urban Assemblage: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (ed.) W. Fourie (Brill), i-x.

2016. ‘Heart of Redness by Neo Muyanga’, Muziki: Journal of Music Research in Africa 12:2, 99-103. DOI: 10.1080/18125980.2015.1127627

2014. ‘Reading Skylines: Expanding Musicological Discourse in Post-Apartheid South Africa’, Muziki: Journal of Music Research in Africa 11:2, 4-18, DOI: 10.1080/18125980.2014.966482.

2013. ‘Performing Rzewski’s Coming Together/ Attica: A Manifesto’, NewMusicSA Bulletin 11/12, 30-31.

2013. ‘Lingering Absences’, Art South Africa 12:2, 83-86.

Selected conference presentation:

2020. ‘Composing the Interregnum: Kevin Volans and South Africa’s Transition to Democracy’, at Music and Democracy Study Day (University of Huddersfield, 6 November)

2019. ‘“Hello Mr Grief”: Mandela-Decade Disillusionments in Jürgen Bräuninger’s Fractal Shapes (1998)’, at Royal Musical Association 55th Annual Conference (University of Manchester, 11 September)

2019. ‘Music Analysis and Race in the UK’, in ‘Perspectives on Music Theory and Race’ roundtable with Philip Ewell (CUNY) and Matilde Thom Wium (UFS), at South African Society for Research in Music 13th Annual Conference (Stellenbosch University, 5 September)

2019. ‘Music, Mining, and Modernity’, at Sonic Circulations International Conference (King’s College London, 25 June)

2018. ‘Memory Rituals: On Modernism and Neo Muyanga’s Heart of Redness’, at the South African Opera Productions after Apartheid symposium (University of Bayreuth, Germany, 18 October). (Invited speaker address).

2018. ‘Biko, Stockhausen and the Emancipatory Potential of Musical Modernism in Post-Apartheid South Africa’, at Royal Musical Association 54th Annual Conference (University of Bristol, 14 September)

2018. ‘Hearth Songs in the Amnesic Times: Forgetting in Theo Herbst’s Konka Klanke (Tunguska)’, at Bow Electrons 2018 Symposium (University of Cape Town, 20 June). (Keynote address).

2018. ‘A Case for a Decolonial Musicology in the Age of Brexit’, at Music and Musicology in the Age of Post-Truth conference (University College Dublin, 8 September)

2017. ‘Spectral Dissensus: Politics in Andile Khumalo’s Bells Die Out’, at South African Society for Research in Music 11th Annual Conference (North-West University, 1 September)

‘Spectres of Resistance: Reading the Politics of Dissensus in the Work of Andile Khumalo’, at Spectralisms International Conference (Oxford University, 16 March 2017)

2016. ‘Decolonial AestheSis and Operatic Epistemologies of the South: the Eoan Group and its Lingering Absences’ (co-authored with Juliana M. Pistorius), at VII SIM da UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Jenerio, 25 October)

2016. ‘Kidnapping Rancière’ (co-authored with Carina Venter), at ACLA Annual Meeting (Harvard University, 17 March)

2015. ‘This is Our City’ at Hearing Landscape Critically, Harvard 2015 (Harvard University, 15 January)

2014. ‘Silent Lines: Urban Spaces and the Aesthetics of Crime’ at Inter-disciplinary.net 4th Global Conference: Urban Popcultures (Lisbon, 9 May)

2014. ‘Reading Skylines: Expanding Musicological Discourse in Post-Apartheid South Africa’ at Contesting Freedoms: A Colloquium on Music Studies in a Democratic South Africa (University of South Africa, 27 March)

2014. ‘Aesthetics of Crime: Urbanscapes and Markers of Place’ at Stellenbosch Hearing Landscape Critically conference (Stellenbosch University, 10 September)

Last Modified: Thu, 02 Mar 2023 13:40:28 SAST