James Barker is a PhD candidate at Newcastle University, UK. His PhD explores LGBTQ+ inclusion in country music, using Dolly Parton as a key case study. His research focuses on the ways country artists and audiences navigate and shape the genre’s aesthetic, political and industry dynamics, informed by a queer theoretical framework. He has presented his work at the International Country Music Conference. James is also a Senior Writer at Country Queer, an online publication focused on elevating LGBTQ+ voices in country music and Americana.