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PhD Candidate in Music, Newcastle University

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.


  • –present
    PhD Candidate in Music, Newcastle University


  • 2016 
    University of Sussex, Master's Degree, Sexual Dissidence, Distinction