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Kerry Bunkhall

Kerry Bunkhall

Graduate Tutor


I am a final year PhD candidate in Musicology at Cardiff University researching Francis Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites (see Research). I am under the supervision of Dr Caroline Rae and Dr Clair Rowden, and hold the Leonard and Marion Jones Studentship. Prior to my PhD, I gained a Master's degree at Oxford Brookes University, my thesis investigating Janáček's final opera From the House of the Dead (1930) through a study of the ways he invoked audience empathy for the inmates and analysing the psychological embodiments of his music. 

My wider research interests include opera and French music in the twentieth century, particularly focusing on the ways in which music has been used to express ideas on religion, politics and manifestations of psychological states.




Blanche and Dialogues des Carmélites: Martyrs for Poulenc's Sins?

My doctoral research project, 'Blanche and Dialogues des Carmélites: Martyrs for Poulenc's Sins?', explores potential motivations for Francis Poulenc's re-embracing of his Catholic faith within the context of the nouvelle théologie and thoughts on sexuality in France during the Third Republic. It proposes Dialogues des Carmélites (1956) as the primary vehicle for Poulenc's redemption and absolution with the recurrent themes of sin and guilt alongside the almost autobiographical character of Blanche de la Force. 

Funding sources

Leonard and Marion Jones Studentship


September 2021 - Present
Postgraduate Tutor 
School of Music, Cardiff University

  • Tutor for Undergraduate Year 1 Module 'Case Studies in Music History'
  • Delivering and marking for Undergraduate module ‘Practical Portfolio’ 
  • Marking for Undergraduate module ‘Repertoire Studies’ 
  • Delivered workshops on Concert Reviews and Archival Research at the School of Music Postgraduate Forum



Honours and awards

  • September 2020 - Leonard and Marion Jones Studentship for PhD study at Cardiff University

  • September 2018 - Opera and Nineteenth-Century Pathway Scholarship for the MA in Music at Oxford Brookes
  • July 2018 - Award of Academic Excellence for the highest mark in academic work for the PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education and Training

  • July 2012 - Sir Geraint Evans Vocal Award for vocal performance 

Professional memberships

Academic positions

  • September 2021 - Present

    Postgraduate Tutor
    School of Music, Cardiff University 

  • September 2021 - Present

    Editorial Assistant
    Upcoming publication on Stravinsky in France.

  • November 2020 - January 2022

    Personal Assistant for Students with Visual Impairments
    School of Music, Cardiff University 

  • August 2015 - September 2017

    Learning & Teaching and Programme Support Administrator
    School of Education, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Speaking engagements

  • 02/12/2022 - Presented at Music and Spirituality Since the French Revolution, Chigiana Academy, Siena, ‘Le Bœuf sur le toit: the intersection of Francis Poulenc’s ‘Monk’ and ‘Rascal’.’

  • 06/01/2022 - Presented at BFE/RMA Research Students' Conference 2022, University of Plymouth, ‘The presence of Nouvelle Théologie at Le Bœuf sur le Toit 

  • 27/05/2021 - Chaired John Bird Lecture, “A Magical Bond: Opera at Home in Nineteenth-century Britain” by Dr Wiebke Thormählen at Cardiff University 

  • 13/01/2021 - Presented at BFE/RMA Research Students' Conference 2021, University of Cambridge, ‘“In every creature, a spark of God;” Empathy in Janáček’s From the House of the Dead 

  • 07/06/2019 - Presented at OBERTO Postgraduate Conference on Opera and Gender, Oxford Brookes University, ‘Opera, or the Undoing of Men? Representation of men in opera through the lens of feminist critique. 

Committees and reviewing

  • Postgraduate Research Student Representative for MusicHE

  • Postgraduate Research Student Representative at Cardiff University School of Music

  • Postgraduate Research Student Representative at Cardiff University for the Associate Fellowship Programme

  • Committee Member for RMA/BFE Research Students' Conference 2024 at Cardiff University


Caroline Rae

Caroline Rae

Reader, Director of Postgraduate Research

Clair Rowden

Clair Rowden

Professor of Musicology


  • Music
  • Musicology and ethnomusicology
  • Religious studies