Stephan Hammel’s work is focused on developing a historical materialist framework for the study of music. His research encompasses the history of Marxist approaches to the subject—both “Western” and “Eastern” variants—as well as the role of music in the communist movement. In addition, he harbors an interest in musical modernism in Latin America, especially as it relates to Left politics. Both agitator and educator, he frequently gives talks on political education. He has delivered papers at Left Forum, Historical Materialism, the American Society for Aesthetics, and the American Musicological Society.
With Bryan Parkhurst, he is the author of “On Theorizing a ‘Properly Marxist’ Musical Aesthetics” International Review of Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 48:1, (2017) and the article “Pitch, Tone, and Note” in The Oxford Handbook of Critical Concepts in Music Theory (2018).
His “Music, the Realist Conception of Art and the Materialist Conception of History” in Twentieth-Century Music 16:1 (2019.)
Stephan's first monograph Toward a Materialist Conception of Music History is forthcoming from Brill.