Professor Sarah Hill, FLSW

A native of Oakland, California, Sarah Hill has degrees in Music from the University of California, Santa Cruz, the University of Chicago, and Cardiff University, where she earned the PhD for her study of the relationship between post-war popular music and fifty years of political activism around the survival of the Welsh language. Sarah held lectureships at the University of Southampton and Cardiff University before joining the Faculty of Music at Oxford in 2021.

Sarah’s research is primarily concerned with the historiography of popular music. Her monograph, San Francisco and the Long 60s (Bloomsbury, 2016) is a sustained microhistory of the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood, the development of the psychedelic musical culture in the years 1963-69, and an assessment of the legacy of the hippie era in the present-day Bay Area. Some of the ethnographic material that Sarah collected for that book was the basis for a Radio 2 documentary, A Taste of Summer, which focused on the myth of the Summer of Love.

Sarah continues to publish on matters relating to Welsh-language popular music, the counterculture, music and politics, and issues of music and identity. Sarah recently edited the collection, One-Hit Wonders and contributed the chapter on Blue Swede’s ‘Hooked on a Feeling’. She is currently co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Progressive Rock with Professor Allan Moore and conducting research for a study of women rock critics and second-wave feminism in the 1970s.

Sarah has been Co-ordinating Editor of the journal Popular Music since 2012, and was elected Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2023.

One-Hit Wonders: An Alternative History of Popular Music (New York and London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2021)

‘Counterculture and Youth Culture: Drifts, Events, Music, Echoes’, in Andy Bennett, ed., The Bloomsbury Handbook of Popular Music and Youth Culture (New York and London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2020)

‘1968: Mythology Matters’, twentieth-century music 16/1 (2019): 165-168.

‘Un Naw Chwech Wyth’, Journal of Communication Inquiry 42/3 (2018): 300-305.

‘Peripheral Identities on Desert Island Discs and Beti a’i Phobol,’ in Nicholas Cook, Julie Brown and Stephen Cottrell, eds., Defining the Discographic Self, Proceedings of the British Academy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017)

San Francisco and the Long 60s (New York and London: Bloomsbury, 2016)

‘Minority Language, Majority Canon,’ Popular Music History 7/3 (2013): 283–300.

‘Ending It All: Genesis and Revelation,’ Popular Music 32/2 (2013): 199–224.

‘”This Is My Country”: American Popular Music and Political Engagement in 1968,’ in Barley Norton and Beate Kutschke, eds., Music and Protest in 1968 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 46–63

‘Mary Hopkin and the Deep Throat of Culture,’ in Laurie Stras, ed., She’s So Fine:  Whiteness, Femininity, Adolescence, and Class in 1960s Music (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010), 163–182

‘Blerwytirhwng?’ The Place of Welsh Popular Music (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007)

‘When Deep Soul Met the Love Crowd: Otis Redding at the Monterey Pop Festival, June 16-18, 1967,’ in Ian Inglis, ed., Performance and Popular Music: History, Place And Time (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 28–40

‘Beyond Borders: The Female Welsh Pop Voice,’ Radical Musicology 1/1 (2006)

Historiography of 20th-century popular music, Welsh-language popular music, music and minority-language cultures, psychedelia, progressive rock, and popular music and cultural identity.