After graduating from Maynooth University Elaine Kelly moved to Queen's University Belfast, where she completed an MA in Twentieth-Century Music and subsequently a PhD with a dissertation on Brahms's involvement with the early music revival. She holds the post of Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Edinburgh.
Elaine’s research focuses on music in the German Democratic Republic. She is particularly interested in the relationship between culture and politics in the state, and her work explores issues such as identity formation, nation building, dissidence, and late socialism. These themes come together in her forthcoming book Composing the Canon in the German Democratic Republic: Narratives of Nineteenth-Century Music (Oxford University Press, 2014), which examines the role that the Germanic musical heritage played both in the construction of East German socialism and in its subsequent demise. This work was funded by an AHRC Early Career Fellowship. Elaine’s interests also include the post-unification legacy of East German art; she is editor, together with Amy Wlodarski, of Art Outside the Lines: New Perspectives on GDR Art Culture (Rodopi, 2011), and was a member of the AHRC After the Wall network, which ran from 2009-10. She is currently working on a new project that explores the role of music as a tool of international diplomacy in the GDR.