Professor and Director of the School of Music

1984 – BA Mus., University of Western
1986 – MA Mus., University of Alberta
1991 – PhD, Harvard University

Pérez 103

Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 3811

Work E-mail: musdir@uottawa.ca
E-mail: laburns@uottawa.ca

Lori Burns


Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and thereby authorized to supervise theses.

Awards and achievements

Professor of the Year, Faculty of Arts, 2012.

Joint Chair in Women’s Studies, Carleton University and University of Ottawa, 2011-12.

Winner of the Pauline Alderman award for a monograph on women and music, International Alliance for Women in Music, 2005 (for Disruptive Divas: Feminism, Identity and Popular Music, 2002).

Feature in Tabaret Magazine – Torch Songs & the Blues.

Courses taught

  • The Sound of Rock
  • Representations of Gender in Popular Music Video
  • Popular music in society
  • Seminars on popular music, on gender and music, on music and text
  • Theory and analysis

Scholarly and professional activities

Co-editor with Stan Hawkins, The Popular and Folk Series, Ashgate Press, 2015 - .

Host and Chair of Local arrangements, IASPM-Canada 2015.

Co-editor with John Covach and Albin Zak, Tracking Pop (monograph series), University of Michigan Press, 2006-2015.

Faculty member, Mannes Institute on Jazz and Pop, Eastman School of Music, June 2008


Projects funded by (SSHRC) Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada:

2015, Connections Grant: “Frames of Listening: 32nd Annual Conference of IASPM-Canada.” University of Ottawa, May 28-30, 2015.

2013-2018, Insight Grant: “Constructing Genre in Narrative Music Videos: Intersecting Identities of Gender, Sexuality, Race, Class, Age and Ability in Word, Music and Image,” co-researcher Marc Lafrance.

2007-10, "Subjectivity, Embodiment and Resistance in Popular Music by Female Artists," co-researcher Marc Lafrance.

2002-2005, "Covering and Interpreting the Blues and Torch Songs: Musical Expressions of Gender, Identity, and Sexuality".

1997-2000, "Representations of Violence in Popular Music by Female Artists".

Selected publications


Lacasse, Serge and Lori Burns.Incestuous Pop:  Intertextuality in Recorded Popular Music. University of Michigan Press. Anticipated publication date: 2016.

Disruptive Divas: Feminism, Identity and Popular Music (New York and London: Routledge Press, 2002).

Bach's Modal Chorales (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1995).


“Rap Gods and Monsters: Myth-Making and the Hip-Hip Intertext.” Incestuous Pop: Intertextuality in Recorded Popular Music. Co-authored with Alyssa Woods and Marc Lafrance. Edited by Serge Lacasse and Lori Burns. University of Michigan Press. Forthcoming 2016.

“The Concept Album Spectacle: Discursive Constructions of Meaning in P!nk’s The Truth About Love.” Co-authored with Marc Lafrance. Chapter accepted for inclusion in Critical Approaches to the Production of Music and Sound. Edited by Sam Bennett and Eliot Bates. Bloomsbury Academic Press. Forthcoming, 2016.

“Gender, Sexuality and Technology in Beyoncé’s Videophone (Featuring Lady Gaga).” In The Ashgate Companion to Popular Music and Gender. Edited by Stan Hawkins. Ashgate Press. Forthcoming 2016.

“The Counterpoint of Aging and Coming of Age in Tori Amos’s Mother-Daughter Duets (Featuring Natashya Hawley).” InThe Girl’s Voice in Popular Music. Edited by Jacqueline Warwick and Allison Adrian. New York: Routledge Press.

“The Dark Side of Camp: Making Sense of Violence Against Men in Christina Aguilera’s ‘Your Body.’” In Music and Camp, edited by Philip Purvis and Christopher Moore. Wesleyan University Press. Forthcoming 2016. 

“Sampling and Storytelling: Kanye West’s Vocal and Sonic Narratives.” In The Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter. Co-authored with Alyssa Woods and Marc Lafrance. Edited by Justin Williams and Katherine Williams. Cambridge University Press, 2016. 

“The Genealogy of a Song: Lady Gaga’s Musical Intertexts on The Fame Monster (2009).” Co-authored with Marc Lafrance and Alyssa Woods.Twentieth-Century Music 12/1 (Spring, 2015): 3-35.

“Celebrity, Spectacle and Surveillance: Understanding Lady Gaga’s ‘Paparazzi’ (2009) and ‘Telephone’ (2010) Through Music, Image and Movement.” Co-authored with Marc Lafrance.  In Lady Gaga and Popular Music: Performing Gender, Fashion, and Culture. Edited by Martin Iddon. Routledge Press, 2014, 117-147.

“Spectacle and Intimacy in Live Concert Video: Lyrics, Music, Staging and Film Mediation in P!nk’s Funhouse Tour (2009). Co-authored with Jada Watson. In Music, Sound and the Moving Image (Winter, 2013).

"Gender and the Billboard Top 40 Charts between 1997 and 2007." Popular Music and Society (2011), 1-14. Co-authored with Marc Lafrance.

"The Dixie Chicks are 'Not Ready to Make Nice': Re-gaining a Voice through Text, Music, and Images." Popular Music, fall 2010. Co-authored with Jada Watson.

"Cotextuality in Music Video: Covering and Sampling in the Cover Art Video of "Umbrella." Co-authored with Marc Lafrance and Tamar Dubuc. In Pop-Culture Tools in the Music Classroom. Edited by Nicole Biamante. (Scarecrow Press, 2010) 233-63.

 "Subjective Perspectives through Word, Image and Sound: Temporality, Narrative Agency and Embodiment in the Dixie Chicks' Video 'Top of the World'". Co-authored with Jada Watson. Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (July 2010), 3-37..

"Vocal Authority and Listener Engagement: Musical and Narrative Expressive Strategies in Alternative Female Rock Artists (1993-95)," in Sounding Out Pop, edited by John Covach and Mark Spicer (University of Michigan Press, 2010), 154-92.

"Embodied Subjectivities in the Lyrical and Musical Expression of PJ Harvey and Björk." Co-authored with Laura Hawley and Marc Lafrance. Music Theory Online 14/4 (November, 2008).

"Analytic Methodologies for Rock Music:  Harmonic and Voice-Leading Strategies in Tori Amos's "Crucify."  In Expression in Pop-Rock Music: A Collection of Critical and Analytical Essays, edited by Walter Everett (Garland, 2000), 213-46.  Second Edition Routledge Press, 2007.

"Feeling the Style: Vocal Gesture and Musical Expression in Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, and Louis Armstrong." Music Theory Online 11.3 (August, 2005).

"Sarah McLachlan's "Possession" (1993): Representations of Dominance and Subordination in Lyrics, Music, and Images," Studies in Music at the University of Western Ontario, vol. 19-20 (2005).

"Meaning in a Popular Song: The Representation of Masochistic Desire in Sarah McLachlan's 'Ice'." In Engaging Music: Essays in Musical Analysis, edited by Deborah Stein (New York, Oxford University Press, 2004), 136-148.

"Authenticity, Appropriation, Signification: Tori Amos on Gender, Race, and Violence in Covers of Billie Holiday and Eminem." Co-authored with Alyssa Woods.  Music Theory Online 10.2 (June 2004).

"Genre, Gender, and Convention Revisited:  k.d. lang's Cover of Cole Porter's 'So in Love.'" repercussions 7-8, 1999-2000, 299-325.

"'Joanie' Get Angry:  k.d. lang's Feminist Revision," in Understanding Rock: Essays in Music Analysis, edited by John Covach and Graeme Boone (New York: Oxford Press, 1997), 93-112.

Fields of Interest

  • Music theory and analysis
  • 20th century theory
  • Gender studies in music
  • Popular music and music video
  • Music, text and image

WATCH: Lori Burns, Plenary Session: “Popular Music Video Analysis: Genre, Discourse and Narrative in Words-Music-Images.” Ann Arbor Symposium IV, Teaching and Learning Popular Music. University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Nov. 19, 2015.


Back to top