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prof. dr. J.J.E. (Julia) Kursell

Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Muziekwetenschap
Photographer: Jeroen Oerlemans

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16-18
Postal address
  • Postbus 93058
    1090 BB Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile

    Julia Kursell is professor and chair of the Institute of Musicology at the University of Amsterdam. She studied musicology, Slavic philology and comparative literature in Munich, Moscow and Los Angeles, and completed her doctoral studies at Munich University with a thesis on music in the early Russian Avant-Garde. Before coming to Amsterdam, she was assistant professor at the Slavic Department of Munich University, and research fellow at the Center for Literary and Cultural Studies, Berlin. From 2004 to 2011 she worked as research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, where she was a member of the research group “Experimentalization of Life”. In 2013, she received the Habilitation (professorial degree) in musicology and history of science from Technical University, Berlin, for her book Epistemologie des Hörens: Helmholtz' physiologische Grundlegung der Musiktheorie. Her research interests include 20th and 21st-century composition, the history of musicology and the relation between music and science. She is co-director of the UvA's Vossius Center for the History of Humanities and Sciences ( and a founding editor of the journal History of Humanities ( 


    New Book

    Epistemologie des Hörens: Helmholtz' physiologische Grundlegung der Musiktheorie (Paderborn: Fink, 2018)



    Vossius Seminar "Towards a History of Music cognition", Nov 20, 2018, Artis-Bibliotheek

    Conference "The Making of the Humanities VII", Nov 15-17, 2018, Amsterdam, CREA,

    Workshop "Multi Media Composition with real time components", Sept 13-14, 2018, Amsterdam, with Bruno Bossis (Université Rennes 2) and others, co-funded by ASCA, ACHI, Université Rennes 2, and the Musicology division. 


    Selected publications

    2017 (ed. by Netzwerk "Hör-Wissen im Wandel" Wissensgeschichte des Hörens in der Moderne. Berlin: De Gruyter.

    2015 (ed. with Rens Bod). Forum Session "The Humanities and the Sciences". Isis106 (2), 337-340.

    2013 (ed. with Alexandra E. Hui and Myles W. Jackson). Music, Sound, and the Laboratory, From 1750 – 1980, Osiris 28, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    2009 (ed. with Pnina Avidar and Raviv Ganchrow). Immersed. Sound and Architecture. OASE Tijdschrift voor Architectuur / Journal for Architecture, vol. 78.



  • Full List of Publications
  • Publications


    • Kursell, J. (2019). Listening to More Than Sounds: Carl Stumpf and the Experimental Recordings of the Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv. Technology and Culture, 60(2, Supplement), S39-S63. [details]
    • Kursell, J. J. E. (2019). From Tone to Tune: Carl Stumpf and the Violin. 19th Century Music, 43(2), 121–139.
    • Lulof, P. S. (Ed.), Dupré, S. G. M., Kursell, J. J. E., Harris, A., & Stols-Witlox, M. J. N. (Accepted/In press). Re-Enactment Replication Reconstruction. Interdisciplinary Performative Methodologies. Amsterdam University Press/ IMISCOE.


    • Kursell, J. (2018). Alexander Ellis’s Translation of Helmholtz’s Sensations of Tone. Isis, 109(2), 339-345. [details]
    • Kursell, J. (2018). Carl Stumpf and the Beginnings of Research in Musicality. In H. Honing (Ed.), The Origins of Musicality (pp. 323-346). Cambridge: MIT Press. [details]





    • Kursell, J. (2013). Experiments on Tone Color in Music and Acoustics: Helmholtz, Schoenberg, and Klangfarbenmelodie. In A. Hui, J. Kursell, & M. W. Jackson (Eds.), Music, Sound, and the Laboratory From 1750 to 1980 (pp. 191-211). (Osiris; No. 28). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


    • Kursell, J. (2019). Hearing in the Music of Hector Berlioz. In D. Trippett, & B. Walton (Eds.), Nineteenth-Century Opera and the Scientific Imagination (pp. 109-133). Cambridge: Cambrigde University Press. [details]
    • Kursell, J. J. E. (2019). Hören in der Nacht und unter Wasser: Klavierstücke von Salvatore Sciarrino. Musik-Konzepte : die Reihe über Komponisten, Sonderband 2019: Salvatore Sciarrino, 118–130.
    • Kursell, J. J. E. (2019). Total Involvement. In M. Krajewski, & H. Maye (Eds.), Universalenzyklopädie der menschlichen Klugheit (Für Bernhard Siegert) (pp. 115–116). Berlin: Kulturverlag Kadmos.


    • Bod, R., Kursell, J., Maat, J., & Weststeijn, T. (2018). Rethinking the Humanities and the Sciences. History of Humanities, 3(1), 1-3. [details]
    • Kursell, J. (2018). Epistemologie des Hörens: Helmholtz' physiologische Grundlegung der Musiktheorie. Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink. [details]
    • Kursell, J., & Schäfer, A. (2018). Elektronische Musik für Radios von John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen und Michael Snow. In U. Holl (Ed.), Radiophonic Cultures (Vol. 1, pp. 135-149). Heidelberg: Kehrer. [details]


    • Kursell, J. (2017). Klangfarbe um 1850: Ein epistemischer Raum. In Netzwerk "Hör-Wissen im Wandel", & D. Morat (Eds.), Wissensgeschichte des Hörens in der Moderne (pp. 21-40). Berlin: De Gruyter. [details]
    • Kursell, J. (2017). Mit dem Hören komponieren: Kombinationstöne in der Musik von Enno Poppe. Musik-Konzepte : die Reihe über Komponisten, 175, 113–126. [details]
    • Kursell, J. (2017). Musikwissenschaft am Berliner Institut für Psychologie: Carl Stumpf und der Interferenzapparat. In W. Auhagen, W. Hirschmann, & T. Mäkelä (Eds.), Musikwissenschaft 1900-1930: Zur Institutionalisierung und Legitimierung einer jungen akademischen Disziplin (pp. 73-90). (Studien und Materialien zur Musikwissenschaft; Vol. 98). Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag. [details]
    • Kursell, J. (2017). Notenlesen. In F. Balke, & R. Gaderer (Eds.), Medienphilologie: Konturen eines Paradigmas (pp. 172–195). Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag. [details]
    • Netzwerk "Hör-Wissen im Wandel", & Morat, D. (Ed.) (2017). Wissensgeschichte des Hörens in der Moderne. Berlin: De Gruyter. [details]


    • Kursell, J. (2016). Experimentalisierung des Hörens: Musik und Medien um 1900. In M. Saxer (Ed.), Spiel (mit) der Maschine: musikalische Medienpraxis in der Frühzeit von Phonographie, Reproduktionsklavier, Film und Radio (pp. 29-50). (Musik und Klangkultur; No. 11). Bielefeld: Transcript. [details]


    • Kursell, J. (2014). Carl Stumpfs Versuche mit Unmusikalischen = Carl Stumpf's Experiments with the Nonmusical. Trajekte, 29, 43-47. [details]
    • Kursell, J., Azzouni, S., Brandt, C., Gausemeier, B., Schmidgen, H., & Wittmann, B. (2014). Eine Naturgeschichte für das 21. Jahrhundert Hommage à / zu Ehren von / in Honor of Hans-Jörg Rheinberger. Berlin: Alpheus Verlag.


    • Hui, A., Kursell, J., & Jackson, M. W. (2013). Music, sound, and the laboratory from 1750 - 1980. (Osiris; No. 28). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.



    • Kursell, J. (2015). [Review of: V. Smyrek (2013) Die Geschichte des Tonmischpults: die technische Entwicklung der Mischpulte und der Wandel der medialen Produktionsverfahren im Tonstudio von den 1920er-Jahren bis heute]. Isis, 102(2), 491-492. [details]

    Journal editor

    • Bod, L. W. M. (editor), Kursell, J. (editor), Maat, J. (editor) & Weststeijn, M. A. (editor) (2016-2022). History of Humanities (Journal).


    • Lulof, P. (organiser), Dupre, S. (organiser), Stols-Witlox, M. J. N. (organiser), Kursell, J. J. E. (organiser) & Harris, A. (organiser) (6-12-2018 - 7-12-2018). Re-Enactment Replication Reconstruction. Interdisciplinary Workshop on Performative Methodologies, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Re-Enactment Replication Reconstruction. Interdisciplinary Workshop on Performative Methodologies (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Kursell, J. (organiser) (13-9-2018 - 14-9-2018). Multi Media Composition with real time components, Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Workshop discussed databases for multi media composition with contributors from recognized centers in France (IRCAM), Switzerland (ZHdK) and the (…) (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Titus, B. (participant), de Valk, R. (participant), Simonnot, J. (participant) & Kursell, J. J. E. (organiser) (18-5-2018). International Symposium Captured Sounds - Collecting, Storing, Sharing, Berlin, Germany. Participation in the Panel MIARchive – Archiving Music, Digital Access, and the Ethics of Access (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Stols-Witlox, M. (organiser), Lulof, P. S. (organiser), Dupré, S. G. M. (organiser), Kursell, J. J. E. (organiser) & Harris, A. (organiser) (12-6-2017 - 16-6-2017). Re-enactment, Replication, Reconstruction, Leiden, Netherlands. International workshop with the goals were to reflect on reconstruction, re-enactment and replication (RRR) practices across the fields of history of (…) (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Holzapfel, A. (organiser), van Kranenburg, P. (organiser), Kursell, J. (organiser) & Volk, A. (organiser) (2017). Computational Ethnomusicology, Leiden, Netherlands. Understanding symbol systems like music or language is one of the great challenges of the humanities. Computational approaches are increasingly (…) (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Dupré, S. G. M. (organiser), Harris, A. (organiser), Kursell, J. (organiser), Lulof, P. S. (organiser) & Stols-Witlox, M. J. N. (organiser) (2017). Lorentz Workshop Re-enactment, Replication, Reconstruction, Leiden, Netherlands. The workshop brings together specialists from the fields of art history, archaeology, conservation, musicology and anthropology. Its goals are to (…) (organising a conference, workshop, ...).


    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities