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Dr Anna Bull



I joined the University of York in August 2021. Prior to this I was a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and Sociology at the University of Portsmouth (2016-21).

My previous career was as a pianist and cellist in New Zealand and Scotland. As a mature student, I completed a BA and M.Phil in social and political sciences at Cambridge, working with Professor Georgina Born on the culture of classical music. My PhD was carried out in the Sociology department at Goldsmiths, University of London, under the supervision of Bev Skeggs and Les Back. I then worked with Jonathan Gross and Nick Wilson on a project looking at everyday creativity in the UK, published as 'Towards Cultural Democracy' in 2017.

Departmental roles

  • Programme Lead for MA in Global and International Citizenship Education



I have two primary research areas: sexual harassment in higher education, and class and gender inequalities in classical music education. I have also carried out research with Kim Allen into character education and policy networks in the UK.

I am a co-founder and director of The 1752 Group, a research and campaign group addressing sexual harassment in higher education. With The 1752 Group, I worked with the National Union of Students on a national survey examining students' perceptions of professional boundaries in higher education and experiences of sexual misconduct from academic staff, published in a report as 'Power in the Academy'. On behalf of The 1752 Group I was lead author on the report 'Silencing Students' published in Sept 2018. In order to provide guidance for universities to improve their practices, we worked with discrimination law firm McAllister Olivarius to publish the ‘Sector Guidance to Address Staff Sexual Misconduct’, published in March 2020. Please see my York Research Database profile for links to academic articles on this work.

My other research area is inequalities in classical music. My monograph on classical music education, class and gender, entitled 'Class, Control, and Classical Music' was published in July 2019 with Oxford University Press and was joint winner of the 2020 Philip Abrams prize from the British Sociological Association.


I am currently working with Senior Research Associate Erin Shannon on the ESRC-funded project ‘Higher education after #MeToo’, running January 2021-December 2022.

I am working with music education charity Sound Connections and Lewisham Music Hub on an action research project into youth voice in classical music education, ‘The Music Lab: How can music-making practices in Music Education Hubs in England incorporate youth voice?’

I’m also chairing a working group for the EDI Music Studies network to produce a research report into EDI in music studies in UK higher education.

Research group(s)


  • 2020-21: PI (with Jennifer Raven, Sound Connections) on a grant from music education charity Agrigento (The Music Lab: How can music-making practices in Music Education Hubs in England incorporate youth voice? £14,000)
  • 2021-22: PI on ESRC New Investigator Award. (Examining institutional responses to power-based sexual misconduct: Higher education after #MeToo. £168,989)
  • 2019: Co-I on a grant from the US National Science Foundation (Faculty and Staff Sexual Misconduct: An International Conference to Identify Barriers, Develop Resources and Recommendations, and Build Community. NSF-ADVANCE $96,930)
  • 2018: PI on a Small Grant from the British Academy (What universities can learn from workplace policies on preventing sexual misconduct; £9,666)
  • 2017-18: Co-I on a grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Establishing an ‘active bystander’ culture of citizenship to embed zero tolerance of gender-based violence and hate crime at the University of Portsmouth, with a particular interest in developing best practice for staff-student sexual misconduct; £50,000)

Available PhD research projects

I am available to supervise PhDs relating to classical music and inequalities, as well as sexual harassment in higher education.


  • Helen Dromey, 2019-, ‘Rethinking Continuation in Instrumental Music Teaching through Democratised Learning’

External activities


Here you can see an overview of my external activities.

Editorial duties

I am on the editorial board of the Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change.

Journals, funders and publishers I have reviewed for include:

  • British Academy
  • FNRS (Fund for Scientific Research, Belgium)
  • UKRI
  • Oxford University Press
  • Open University Press
  • Open Book Publishing
  • Gender and Education
  • Journal of Gender-Based Violence
  • British Journal of Music Education
  • The Sociological Review
  • Poetics
  • European Journal of Cultural Studies
  • Music and Science
  • Journal of the Royal Musicological Association
  • Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change
  • Critical Studies in Education
  • Latin American Music Review
  • Oxford Review of Education
  • Sexualities
  • Cultural Trends
  • British Journal of Sociology
  • Open Library of Humanities
  • International Journal of Music Education

Invited talks and conferences

I am a regular speaker at academic and non-academic conferences and events across the UK and internationally. Keynote talks include:

  • 2022 - Music and Democracy Study Day: Rethinking Participatory Processes through Music, University of Huddersfield, 14-15 January
  • 2021 - PTI Music Subject Leadership Day, 7 July
  • 2021 - International Symposium on the Sociology of Music Education. Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Hamar, 21-23 June
  • 2019 - Consent: Histories, Representations, and Frameworks for the Future. 5-6th August. Durham University
  • 2018 - University of Portsmouth Athena Swan Conference, 9 May

Media coverage

I am a regular media commentator for publications including The Guardian, the BBC, and Nature. For example:

Bull, A., Page, T., 2020. Universities traumatise student student sexual misconduct survivors by mishandling cases. The Guardian.

Bull, A., 2021. Students want protection for themselves and others. WonkHe.

Bull, A., Page, T., 2018. Universities can no longer turn a blind eye to staff dating students. The Guardian.

I was a guest on BBC Radio 4's sociology programme, Thinking Allowed, in December 2017, discussing my research on classical music and inequalities. With the journal The Sociological Review, I made a short film, titled, 'Why are conductors usually middle-class men?', together with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain looking at the authority of the conductor in classical music ensembles.

For more media outputs please see my York Research Database profile and my personal website.

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD