Postdoctoral Fellows


Alana Mailes

2024–2026 Postdoctoral Fellow, Musicology
PhD in Historical Musicology, Harvard University

Alana Mailes is a musicologist, cultural historian, and classical singer. She held the 2021–2024 Thole Research Fellowship in Music at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. Her research explores the role of transcultural musical exchange within broader histories of early modern travel, diplomacy, espionage, religion, commerce, and empire, with a focus on the musics of Italy, Britain, and Ireland. Her articles appear in journals such as Early Music, Early Music History, and The Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music (forthcoming).  

Her forthcoming book project, Diplomatic Notes: Musical Statecraft between Venice and Stuart England, builds on her doctoral research, which was awarded a distinction from the International Musicological Society and the Mellon Rome Prize in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. This study draws on musical and literary sources alongside archival documents that typically inform the work of political historians, such as government intelligence records in the State Archives of Venice and diplomatic dispatches in the British State Papers, to offer a critical reconstruction of musical life in diplomatic communities that voyaged between Seicento Italy and England. Arguing for the significance of Anglo-Venetian musical interactions to political and economic relations between the two rival maritime empires, this book identifies embassies as key sites of transnational musical exchange and illuminates the importance of musicking as a mode of statecraft in early modern geopolitics.

She is also preparing a short book on musical theatre at the Venerable English College, Rome, and her interdisciplinary volume co-edited with Eloise Davies, Stuart Serenissima: Venice and England in the Seventeenth Century, is forthcoming with Liverpool University Press. She has additional academic interests in opera, historically informed performance, Native Hawaiian music, and country and bluegrass music. She holds a PhD in Historical Musicology from Harvard University, an MPhil in Musicology from Clare College, Cambridge, and a BA in Music and Italian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.