Dr. Méi-Ra St-Laurent joins the Project Someone team at Concordia University as part of her SSHRC-funded postdoctoral fellowship, where she will work with Dr. Vivek Venkatesh. Her postdoctoral project focuses on the increasing concern about the use of inclusive discourse (so-called “political correctness”) in the North American context of popular music, where she will draw connections with the circulation of hate speech in public spaces.
As a trained musician (classical singing and piano), Méi-Ra holds a PhD in musicology from l’Université Laval (Québec). Her doctoral thesis entitled “Métal noir québécois: l’analyse du récit identitaire d’une communauté black metal marginale” focuses on a community of black metal groups from Québec, in which she draws links between music, texts and the discourses emanating from them. In doing so, she analyzes the way in which members and groups share their identity and reconfigure it by adapting the ideological and aesthetic codes of black metal to Québec history and culture. Previously, her master’s thesis focused on the analysis of narrative in extreme metal music, where she studied how music and lyrics form a unique narrative, often transgressive in scope. She has also published several articles in different academic journals (Metal Music Studies, Journal on the Art of Record Production or Intersections : revue canadienne de musique) and presented her work at several international conferences (Art of Record Production Conference, International Association for the Study of Popular Music, International Society for Metal Music Studies).
Méi-Ra’s work is part of an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach, where she utilizes different concepts and methods (stemming from musicology, ethnomusicology, sociology, political sciences, cultural studies as well as literary studies). By doing so, her aim is to better understand the way in which the music emanating from a society at a given time reflects the social and political stakes that characterize it.