Janie Cole

Janie Cole Dr. Janie Cole PhD is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Cape Town’s South African College of Music and Research Officer for East Africa on UCT’s Mellon-funded project “Re-Centring AfroAsia: Musical and Human Migrations in the Pre-Colonial Period 700-1500 AD” ( Her speciality research areas are in 20th-century South African music, protest and prisoner resistance during the anti-apartheid struggle; Italian music, poetry and theatrical spectacle in the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods; indigenous Cape Khoekhoe musical heritage; and musical culture in the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia and transcultural encounters with Latin Europe and the early modern Indian Ocean world.

She is the author of two scholarly books, A Muse of Music in Early Baroque Florence: the Poetry of Michelangelo Buonarroti il Giovane (Florence: Olschki, 2007) and Music, Spectacle and Cultural Brokerage in Early Modern Italy, 2 vols. (Olschki, 2011), together with numerous publications in journals and book chapters related to her specialties. Dr. Cole was awarded her doctorate jointly in Music and Italian from the University of London (Royal Holloway College, 2000) and subsequently worked as a Junior Specialist in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department at Christie’s New York (2000-02). She has been granted fellowships from The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti (2005-06), the Newberry Library (2008), the Medici Archive Project (2002-05), won research grants from The Getty Foundation (2007-09), The Leverhulme Trust and The Italian Cultural Institute, and been awarded the Stephen Arlen Award from English National Opera (1995), the Janet Levy Prize from the American Musicological Society (2010), the Author Grant Award from the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors Association of South Africa (2015), and most recently, the Claude V. Palisca Fellowship Award in Musicology from the Renaissance Society of America (2020). She has served on the Renaissance Society of America (RSA) Council as Discipline Representative in Music (2015-17), on the Editorial Advisory Board of Renaissance Quarterly, and is currently the founding RSA Discipline Representative in Africana Studies (2019-21).

She is co-directing an educational film “We Are Not Afraid: Music and Resistance in the Apartheid Jails” with award-winning South African filmmaker Shameela Seedat, and is building a digital archive of women’s struggle testimonies and music from the apartheid prisons in collaboration with University of Cape Town Libraries Special Collections funded by the Schlettwein Foundation. She is the Founder/Executive Director of Music Beyond Borders, a platform for public musicology, engaged scholarship and innovative digital humanities projects (