Estelle Joubert

Associate Professor, Musicology; Assistant Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies

Estelle 1

Related information

Phone: 902.494.1826
Fax: 902.494.2801
Mailing Address: 
Room 523, Dalhousie Arts Centre, 6101 University Avenue
PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • music in the global early modern period
  • musics of Southern Africa and early histories of globalization
  • seventeenth- and eighteenth-century opera
  • graph databases, network visualization, text mining


  • ARCT (Piano Performance)
  • BMus (Toronto)
  • MA (Toronto)
  • DPhil (Oxford)

Research & Creative Activity

Estelle Joubert received her DPhil from Oxford as a Clarendon scholar in 2007, was a SSHRC postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Toronto from 2007-2009 and joined Dalhousie in 2009.  Current research interests include global music history of the early modern period, especially musics of Southern Africa, 1497-1910; computational musicology, especially graph databases, network visualization and text mining, as well as early modern opera studies.

She is author of German Opera and Enlightenment Philosophy: The Politics of Sensation forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, and is co-editor, with David R. M. Irving of A Cultural History of Western Music in the Age of Enlightenment, published by Bloomsbury in 2023.  She has delivered keynote addresses at the Music Encoding Initiative in 2020 and at the RMA/British Federation for Ethnomusicology Study Day on “Music Circulation and the Public Sphere” in 2014. Joubert has also presented over 60 conference papers and invited talks in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Japan, and Ghana. Her current research includes a monograph provisionally entitled Traversing Eighteenth-Century Networks of Musical Fame, co-editing, with Austin Glatthorn, the Cambridge History of German Opera to 1820 (under contract, Cambridge University Press), and a new project on musics of Southern Africa.

Her teaching has been recognized by the Teaching Award of the American Musicological Society, the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Teaching Prize, the Innovative Course Design Prize of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and an innovation grant from the Provost’s office at Dalhousie.

Joubert is currently Assistant Dean at the Faculty of Graduate Studies, responsible for Dalhousie’s PhD Strategy.  She served as a Provost Fellow at Dalhousie University, with a portfolio on improving the graduate experience and increasing PhD enrolment from 2019-2022. Her prior leadership experience includes serving as Associate Director, Graduate Studies and Research at the Fountain School of Performing Arts (2014-2015; 2016-2018), and Graduate Coordinator (2011-2014).  She has served as assessor for various research granting agencies, including NFRF, SSHRC, FRQ (Fonds de recherche du Québec), DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), and FWF (Austrian Science Fund).

Joubert held a Balzan International Research Visitorship at the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford (Trinity term 2014) and was a Visiting Research Scholar at the Department of Music, UC Berkeley for 2015-2016.  In 2017 she was elected DAAD Research Ambassador for Dalhousie and she served on the board of directors for the Mozart Society of America from 2018-2021.

Selected Publications


German Opera and Enlightenment Philosophy: The Politics of Sensation forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.

with David R. M. Irving, eds. A Cultural History of Western Music in the Age of Enlightenment.  London and New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2023.

With Austin Glatthorn, The Cambridge History of German Opera to 1820.  Under contract, Cambridge University Press.

Traversing Eighteenth-Century Networks of Musical Fame.  In progress.

Articles and Chapters:

Computational Methods and Approaches for Global Music History” in Methods for Cross-Cultural Research in Historical Musicology, ed. Nancy November (London: Routledge), forthcoming.

Beyond Europe III: India, South Africa, Canada.” In Handel in Context, ed. Helen Coffey and Annette Landgraf (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023, in press).

Quantitative Approaches to Transnational Studies of Opera, 1785-1810” in a Special Issue entitled Das Singspiel im 18. Jahrhundert. Interdisziplinäre Studien, ed. Benedikt Leßmann and Tilman Venzl in Aufklärung: Interdisziplinäres Jahrbuch zur Erforschung des 18. Jahrhunderts und seiner Wirkungsgeschichte 34 (2023), 65-74.

Society: Music and Community.” In A Cultural History of Western Music in the Age of Enlightenment, ed. David R.M. Irving and Estelle Joubert (London: Bloomsbury, 2023), 39-61.

With David R. M. Irving, “Introduction: Musicking in the Age of Enlightenment.” In A Cultural History of Western Music in the Age of Enlightenment (London: Bloomsbury, 2023, 1-38.

German Opera in Mozart’s Vienna,” in Cambridge Companion to The Magic Flute, ed. Jessica Waldoff, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023), 9-29.

Distant Reading in Nineteenth-Century French Music Criticism” in Nineteenth-Century Music Review, 19/2 (2022), 291-215.

Technical Review: “RIPM: A Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (1760-1966) in Nineteenth-Century Music Review, 19/2, (2022), 381-388. 

“[Keynote Address] Traversing Eighteenth-Century Networks of Operatic Fame” in Music Encoding Conference Proceedings 26-29 May, 2020 ed. Elsa de Luca and Julia Flanders,

“Capturing a Multi-Media Genre in Print.” In Musiktheatralische Textualität: Opernbezogene Musikdrucke im deutschen Sprachraum des 18. Jahrhunderts, ed. Andrea Horz, (Vienna: Wiener Veröffentlichungen zur Musikwissenschaft, 2020), 41-53.

“Digital Geographies of Chant Scholarship” in Proceedings of the 2016 Gregorian Institute of Canada, ed. Kate Helsen, (Toronto: Institute for Medieval Music, 2018), 139-147

“Opera, the Sing-Akademie Archive and the Convergence of Court Culture with Music Criticism in Late Eighteenth-Century Berlin” ed. Brigit Lodes, John D. Wilson and Elisabeth Reisinger, Beethoven und andere Hofmusiker seiner Generation, (Bonn: Beethoven-Haus, 2018), 199-210.

Analytical Encounters: Global Music Criticism and Enlightenment Ethnomusicology.” In Studies on a Global History of Music ed. Reinhard Strohm, (New York and London: Routledge, 2018), 42-60. 

Performing Sovereignty, Sounding Autonomy: Political Representation in the Operas of Maria Antonia of Saxony,” Music & Letters 96/3 (2015), 344-389.  Runner-up for the Westrup Prize at Oxford University Press.

Maria Antonia of Saxony and the Emergence of Music Analysis in Opera Criticism,” Cambridge Opera Journal, 25/1 (2013), 37-73.

Genre and Form in German Opera.” In Cambridge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Opera, A. DelDonna and P. Polzonetti, ed., (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 184-201.

New Music in the Office of Thomas Becket from the Diocese of Trier, Plainsong and Medieval Music, 18/1, April 2009, 33-60.  Winner of Oxford University’s (externally refereed) Osgoode prize

Songs to Shape a German Nation: Hiller's Comic Operas and the Public Sphere,” Eighteenth-Century Music 2006 3/2.  Reprinted in Essays on Opera, 1750-1800 ed. John Rice, in Ashgate Library of Essays in Opera Studies, 6 vols., 2010, 329-348.

Selected Honours and Awards

2022-2023 SSHRC Explore Grant (internal), A History of Musics in Southern Africa, 1497-1910

2022 SSHRC Connections Grant, Principal Investigator (with Jennifer Bain). The Music Encoding Conference 2022

2019-2020 SSHRC Connections Grant, Principal Investigator, Rethinking Enlightenment Music History

2015-2019 SSHRC Insight Grant, Principal Investigator ($154,850), Opera and the Musical Canon,1750-1815

2017-2018 Burgess Research Award, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dalhousie

2017 SSHRC Connections Grant, Principal Investigator, Opera’s Canonic Entanglements

2015 DAAD Faculty Research Grant, Humboldt University, Berlin

2014: Balzan International Research Visitorship, Faculty of Music, University of Oxford.

2010-2011 John M. Ward Fellow in Music and Dance, Houghton Library, Harvard University

2007 Osgood prize University of Oxford for “New Music in the Office of Thomas Becket in Trier,” now published in Plainsong and Medieval Music