School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies


Photo of Dr Anna Bull

Dr Anna Bull

  • Qualifications: BA, M.Phil, PhD, PGCertMTLHE
  • Role Title: Lecturer in Sociology
  • Address: Milldam, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, Hants PO1 3AS
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2227
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
  • Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


My PhD, funded by the ESRC and awarded in 2015, examined how class and gender are reproduced and embodied by young people playing classical music, through an ethnography of youth classical music ensembles. While classical music is often studied as a text, I analysed it as a bodily practice, demonstrating the ways in which classical musical works as a mechanism for storing value in particular bodies, and thus reproducing inequality. This research was carried out in the sociology department at Goldsmiths College under the supervision of Professors Bev Skeggs and Les Back.

I have submitted two sole-authored articles for publication based on this research, and a further article, co-authored with Christina Scharff, is in process. I am currently working on a monograph based on this work. I am also working with the music education sector to run workshops discussing the issue of abuse in music education.

I am a co-founder of The 1752 Group, a lobby group and consultancy set up to address the issue of staff-student sexual harassment in higher education

Before starting at the University of Portsmouth, I worked with Jonathan Gross and Nick Wilson on a project looking at everyday creativity in the UK. This involved an evaluation of the BBC campaign 'Get Creative', launched in February 2015, as well as looking at the ways in which people in Britain engage in creative and cultural practices. 

I completed a BA and M.Phil in social and political sciences at Cambridge, working with Professor Georgina Born on cultures of classical music as well as a masters dissertation on political music in the UK. I have taught at the University of Cambridge, Goldsmiths College, and Anglia Ruskin University.

My previous career was as a pianist and cellist in New Zealand and Scotland.  My portfolio of work involved performing with ensembles such as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, teaching at the University of Strathclyde, and education workshops for Scottish Opera

Teaching Responsibilities

I am the unit coordinator for the first year unit Class, Inequality and the Life course. I am also contributing to teaching on the second year unit, Sociology of the Body, and teach on first year units Studying Society and Research Design and Analysis.


Social class, gender, inequality, music, embodiment, young people, sexual harassment and abuse.

Research blog:


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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