Jun Zubillaga-Pow

Jun Zubillaga-Pow

Mr, PhD

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Personal profile

Research interests

I obtained my PhD in Musicology from King's College London. I am a cultural historian specialising in musical and sexual cultures of Germanic Europe and Singapore. My research interests concern transcultural practices and reception in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. My publications in the field of Singapore Studies include two articles on the cultural history of angklung performances and the video art of queer artist Ming Wong, as well as two book chapters analyzing homosexuality in multilingual newspapers and transgender representations on Siniticate television in the late twentieth century.

In addition to converting my PhD thesis into two articles and a book, I am currently working on a monograph decolonizing queer politics and trans aesthetics through modern Singaporean arts. As a response to Queer Theory, I analyze newspapers, novels, films, photographs, video-art and music from post-independent Singapore. In 2015, I am working on two new projects in Schoenberg Studies and Sinophone Musics. I am the co-editor of and contributor to Queer Singapore (HKUP, 2012) and Singapore Soundscape (NLB, 2014).


For my PhD research thesis, the concept of plastic resistance is proposed as an epistemological method to analyse the psychical and political perceptions of Beethoven’s life and music from the nineteenth-century to the present-day. Relying on the philosophy of Fichte and Lacan, I contend that the psychopolitics of this reception/resistance history is predicated critically on the listener’s ability and affect to posit musical semantics unconsciously. I further argue that, during the negotiation of mastery, autonomy and subjectivity, the musical acts of composing, analysing and performing are influenced by psychical and political aesthetics. These psychopolitical resistances are buttressed by the history of Beethoven reception with the psychoanalytical structures of neurosis, psychosis and perversion.


Biographical details

Originally from Singapore, Jun studied Music at York and Birmingham before completing a Masters of Arts in Critical Methodologies (Distinction) from the Department of French, King’s College London in 2008. After a gap year out researching the music of Luis Zubillaga (1928-1995) in Buenos Aires and teaching the International Baccalaureate in Singapore, Jun embarked on his doctoral research in the psychoanalytic approach to ethnomusicology at the Department of Music, King’s College London.


In addition to psychoanalytic musicology, Jun has developed two other areas of research interests. One is the history of music in twentieth and twenty-first centuries Singapore with a special focus on the musical and socio-political evolution of angklung performance practice within and without the diaspora. The other is the neoliberal concept of necropolitics vis-a-vis the gay and lesbian habitus as reflected in the field of contemporary Singapore multilingual literature and media.


Other than being an amateur French horn player, Jun holds a diploma and certificate in piano and recorder performance respectively. He was also director of the Singapore Pride Season from 2009 to 2011 and has been called 'an impresario of new music' in Singapore. A monograph on the history of Singapore new music is forthcoming in 2016. Jun is the recipient of an overseas scholarship from the National Arts Council of Singapore.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Plastic Resistance: A Psychopolitical Analysis of Beethoven Historiography, King's College London

Award Date: 1 May 2015

Postgraduate Certificate , Academic Practice, King's College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 2012

Master of Arts, Memory and Recognition in Schoenberg's String Trio, Op. 45, King's College London

Award Date: 1 Jan 2008

Bachelor of Music, Coherence and Comprehensibility in Schoenberg's Piano Concerto, Op. 42, University of Birmingham

Award Date: 1 Jan 2007


  • M Music
  • Beethoven
  • Schoenberg
  • Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Queer Theory
  • Singapore
  • Resistance
  • Cultural Studies
  • Historiography
  • Cultural History
  • Plasticity
  • Aesthetics


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