For a detailed CV in PDF format, please click here.
My main research interests involve the ways that people come to hold values and beliefs in hyper-mediated, (post)modern consumer cultures. I seek out research opportunities where music, marketing and religiosity intersect and overlap. I am particularly interested in the varieties of transcendent experiences that can occur in any number of non-, quasi- or religious settings, their manifestations and the associations that both inform and engender them. My current research explores the role of musical branding in the growth of trans-national evangelical megachurches around the world.
Main Teaching Areas
• Music Sociology/Anthropology
• Popular Music Studies
• Music of the Balkans/Eastern Europe
• Music Performance (Percussion)
Current Modules Taught/Organized
• Ways of Listening
• Practical Music Workshops
• Listening and Musicianship 1
• Listening and Musicianship 2
• Music 1B - Instruments, Technology and Culture
• Edinburgh Balkan Music Project
Refereed Articles in Academic Journals
Wagner, Tom (2014). ‘No Other Name? Authenticity, Authority and Anointing in Christian Popular Music’. Journal of World Popular Music 1(2).
Riches, Tanya and Wagner, Tom (2012). ‘The Evolution of Hillsong Music: From Australian Pentecostal Congregation Into Global Brand’. Australian Journal of Communication 39(1), pgs. 17-36.
Refereed Articles Online
Wagner, Tom (2015). 'Music, Media, Evangelical Protestantism: A Very Short Introduction. Focall Blog - Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology April 2
Chapters in Edited Volumes
Wagner, Tom (2014). ‘Branding, Music, and Religion: Standardization and Adaptation in the Experience of the “Hillsong Sound”’. In Religion as Brands: New Perspectives on the Marketization of Religion and Spirituality. Edited by Jean- Claude Usunier and Jörg Stolz. London: Ashgate. pgs. 59-73.
Wagner, Tom (2014). 'Music, Branding, and the Hegemonic Prosumption of Values of an Evangelical Growth Church'. In Religion and the Social Order vol. 24: Religion in Times of Crisis. Edited by Gladys Ganiel, Christophe Monnot and Heidemarie Winkel. Leiden: Brill Publishing. pgs. 11-32.
Anna Nekola and Tom Wagner, eds. (2015). Congregational Music Making and Community in a Mediated Age. London: Ashgate.
Monique Ingalls, Carolyn Landau and Tom Wagner, Eds. (2013). Christian Congregational Music: Performance, Identity, Experience. London: Ashgate.
Wagner, Tom (2014). ‘Magazine Review: Songlines Magazine’. Journal of World Popular Music 1(2).
Wagner, Tom (2011). ‘Website Review: Born to Groove’. Yearbook for Traditional Music 42.
‘† = ♥: Fans and Evangelists in Convergence Culture’ University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
‘Media Ecology: A Theoretical and Methodological Approach to Studying Congregational Music’ Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford, UK
‘The Value of Values: Using Church Branding as a Theoretical Construct’ BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group Annual Conference University of Sussex, Sussex, UK
‘What is the Value of Values? Music and Prosumption in a Growth Church Context’ International Society for Media, Religion and Culture Bi-Annual Meeting University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
Welcome to Church™: The Evolving Use of Music, Media and Marketing in the United States and beyond. Music and Capitalism in Historical and Cross-cultural Perspective Institute for Musical Research, London, UK
‘† = ♥: Music, Marketing, Meaning, and the Branding of Easter’ Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
‘I “Like” Hillsong: Branding, Value and the Facebook Model of Worship Music’ Ethnomusicology in the Digital Age: British Forum for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference Queen’s University, Belfast, UK
‘Music, Marketing, and the New Paradigm Denomination: Branding as Liturgical Text’ Digital Media and Sacred Text Open University (Camden Campus), London, UK
‘Culture Jamming: The Perils of Musical Branding in an Age of Social Media’ Imagining Communities Musically: Putting Popular Music in its Place. Biannual Conference of The International Association for the Study of Popular Music, UK and Ireland Branch University of Salford, MediaCityUK, Manchester, UK
‘Culture Jamming: The Perils of Musical Branding in an Age of Social Media’ Music Religion Culture International Conference Anadolu Universitesi, Eskisehir, Turkey
‘“Massive Music in the Idol Theatre”’: Paradox, Utopia, Transformation and the Transcendent Efficacy of Brand Promise’ Performance Interaction: British Forum for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference University of Durham, Durham, UK
‘Hearing the “Hillsong Sound”: City, Scene and Branding in the Religious Experience Economy’ Religions and Brands: The Marketization of Spirituality University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
‘Corporate Worship: Consumer Culture and Musical Identity Management in an Evangelical Network Church’ Taking Part: The European Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
‘Corporate’ Worship: Consumer Culture and Musical Identity Management in an Evangelical Network Church’ Social Relations in Turbulent Times: The 10th Conference of the European Sociological Association Université de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
‘London Calling: Music and Meaning at Hillsong London’ Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global Perspectives Ripon College, Oxford, UK
‘London Calling: Music and Meaning at Hillsong London' International Council for Traditional Music World Conference Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland
‘Music, Image, Text: Using Rock to Construct the “Generic” Pentecostal at Hillsong London’ Mediation, Writing and Performance: The British Forum for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference University of Falmouth, Falmouth, UK
‘A Beautiful Exchange: Music, Image, Authenticity and the Brand Experience’ The Royal Music Association Graduate Conference University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
‘The Fieldwork That Never Was: Cognitive Dissonance and Therapy at Hillsong London’ The British Forum for Ethnomusicology One-Day Conference The Institute for Music Research, London, UK
‘The Suspension of (Dis)belief: Confession and Knowledge Production in the Study of Religious Music in London’ The British Forum for Ethnomusicology Graduate Conference The Institute for Music Research, London, UK
‘Human Agency and the Consumable Experience’ Music, Culture and Globalisation: The British Forum for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference John Moores University, Liverpool, UK