Amparo Fontaine completed her PhD in History at the University of Cambridge. She previously completed an MPhil in Early Modern History at the same university, and a BA at the Catholic University of Chile.
Her research interests address the history of knowledge, music, material culture, politics, the senses, and the body in the early-modern period. Her PhD dissertation, ‘Musical knowledge, material practices, and the body politic in 18th-century France’, examined the ways music was appropriated and signified through different realms of French cultural and intellectual life. It explored scientific and philosophical inquiries into music, debates over music and national character, the manufacture and possession of musical instruments, the musical performer’s body, and music in the making of a new public order during the French Revolution. She has also written on the musical amateur as a specific social persona during the eighteenth century.
Her research project at the EUI addresses the notions of musical genius in eighteenth-century France and Italy. She investigates ‘genius’ in relation to contemporary notions of musicality, creativity, craftsmanship, and sociability, ranging from musicians to material objects, places, and animals.
Since 2016, Amparo has given lectures on the material culture of music and sound at the University of Cambridge, as well as supervising undergraduate students on Early-Modern Material Culture and Early-Modern European History.