There has always been a strong academic leaning in Janet’s work from an early collaboration in a series of conferences (1978-83) organised jointly by Die Europa Zentrum in Tubingen Germany and the Royal Irish Academy on ‘Die Iren in Europa in der Fruhe Mittel Alter’ (The Irish in Europe in the Early Middle Ages) . Janet was engaged to perform at the conference and gave a talk exploring the memoir of Giraldus Cambrensis who described Irish harping in the 12th Century.
This inspired her to pursue an academic career starting with 3 years at University College Cork working toward an MA at the Department of Music (1981-84) and then at the Department of Ethnomusicology / Social Anthropology at Queens University Belfast working toward a PhD on the subject of the Bunting Manuscript Collection of harp music from the time of the Belfast Harpers’ Assembly of 1792. (Her research work was supported by the award of a Junior Research Fellowship (2 years) at the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University (1984-6).
Professor Blacking’s untimely death in the final months of her preparation stalled the completion of her thesis, and at the same time she was heavily committed to the organising of the bicentenary of the 1792 event in 1992.
Over these years, Janet maintained a close connection with the ACIS (American Committee for Irish Studies) touring North America widely as a guest speaker at Irish Studies conferences (also with the AICI American Irish Cultural Institute).
She has recently taken up studies anew in Music and Psychology and is considering to pursue further doctoral research in the field of Music Education and Psychology.