Prof. Adriana Helbig
The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates Adriana N. Helbig, Associate Professor of Music at The University of Pittsburgh, and a 2005 alumna of the Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD program, on the publication of her book Hip Hop Ukraine: Music, Race, and African Migration (2014, Indiana University Press).
In Hip Hop Ukraine,
Prof. Helbig enters a world of urban music and dance competitions, hip hop parties, and recording studio culture to explore unique sites of interracial encounters among African students, African immigrants, and local populations in eastern Ukraine. Adriana N. Helbig combines ethnographic research with music, media, and policy analysis to examine how localized forms of hip hop create social and political spaces where an interracial youth culture can speak to issues of human rights and racial equality. She maps the complex trajectories of musical influence—African, Soviet, American—to show how hip hop has become a site of social protest in post-socialist society and a vehicle for social change."
Biography: Prof. Adriana Helbig is Associate Professor of Music and an affiliated faculty member in Cultural Studies, Women's Studies, Global Studies, and the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She teaches courses on global hip-hop, world music, music, gender, and sexuality, music and technology, and cultural policy. She is also founder and director of the Carpathian Music Ensemble, a student performance group that specializes in the music of Eastern Europe, including Jewish klezmer and Gypsy music. Her research has been funded through grants and research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Councils for International Education, IREX, and Fulbright. She has held a research fellowship at the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC and was an inaugural research fellow at the Humanities Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Her articles on Romani (Gypsy) music, postsocialist cultural policy, music and piracy, music, race, and migration, and global hip-hop have appeared in edited collections and journals such as The Yearbook for Traditional Music, Current Musicology, and Popular Music. She is the coauthor, with Oksana Buranbaeva and Vanja Mladineo, of The Culture and Customs of Ukraine (Greenwood Press, 2009).
Prof. Helbig completed her Columbia PhD in Ethnomusicology in 2005, with a dissertation entitled "Play for Me, Old Gypsy”: Music as Political Resource in the Romani Rights Movement in Ukraine, advised by Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa.
Prof. Helbig's Personal Website
Prof. Helbig's Faculty Page at the University of Pittsburgh.
Order Hip Hop Ukraine on Amazon.com
Other ordering options available through The University of Indiana Press.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates Dr. Nili Belkind,
who defended her dissertation on May 8, 2014. Dr. Belkind's dissertation is entitled Music in conflict: Palestine, Israel, and the politics of aesthetic production
. It was sponsored (advised) by Prof. Christopher Washburne.
Dr. Belkind's dissertation is an ethnographic study of the fraught and complicated cultural politics of music making in Israel-Palestine in the context of the post-Oslo era, a time of highly polarized sentiments and general retreat from the expressive modes of relationality that accompanied the 1990s peace process. In it, she examines the politics of sound and the ways in which music making and attached discourses reflect and constitute identities, and also, contextualize political action. Ethical and aesthetic positions that shape contemporary artistic production in Israel-Palestine are informed by profound imbalances of power between the State (Israel), the stateless (Palestinians of the oPt), the complex positioning of Israel’s Palestinian minority, and contingent exposure to ongoing political violence.
The Center congratulates Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD program alumnus David Novak.
Prof. Novak (UCSB) has just published Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation
(Duke University Press, 2013).Visit the Japanoise website
Noise, an underground music made through an amalgam of
feedback, distortion, and electronic effects, first emerged as a genre
in the 1980s, circulating on cassette tapes traded between fans in
Japan, Europe, and North America. With its cultivated obscurity,
ear-shattering sound, and over-the-top performances, Noise has captured
the imagination of a small but passionate transnational audience.
its scattered listeners, Noise always seems to be new and to come from
somewhere else: in North America, it was called "Japanoise." But does
Noise really belong to Japan? Is it even music at all? And why has Noise
become such a compelling metaphor for the complexities of globalization
and participatory media at the turn of the millennium?
David Novak draws on more than a decade of research in Japan and the
United States to trace the "cultural feedback" that generates and
sustains Noise. He provides a rich ethnographic account of live
performances, the circulation of recordings, and the lives and creative
practices of musicians and listeners. He explores the technologies of
Noise and the productive distortions of its networks. Capturing the
textures of feedback—its sonic and cultural layers and vibrations—Novak
describes musical circulation through sound and listening, recording and
performance, international exchange, and the social interpretations of
media. read more »
is Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and earned the PhD in Ethnomusicology in 2006, after which he served as a postdoctoral fellow in Columbia's Society of Fellows.
Important Announcement to Prospective PhD Program Applicants (August, 2013):
WE ARE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS IN FALL 2013 FOR FALL 2014 ADMISSION!
are pleased to announce that we will be accepting applications to the
PhD program in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University this fall (2013,
usually with a Dec. 15 deadline) for admission in the 2014-15 academic
We are unlikely to be accepting applications in 2014 for admission in 2015-16. Please factor that into your personal planning.Please review these links before you contact us!About the Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD Program
PhD Program Frequently Asked QuestionsMusic Department General Guidance for PhD/DMA ApplicantsGraduate School of Arts and Sciences
Congratulations to Columbia ethnomusicology PhD student Kevin Holt, who has been awarded a 2013 Predoctoral Fellowship from the Ford Foundation.
This fellowship, which provides three years of full support for
doctoral research, is sponsored by the Ford Foundation and administered
by the National Research Council of the National Academies. Mr. Holt's
selection for this prestigious award reflects Ford Foundation's
panelists’ "judgment of scholarly competence as well as the promise of
future achievement as a scholar, researcher, and teacher." read more »
The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates ethnomusicology graduate program alumnus Tyler Bickford
(PhD, 2011, With Distinction), who has been appointed as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of English (in Children's Literature and Childhood Studies) at the University of Pittsburgh. read more »
The Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD program will be accepting applications for 2013 admission this fall. If you are considering applying to our PhD program in Ethnomusicology this fall, here are some important links and points of
advice. read more »
The Department of Music congratulates Ethnomusicology PhD candidate Nili Belkind, who has been awarded a prestigious Whiting Fellowship
by Columbia's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The fellowship is
provided by the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation to enable the completion
of innovative and excellent doctoral dissertations.
Ms. Belkind's dissertation research is an inquiry into the
relationship between musical culture and political life in
Israel/Palestine, where for the past century, violent conflict has been
both shaping and claiming the lives of Palestinians and Jews. She
focuses on the complex ways in which musical culture acts as a sphere in
which power and hegemony are asserted, negotiated and resisted between
and within different groups, in relation to the political situation. She
analyzes the politics of sound as a sphere that is both reflective of
the situation and constitutive of identity formations, particularly in
relationship to conceptualizations of citizenship, nationality,
ethnicity, and ‘home.’
Themes highlighted in her dissertation include: the role of cultural
policy in the production of social imaginaries in Palestine and Israel
through musical activity; the relationship between identity, music
making, spatiality, and temporality in Palestine, where movement is
highly constricted by the occupation; the musical activity that
surrounded the summer 2011 social protest movement in Israel, during
which attempts were made to disrupt the hegemony of class and
ethno-national hierarchies, and the musical production of individual
Palestinian artists who are citizens of Israel and who, due to their
minoritized status and the political situation, must negotiate between
multiple and contradictory spheres of belonging.
The graduate program in Ethnomusicology in the Department of Music at Columbia University will admit its next incoming cohort for the 2013-2014 academic year, with applications reviewed beginning in December 2012. The program in Ethnomusicology is not admitting a cohort for 2012-2013 and is therefore not accepting applications in the current (2011) cycle.
For questions regarding the 2012 admissions cycle, contact Professor Lila Ellen Gray (firstname.lastname@example.org
About the PhD Program in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University
Attention Prospective Graduate Program Applicants:
Please read our "Frequently Asked Questions" page
for a detailed description of the structure and mission of our graduate program, including our application process and our fellowship offers. Please do not call or email before reading the FAQs.