The Center for Ethnomusicology is delighted to congratulate PhD program alumna Dr. Sara Snyder, who has been appointed as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology and as Director of the Cherokee Language Program at Western Carolina University. Dr. Snyder defended her dissertation, "Poetics, Performance, and Translation in Eastern Cherokee Language Revitalization," advised by Prof. Fox, in May, 2016. She has held the position to which she has now been appointed in a visiting capacity during 2016-17. Congratulations, Professor Snyder!
The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates our newest PhD alumnus, Dr. Adam Kielman! Dr. Kielman, who also holds his undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies from Columbia, defended his dissertation, Zou Qilai!: Musical Subjectivity, Mobility, and Sonic Infrastructures in Postsocialist China, on Dec. 1, 2016. His dissertation, abstracted below, was advised by Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa, and his committee included Profs. Chris Washburne, Kevin Fellezs, Fred Lau (U Hawai'i), and Timothy Oakes (U Colorado/Boulder).
We also warmly congratulate Dr. Kielman on his acceptance of an Assistant Professorship in Music at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which he will begin in January, 2017.
Congratulations to Adam!
Adam Kielman: Zou Qilai!: Musical Subjectivity, Mobility, and Sonic Infrastructures in Postsocialist China
This dissertation is an ethnography centered around two bands based in Guangzhou and their relationships with one of China’s largest record companies. Bridging ethnomusicology, popular music studies, cultural geography, media studies, vocal anthropology, and the anthropology of infrastructure, it examines emergent forms of musical creativity and modes of circulation as they relate to shifts in concepts of self, space, publics, and state instigated by China’s political and economic reforms. Chapter One discusses a long history of state-sponsored cartographic musical anthologies, as well as Confucian and Maoist ways of understanding the relationships between place, person, and music. These discussions provide a context for understanding contemporary musical cosmopolitanisms that both build upon and disrupt these histories; they also provoke a rethinking of ethnomusicological and related linguistic theorizations about music, place, and subjectivity. Through biographies of seven musicians working in present-day Guangzhou, Chapter Two outlines a concept of “musical subjectivity” that looks to the intersection of personal histories, national histories, and creativity as a means of exploring the role of individual agency and expressive culture in broader cultural shifts.Chapter Three focuses on the intertwining of actual corporeal mobilities and vicarious musical mobilities, and explores relationships between circulations of global popular musics, emergent forms of musical creativity, and an evolving geography of contemporary China. Chapter Four extends these concerns to a discussion of media systems in China, and outlines an approach to “sonic infrastructures” that puts sound studies in dialogue with the anthropology of infrastructure in order to understand how evolving modes of musical circulation and the listening practices associated with them are connected to economic, political, and cultural spatialities. Finally, Chapter Five examines the intersecting aesthetic and political implications of popular music sung in local languages (fangyan) by focusing on contemporary forms of articulation between music, language, listening, and place. Taken together, these chapters explore musical cosmopolitanisms as knowledge-making processes that are reconfiguring notions of self, state, publics, and space in contemporary China.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates PhD alumna Dr. Lauren Flood, who has been appointed as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Lauren Flood earned the Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Columbia in 2015. She researches sound technologies and experimental instrument building practices in the contexts of the do-it-yourself ethos, maker culture, and popular and experimental music scenes. She held a Whiting Fellowship for her dissertation, “Building and Becoming: DIY Music Technology in New York and Berlin,” with fieldwork supported by the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies and the National Science Foundation. Lauren’s work is situated at the nexus of music, anthropology, sound studies, and science and technology studies. She engages with dialogs on critical organology, creativity and knowledge production, histories and aesthetics of sound and recording practices, vernacular technologies and everydayness, ethics and labor in the music industry, alternative methods in science and technology education, and the contemporary sense of self as mediated through the arts.
At Columbia, she has been a teaching fellow in Music Humanities and Asian Music Humanities, the graduate assistant for the Center for Ethnomusicology, an editorial board member and reviews editor for Current Musicology, and on the organizing committee of the Columbia Music Scholarship Conference. She has presented her work at annual meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the American Anthropological Association, the Society for the Social Studies of Science, and the EMP Pop Conference.
Prior to her graduate studies, Lauren completed her undergraduate degree at Drexel University, with a major in music industry and a minor in anthropology. While living in Philadelphia, she studied and performed as a guitarist, worked in copyrights and licensing, and assisted with research at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. She also completed field schools in Latin American ethnomusicology and archaeology, maintaining a long-standing interest in Mesoamerica and the modern Mayan region.
Dr. Flood's Columbia PhD dissertation was advised by Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates 2013 PhD program alumnus Dr. Timothy Mangin,
who has just been appointed as a tenure track Assistant Professor of Music at Boston College.
Timothy Mangin is an ethnomusicologist and musician researching the intersection of popular music, race, ethnicity, religion, and cosmopolitanism in West Africa and the African Diaspora. He received his doctorate from Columbia University in 2013 and received fellowships from the Columbia University’s Center for Comparative Literature and Society, St. Lawrence University’s Department of Music, Mellon Foundation, the Foreign Language Areas Studies Program and a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Research Abroad Program. He taught at Columbia University, New York University, St. Lawrence University, and the City University of New York. An improvisational flutist, Tim founded St. Lawrence University’s Jazz and Improv Ensemble and also studies mbira and is a member of Capoeira Brasil. His writings have appeared in the edited volumes Begegnungen: The World Meets Jazz and Uptown Conversations: The New Jazz Studies as well as reviews in The Yearbook for Traditional Music and Ethnomusicology On-Line. Tim is working on a book examining indigenous cosmopolitanism through the intersection of the Senegalese urban dance music called mbalax and the practice of black, Wolof (the dominant ethnic group), gendered, and Muslim identities. He is also exploring blackness in Senegalese hip hop and the dynamics of improvisation in New York City’s underground hip hop and jazz scene. The Digital Humanities is a key part of Tim’s pedagogy and research that began when he worked at Columbia’s Institute for Research in African American Studies on the Malcolm X Project, under the direction Manning Marable, and further developed with students at The City College of New York.
Dr. Mangin's Columbia PhD dissertation, on Senegalese mbalax, was advised by Prof. George Lewis.
The Center for Ethnomusicology congratulates 2009 Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD alumnus Dr. Andrew Eisenberg,
who has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music at New York University's Abu Dhabi campus!
Andrew J. Eisenberg is Assistant Professor of Music at NYU Abu Dhabi. He was Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and
Anthropology at Bard College in 2013-14, and at NYUAD in 2014-15. Between 2011 and 2013, he served as
Postdoctoral Research Associate in charge of the Kenya portion of the
ERC Music and Digitisation Programme, while also holding a junior
research fellowship at St. Catherine's College, Oxford. He earned a PhD
in ethnomusicology from Columbia University in 2009, with a dissertation
on vocal expression, emplacement and citizenship among marginalized
Muslims of Kenya's 'Swahili coast'. A book based on his dissertation is
slated for completion in 2014. Its working title is Sound and
Citizenship: Voice, Place, and Belonging on Kenya's 'Swahili Coast'.
has published articles and chapters in the journal Africa, The New
Encyclopedia of Africa (Scribner), Anthropology News, and the volume
Music, Sound and Space: Transformations of Public and Private Experience
(ed. Georgina Born, Cambridge University Press). He is currently
writing three articles for the Music and Digitisation Project. Based on a
year of fieldwork in Nairobi, they examine how Kenya's music recording
industry has been, and continues to be, transformed by the digital
revolution, the liberalisation of mass media and telecommunications, and
intellectual property rights reform.
Andrew has previously held visiting posts
at Northwestern University and Stony Brook University, where he has
taught courses in African and African American music, and
ethnomusicological theory and method
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates Dr. Jonathan "Toby" King (PhD, Ethnomusicology, 2014), who has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music at The University of North Carolina at Asheville! Dr. King's dissertation is entitled "Implications of Contemporary Bluegrass Music Performance at and around a New York City Jam Session," and it is sponsored by Prof. Aaron Fox. Dr. King defended his dissertation on June 2, 2014. We congratulate him for that as well!
The Department of Music congratulates alumna Dr. Maria Sonevysky (PhD,
Ethnomusicology, 2012). Dr. Sonevytsky has been appointed as Assistant
Professor of Music at Bard College, beginning in 2014. Prior to taking
up the position at Bard, Dr. Sonevysky will be a Postdoctoral Fellow at
the Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University
of Toronto for 2013-14. 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 »
Congratulations to Dr. Lauren Ninoshvili
(PhD, 2010, Ethnomusicology), who has accepted a two year appointment
as an American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow in the
Department of Music at New York University!
Ninoshvili is an adjunct professor of music at Barnard College
(2010-12), teaching courses on music history and offering a thesis
seminar for Barnard Special Majors in Ethnomusicology.
Dr. Ninoshvili's doctoral dissertation is entitled "Singing Between the Words: The Poetics of Georgian Polyphony." It was sponsored by Prof. Fox. The abstract appears below.
Singing Between the Words: The Poetics of Georgian Polyphony
is a strange paradox in Georgia‘s relation to the West which has
emerged in ever sharper detail with the passage of time since the
collapse of the Soviet Union. Geographically and culturally, Georgia is
borderline but not quite fully exotic, oriental: located at the gates of
Asia and the Muslim Middle East, it is one of the oldest Christian
countries and a rare Caucasian nation oriented primarily towards the
European sphere of influence for the last two centuries.
precisely this slippery boundary between comfortable familiarity and
exotic impenetrability that language in Georgian song—my chief object of
inquiry in this dissertation—embodies. The search for meaning in the
obscure, archaic, or conventionally unintelligible often emerges
concomitantly with narratives of cultural loss at moments of radical
social, political, and economic upheaval or transformation, and the
Georgian case is no exception. The present dissertation therefore posits
the paired expressive-communicative modes of language and music as a
lens for inquiry into (un)intelligibility as a salient aesthetic and
political trope in the turmoil and ideological anomie of postsocialist
Georgia, approaching it through a specifically music-centered
ethnography of non-referential sung language, or vocables, in
traditional and newer, globally oriented Georgian song. It explores
variable and shifting tropes of interpretive ambiguity as produced by
artist-performers and intellectuals, poets and politicians in the
of everything from trans-rational linguistic futurism to the building
of civic consciousness based on a primordial, archaeological imagination
of the nation, to the need to make the Georgian language-music gestalt
globally accessible so that world music listeners will buy it. My
specific discussion of contemporary Georgian world music poses broader
questions for the discipline of ethnomusicology as a whole: How can the
study of language in world music serve as a forum for the exploration of
non- referential forms of intercultural communication and
meaning-making? How can studies of sound and listening as such be
rejoined to studies of properly musical creativity and expression,
beginning from the voice itself?
The Center for Ethnomusicology and the PhD Prorgram in Ethnomusicology at Columbia warmly congratulate Dr. Farzaneh Hemmasi
(PhD, 2010, Ethnomusicology), who has accepted an appointment as Assistant Professor of Music (tenure track) at The University of Toronto.
Dr. Hemmasi is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the
Penn Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Hemmasi's dissertation was advised by Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa, and is entitled "Iranian Popular Music in Los Angeles: Mobilizing Media, Nation and Politics." The dissertation is
an ethnographic and historical study of the Iranian exile music
industry that emerged in Southern California after popular music was
banned in Iran following the 1978-79 Revolution. Drawing on interviews
with musicians and media producers, Dr. Hemmasi's work demonstrates the
many transformations Persian-language musiqi-ye pop has
undergone since its inception in the 1950s from a symbol of cosmopolitan
modernity, to a banned cultural form in the revolution, to a medium for
exiles' aesthetic recombination and circulation of Iran.