Biographies: Race and Empire in Global Music History, 1500–1800

Olivia Bloechl is Professor of Music at the University of Pittsburgh. A music historian and cultural theorist, her research encompasses wide-ranging interests clustered in the early modern period and the recent past, with an area focus on the North Atlantic world. She is the author of Native American Song at the Frontiers of Early Modern Music (2008) and Opera and the Political Imaginary in Old Regime France (2018), and co-editor (with Melanie Lowe and Jeffrey Kallberg) of Rethinking Difference in Music Scholarship (2015). In addition to her ongoing work on French opera before 1800, current projects involve problems of music and vulnerability, song and sound in American captivity narratives, and global music historiography. She is also a pianist and aspiring harpsichordist. 

Rogério Budasz is a musicologist interested in early plucked instruments, Luso-Brazilian musical theater, and Afro-Iberian musical connections. His most recent research focuses on the Atlantic circulation of musicians and repertories and the intertwined issues of power, ethnicity, and cultural reconfiguration. He has published three books, several book chapters, and a number of articles in Music & Letters, Early Music, Music & Art, Studi Musicali, and Revista Portuguesa de Musicologia, among other venues. As a performer, Budasz has worked with lute and early plucked string instruments and Brazilian traditional music. He holds a MA in musicology from the University of São Paulo (1996), and a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Southern California (2001).

Hyun Kyong Hannah Chang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University, having previously served as a research professor in musicology at Ewha Women’s University (Seoul, Korea). She completed her Ph.D. in musicology at UCLA in 2014, with the support of an American Musicological Society 50 Fellowship. She is currently working on her book project, Singing and Praying in Christian Pyongyang, 1900s-1930s: Borderland Voices in the Trans-Pacific, which explores vocal music and communal prayers that were formed in Korean Christian communities in Pyongyang during the decades of active North American Protestant mission in the Pacific.

Sarah Eyerly is an Assistant Professor of Musicology and Director of the Early Music Program at the Florida State University. Prior to joining the faculty at FSU, she taught at UCLA, the University of Southern California, and Butler University, and was appointed as a visiting scholar with UCLA's Center for Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Studies. Her research interests include sacred music, performance practice and applied musicology, Native American hymnody, archaeomusicology, sound studies, and the spatial humanities. Her forthcoming book and sound mapping project, How the Moravians Sang Away the Wilderness (Series: Music, Nature, Place; Indiana University Press), is a sonic history of Moravian mission communities along the Pennsylvania frontier. She is currently involved in an interdisciplinary research project on the history and transmission of Moravian hymns in the Mohican language which is funded by an ACLS Collaborative Research Grant. She has received grants, fellowships, and awards from the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. She is President of the Society for Eighteenth-Century Music.

Edda Fields-Black is Associate Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University, where she specializes in early and pre-colonial African history and the African Diaspora. Her first book, Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora (2008), chronicles the development of tidal rice-growing technology by the inhabitants of the West African Rice Coast region, the region where most captives disembarking in South Carolina and Georgia originated. She has also recently co-authored Rice: Global Networks and New Histories (Cambridge University Press, 2015) with Francesca Bray, Peter Coclanis, and Dagmar Schafer. Her research has been funded by the Woodrow Wilson, Ford, Annenberg, and Mellon Foundations as well as by Fulbright-Hays, and she has served as a consultant for several prominent museum exhibitions, including the “From Slavery to Freedom” permanent exhibition for the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Her current work includes a historical study of the Gullah/Geechee and the libretto for a collaborative multimedia piece, The Requiem for Rice(, which is slated to premiere in October, 2018.

Glenda Goodman is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the early modern Atlantic world, with a particular emphasis on British North America. Her first book investigates the robust and controversial culture of genteel amateur music-making around the time of the Revolution, which she approaches with an eye to gender and book history. Her work in book history can also be found in articles about the media of political songs (in the Journal of the Society for American Music and forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook for Protest Music), and her articles on transatlantic sacred music and encounters between Native Americans and Europeans have been published in the Journal of the American Musicological Society and the William and Mary Quarterly. Her research has been awarded prizes from the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture, the Society for American Music, the Society for Early Americanists, and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Her work has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and other fellowships. Before coming to the University of Pennsylvania, Goodman was an ACLS New Faculty Fellow in the History Department at the University of Southern California. In addition to her scholarly pursuits, Goodman is a violist, and she avidly supports experimental music.

Bonnie Gordon is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Virginia. Her primary research interests center on the experiences of sound in early modern music-making and the affective potential of the human voice. Her first book was Monteverdi's Unruly Women (2004), and she co-edited (with Martha Feldman) an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural volume of essays entitled The Courtesans Arts(2006). She is currently working on two book projects. Voice Machines: The Castrato, The Cat Piano and Other Strange Sounds considers the interrelated histories of music, technology, sound, and the limits of the human body. Jefferson’s Ear closely considers what is and, especially, what is not in Thomas Jefferson’s music collection at Monticello, and from there it follows Jefferson’s imaginary of sound, music, and race as it ventured across the American South and the circum-Caribbean. Gordon is the recipient of a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, and she has most recently been the Robert Lehman Visiting Professor at Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. She also plays rock, jazz, and classical viola; works on curricular and co-curricular civic engagement programs that engage social injustice through the arts; and writes for news outlets, including the Washington Post and Slate.

Zhuqing (Lester) Hu is a Ph.D. Candidate in Music History and Theory and a Neubauer Family Presidential Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. This year he is a recipient of a Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship of the American Musicological Society and a Chateaubriand Fellowship from the French government. He is currently working on a dissertation entitled “Music and Qing Imperial Formations (c. 1580-1820): Negotiating Historiography and Ethnography in Global Music History.” Besides music in early modern China and global music history, his interests include history of music theory and medieval and Renaissance music. He is also working on a second project on historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and popular musicology in nineteenth-century Belgium and Northern France in a global colonial context.

Pedro Memelsdorff is a musicologist (Ph.D., Utrecht University), performer, and music director. He has been a member of Jordi Savall’s Hesperion XXI since 1981 and of a duo with Andreas Staier since 1984. In 1987, he founded the award-winning ensemble Mala Punica, which specializes in late-medieval polyphony. Memelsdorff regularly publishes in the academic press, and he has authored a monograph on the history and codicology of the Codex Faenza 117. He serves as a tenured professor at the ESMUC in Barcelona, where he directs the Master programmes in Early Music. A former Fellow of Villa I Tatti, he is now an Affiliate Researcher at the University of Tours, a member of the college of the Confederal PhD programme in Italian Civilization (Switzerland), and the tenured Director of the Early Music Seminars at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice. He also served as the Director of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basle, where he now directs the music festival Festtage Alte Musik Basel.

Walter D. Mignolo is William H. Wannamaker Professor of Romance Studies in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University. His research and teaching have been devoted, in the past 30 years, to understanding and unraveling the historical foundation of the modern/colonial world system and imaginary since 1500. Among his recent publications are Local Histories/Global Designs (2000) and The Darker Side of Western Modernity (2011). Mignolo was awarded the Katherine Singer Kovaks prize (MLA) for The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality and Colonization (1996) and the Frantz Fanon Prize by the Caribbean Philosophical Association for The Idea of Latin America (2006). And he was awared Honoris Causa Degree by the Facultad de Filosofia y Letras, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Forthcoming On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis (Duke U Press, June 2018)

Julia Prest is Reader in French at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. A graduate in Music and French, she is a specialist in early-modern French and francophone theatre, including ballet and opera. She is the author of Theatre under Louis XIV: Cross-Casting and the Performance of Gender in Drama, Ballet and Opera (Palgrave 2006 & 2013), Controversy in French Drama: Molière’s Tartuffe and the Struggle for Influence (Palgrave 2014 & 2016) and numerous articles, including “Iphigénie en Haïti: Performing Gluck’s Paris Operas in the French Colonial Caribbean”, Eighteenth-Century Music 14.1 (March 2017).  She is currently working on a book project entitled Master, Slave and Free: Theatre and Citizenship in Colonial Saint-Domingue (1764-1804) for which she has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for the academic year 2017-18.  Julia’s database of public theatrical performances in the French colony of Saint-Domingue 1764-91 was launched in February 2018 and is available at  This resource promises to open up this rich but understudied field to scholars, practitioners and interested amateurs alike.

Eric Rice is a musicologist and conductor who specializes in the history and performance of music composed before 1750. He teaches music history and performance at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, where he also serves as Head of the Music Department. His primary scholarly focus is medieval and Renaissance music of the Western liturgy and its relationship to architecture, politics, and secular music. He was Artistic Director of the Connecticut Early Music Festival from 2008 to 2015. He directs Ensemble Origo, acclaimed as “a fine, flexible ensemble” by The New York Times, which performs music related to his research.

Katherine Schofield (née Brown) is a historian of music and listening in Mughal India and the colonial Indian Ocean at King’s College London. Recently she was Principal Investigator of a twelve-person €1.18M European Research Council grant, “Musical Transitions to European Colonialism in the Eastern Indian Ocean” (2011–16), which examined the history of transitions from pre-colonial to colonial musical fields in India and the Malay world, c.1750–1900, through multilingual, intermedial, and stereophonic research methods. Working largely with Persian, and latterly Urdu, sources c.1570–1860, Katherine’s general research interests lie in South Asian music and visual art, the history of Mughal India, Islam, empire, and the intersecting histories of the emotions, the senses, aesthetics, ethics, and the supernatural. She is the editor, with Francesca Orsini, of Tellings and Texts: Music, Literature, and Performance in North India (Open Book, 2015), and, with Margrit Pernau and Imke Rajamani, Monsoon Feelings: A History of Emotions in the Rain(Niyogi Books, 2018 forthcoming). In 2018 she holds a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, giving six public lectures at the British Library that will become a monograph, Histories of the Ephemeral: Writing on Music in Late Mughal India, 1748–1858. One day, she hopes to write on falcons.

Gabriel Solis is Professor of Music, African American Studies, and Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Monk's Music: Thelonious Monk and Jazz History in the Making (2007) and a book on John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk's work together in the late-1950s (2013), as well as co-editor (with Bruno Nettl) of a collection of essays on improvisation cross-culturally. His current book project is entitled The Black Pacific: Music, Politics, and Afro-Indigenous Connections in Australia and Melanesia. He is also at work on a digital jazz studies project, “Dig that Lick,” tracing melodic patterns in a large corpus of jazz recordings.  

Makoto Harris Takao is a cultural historian, historical ethnomusicologist, and player of the viola da gamba who works broadly on Japan’s relationship with Christianity from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century. Having completed his doctorate at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (the University of Western Australia) in 2017, he has since continued in developing the field of “emotions history” as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. His interdisciplinary research spans early modern and modern Japanese cultural studies, the history of the Society of Jesus, early modern European music and theater, theory and methodologies in historical ethnomusicology, and conceptual history (Begriffsgeschichte) in the study of religion and emotion. Makoto has published articles with the Journal of Jesuit Studies, book chapters for volumes variously on Jesuit performativity and emotion, encounters between Protestants and Jesuits in Asia, and the role of global cities in early modern theater. He is currently completing his monograph entitled Of Mission and Music: Japanese Christianity and Its Reflection in Early Modern Europe.

Kate Van Orden is Dwight P. Robinson Professor of Music at Harvard University, and she is currently a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. A specialist in early modern European music, especially France, her research favors the ephemeral and works to recover histories only marginally legible in the documents of high culture. Among her publications is Music, Discipline, and Arms in Early Modern France(2005), which won the Lewis Lockwood Award from the American Musicological Society. She is also the author of Music, Authorship, and the Book in the First Century of Print (2013) and, most recently, Materialities: Books, Readers, and the Chanson in Early Modern Europe (2015), which won the Society of Renaissance Studies’ biannual book award. Her current project is titled “Songs in Unexpected Places,” and it tracks the French chanson into migratory contexts like that of Cinquecento Rome, where cross-cultural encounters threw identities into high contrast. Van Orden served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Musicological Society from 2008 to 2010. As a performer, she specializes in historical performance on the bassoon, and she has recorded for Sony, Virgin Classics, Glossa, Teldec, and Harmonia Mundi.

Molly Warsh is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is also Associate Director of the World History Center. Prior to joining the faculty at Pittsburgh in 2012, Molly was a two-year NEH postdoctoral fellow at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture in Williamsburg, VA and an Assistant Professor of Iberian World History at Texas A&M University. She completed her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University in 2009. Molly is the author of the forthcoming American Baroque: Pearls and the Nature of Empire 1492-1700, which will be published in Spring 2018 with the Omohundro Institute/University of North Carolina Press. She is also co-editor (with Philip D. Morgan) of an anthology of collected essays, Early North America in Global Perspective, published by Routledge in August 2013. Her articles have appeared in the William & Mary Quarterly and Slavery & Abolition.

Emily Wilbourne is Associate Professor at Queen’s College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, where she is a musicologist specializing in theatrical music and sound in seventeenth-century Italy. Her work engages with questions of gender, performance and sexuality and with repertories of the commedia dell’arte and Italian opera, most recently in her monograph, Seventeenth-Century Opera and the Sound of the Commedia dell'arte (2016). Her article, “Amor nello specchio (1622): Mirroring, Masturbation, and Same-Sex Love,” was awarded the 2011 Philip Brett Award of the LGBTQ Study Group of the American Musicological Society. In 2008-9, she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Music at Columbia University; and she is currently the Francesco De Dombrowski Fellow at Villa I Tatti, where she is working on a project entitled, “Opera's Others: Musical Representations of Racialized Difference in Baroque Italy.”


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