Panelists, Presenters, and Discussants

Professional Development Roundtable

Naomi André is Associate Professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, Women’s Studies, and the Associate Director for Faculty at the Residential College at the University of Michigan. She received her B.A. from Barnard College and M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her research focuses on opera and issues surrounding gender, voice, and race. Her publications include topics on Italian opera, Schoenberg, women composers, and teaching opera in prisons. Her book, Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement (University of Illinois Press, 2018) examines race, gender, and sexuality in opera in the US and South Africa. Her earlier books, Voicing Gender: Castrati, Travesti, and the Second Woman in Early Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera (2006) and Blackness in Opera (2012, co-edited collection) focus on opera from the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries and explore constructions of gender, race and identity. Currently she is a co-editor for the essay collection African Performance Arts and Political Acts (contracted, University of Michigan Press). She has served on the Graduate Alumni Council for Harvard University’s Graduate School of Art and Sciences, the Executive Committee for the Criminal Justice Program at the American Friends Service Committee (Ann Arbor, MI), and as an evaluator for the Fulbright Senior Specialist Program.

Tekla Babyak received her PhD in musicology from Cornell University in 2014, supported by a Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies and a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. Currently an independent scholar based in Davis, CA, she is a member of the American Musicological Society council for the 2018-2021 term.

She has chosen not to pursue academic employment because of her potentially disabling health condition, multiple sclerosis. A central goal of hers is to advocate for the inclusion of independent and disabled scholars in academia. One of her specific aims is to combat the ableism that permeates many academic guidelines for job candidates and conference presenters, who are frequently urged to adopt able-bodied norms of body language and presentation. Another aspect of her activist work involves striving to ensure that independent scholars achieve fair and equal representation in academic publications and on conference programs.

Her research focuses on intersections between music, philosophy, temporality, and disability during the long 19th century. Her article “Tropes of Transcendence: Representing and Overcoming Time in Nineteenth-Century Music” appeared in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association (Fall 2017). Forthcoming publications include “The Rubble of the Other: Beethoven’s Ruins of Athens” in a Routledge volume of essays, and “Dante, Liszt, and the Alienated Agony of Hell” in Bibliotheca Dantesca. In February 2019, she will present her paper “Rehearing Brahms’s Klavierstücke: The Eternal Recurrence of Reflection” at the UC Irvine conference The Intellectual Worlds of Johannes Brahms.

Nina Sun Eidsheim is on the faculty of the Department of Musicology and Special Assistant to the Dean for Academic Mentoring and Opportunity in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. As a scholar and singer, she investigates the multi-sensory and performative aspects of the production, perception, and reception of vocal timbre of twentieth and twenty-first-century music. Current monograph projects include Sensing Sound: Singing and Listening as Vibrational Practice (Duke University Press, 2015) and The Race of Sound: Listening, Timbre, and Vocality in African American Music (Duke UP, 2019). She is also co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Voice Studies (Oxford UP, 2019), a special issue on voice and materiality for the journal, Postmodern Culture, and a special issue on disability and voice for the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies. In addition, she is the principal investigator for the UC-wide, transdisciplinary research project entitled Keys to Voice Studies: Terminology, Methodology, and Questions Across Disciplines and recipient of the Woodrow Wilson National Career Enhancement Fellowship (2011-12) Cornell University Society of the Humanities Fellowship (2011-12), the UC President’s Faculty Research Fellowship in the Humanities (2015-16), and the ACLS Charles A. Ryskamp Fellowship (2015-16). She is currently working on a project aimed to diversify music theory.


Faculty Roundtable: “The Difference that Difference Makes: Reflections from Faculty of Color”

Cynthia I. Gonzales, an Associate Professor at Texas State University, received the university’s 2018 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. In addition to establishing the Center for Aural and Theory Tutoring at Texas State, she authored an online music fundamentals textbook for incoming music majors to prepare for entrance theory testing, which increased placement into first-semester theory from below 25% to above 80%. Cynthia is an advocate for adapting SmartMusic® as an aural skills electronic tutor. She is currently writing a book to explore text-music relationships in Arnold Schoenberg’s op. 6, eight songs for voice and piano. As a vocalist, Cynthia was soprano section leader for two professional choral ensembles: Santa Fe Desert Chorale (in the 1980s) and Grammy-winning Conspirare (1996-2011). She is currently President of the Texas Society of Music Theory and Music Director at First Lutheran Church in San Marcos, TX. Her choral works were selected for the Texas UIL Sight Singing Contest in both 2017 and 2018.

Eileen M. Hayes was appointed Dean, College of Arts and Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater in Fall 2017.  From 2012-17, she served as professor and chair of the Department of Music at Towson University. From 2002-2012, she taught at the University of North Texas, where, from 2008-2012, she chaired the division of music history, theory, and ethnomusicology.

She holds the BM from Temple University, the M.A. in Folklore from Indiana University, and the Ph.D. in Music (ethnomusicology) from the University of Washington. She is the author of Songs in Black and Lavender: Race, Sexual Politics, and Women’s Music(University of Illinois Press, 2010).  She is the co-editor with Linda Williams of Black Women and Music: More than the Blues (University of Illinois Press, 2007). Hayes is a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow (UC/Riverside) and a DAAD Fellow (University at Göttingen).  Past editorial advisory board memberships include the Journal of the Society for American Music and the CMS Cultural Expressions in Music series; currently she serves on the editorial advisory board of the Eastman Rochester Studies in Ethnomusicology series.  From 2016-17, she served as chair, Region 6, NASM.  Hayes’ research into the interactions of race, gender and sexuality in African American music and culture is complemented by her advocacy on behalf of women, faculty of color, and other underrepresented constituencies in departments and schools of music, the professional music societies and colleges of arts and communication. Her term as president of the College Music Society begins in January 2019.

Nancy Yunhwa Rao is professor of music theory, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. A specialist in American music, her work is multifaceted, bridging musicology, music theory and scholarship on Chinese opera with gender and ethnic studies. She has explored intersections between China and the West, in particular global perspectives in contemporary Chinese music. She has published on the use of music gestures, vocal style, and percussion patterns of Beijing opera in contemporary music by composers of Chinese origin.  Her study on the American composer, Ruth Crawford, won her a national award of best article in American music published in 2007 from the Society for American Music. Her interview on “Crawford’s imprint on contemporary music” is published in Women in Art Music. She has continued in the direction of sketch studies, for which her publication can be found in Music Theory Spectrum, as well as Carter Studies Online.

Rao’s work also explores the much-neglected musical history of Chinese in the United States and Canada. Her research has led to writings on transnational issues in the production and opera performance in these Chinatown theaters. Publications in this area can be found in Cambridge Opera Journal, Journal of the Society for American Music, Journal of 19th Century Music Review, as well as in several collections of essays.  Her book, Chinatown Opera Theater in North America, includes analysis of playbills, performing networks, opera arias, stage spectacles, and more. It received Certificate of Merit for Best Historical Research from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC).

Braxton D. Shelley, a musicologist who specializes in African American popular music, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Music and the Stanley A. Marks and William H. Marks Assistant Professor in the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. His research and critical interests, while currently focused on African American gospel performance, extend into media studies, sound studies, phenomenology, homiletics, and theology.

After earning a BA in Music and History from Duke University, Shelley received his PhD in the History and Theory of Music at the University of Chicago. While at the University of Chicago, he also earned a Master of Divinity from the university’s Divinity School. His 2017 dissertation, “Sermons in Song: Richard Smallwood, the Vamp, and the Gospel Imagination,” developed an analytical paradigm for gospel music that braids together resources from cognitive theory, ritual theory, and homiletics with studies of repetition, form, rhythm and meter.

Recipient of the 2016 Paul A. Pisk Prize from the American Musicological Society, the 2016 Graduate Student Prize from the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music, and the 2018 Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award from the University of Chicago Division of the Humanities, he has presented his research at Amherst College, Columbia University, Duke University, Northeastern University, Northwestern University, Tufts University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Yale University, as well as at the annual meetings of the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music, Music Theory Midwest and the American Musicological Society.


Workshop: “Dealing with Microaggressions”

Kendra Preston Leonard is a musicologist and music theorist whose work focuses on women and music in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; and music and screen history, particularly music and adaptations of Shakespeare; and a librettist and poet. She is the author of five scholarly books and numerous book chapters and articles. Her work has appeared in The Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies, Gender and Song in Early Modern England, This Rough Magic, Upstart Crow, Early Modern Studies Journal, The Journal of Historical Biography, The Journal of Musicological Research, and Current Musicology, among other journals and collections. She is the winner of several scholarly awards and prizes, including the Rudolph Ganz Long-Term Fellowship at the Newberry Library, a Harry Ransom Center Research Fellowship, an American Music Research Center Fellowship, the inaugural Judith Tick Fellowship from the Society for American Music, and Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Thornton Wilder Fellowship in Wilder Studies. She is the Executive Director of the Silent Film Sound and Music Archive and the Director of Scholarship and Research for the Composer Diversity Center.

Leonard’s activism includes promoting diversity and equality in musicology and related fields; mentoring; and facilitating workshops and events designed to raise awareness of and develop responses to issues of privilege, bias, and inequity both in and outside of academia.


“Insights” Session

Melvin L. Butler earned his Ph.D. in music from New York University in 2005 and is an associate professor of music at the University of Miami. He previously taught at the University of Virginia (2005-2008) and the University of Chicago (2008-2016). An ethnomusicologist with broad interests in music and religion of the African diaspora, he has conducted field research on music making in relation to Pentecostal Christianity in Haitian and Jamaican communities. In these transnational Caribbean contexts, he interrogates the cultural politics of musical style and religious expression while attending to the role of musical performance in constructing individual and collective identities.

Sarah Hankins is assistant professor of sound studies at the University of California, San Diego.  She is interested in acoustemologies of globalization and “post-modernity,” focusing on Israeli culture and politics, Afrodiasporic musics, and queer performance arts.  Her interdisciplinary research draws on ethnomusicology; queer, feminist, and black studies; media and technology studies; and Lacanian/Kristevan psychoanalysis. Sarah’s work has appeared in Black Music Research Journal, City & Society, Women and Music, and Signs.  Her book in progress, Black Musics, Black Cultures, and the Israeli Imagination, is under contract with the University of Michigan Press. Sarah is also a DJ and electronic music producer.

Toru Momii received his B.A. in music and economics from Vassar College. Following a brief stint at an investment bank in Tokyo, he received an M.A. in music theory from the Schulich School of Music, McGill University.

His current research interests include transcultural practices in contemporary art music, analysis of gagaku, contemporary popular music in North America and Japan, performance analysis, and intersections of race and music theory. Toru has presented his research at various national and international conferences, including the annual meeting of the Society for Music Theory, the Congress of the International Musicological Society, and Analytical Approaches to World Music.

Jose Alexander Ovalle is a PhD student and Assistant Instructor in the Musicology/ Ethnomusicology Division of the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Masters degree in Musicology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2016. Ovalle’s current research interests include Disability Studies, Queer & Feminist Studies, the Cantigas de Santa Maria, and analysis of the modern music video.

Andrew Dell’Antonio is Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Musicology/Ethnomusicology Division of the Butler School of Music and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies in the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin.   He blogs at The Avid Listener and is co-author of The Enjoyment of Music, both from W W Norton.  He is Co-Editor with William Cheng of the series Music and Social Justice (University of Michigan Press). His collected edition Beyond Structural Listening? Postmodern Modes of Hearing and monograph Listening as Spiritual Practice in early Modern Italy are both published by University of California Press.  

Marysol Quevedo, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. She received her Ph.D. in musicology with a minor in ethnomusicology from Indiana University. Her research interests include art music in Cuba after the 1959 Revolution and more broadly the relationship between music composition and performance, national identity, and politics in Latin American music scenes. Quevedo’s chapter, “Experimental Music and the Avant-Garde in Post-1959 Cuba: Revolutionary Music for the Revolution,” appeared in Oxford University Press’s Experimentalism in Practice: Perspectives from Latin America (2018).

Midge Thomas is Professor of Music Theory at Connecticut College. She was President of the New England Conference of Music Theorists from 2013-15. Her research interests include rhythm in contemporary art music, jazz, and popular musics, along with rhythmic pedagogy. Current projects focus on music and resilience (a collaboration with a neuroscientist) and equity pedagogy. She serves as the faculty mentor for a cohort of Posse Foundation Scholars at Connecticut College.


Final Event: “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Tammy L. Kernodle is Professor of Musicology at Miami University in Oxford, OH. Her scholarship and teaching has stretched across many different aspects of African American music and American music. Kernodle earned a B.M. in Choral Music Education with an emphasis in piano from Virginia State University, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Musicology from The Ohio State University.

She served as the Scholar in Residence for the Women in Jazz Initiative at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City from 1999 until 2001, and has worked closely with a number of educational programs including the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival, Jazz@Lincoln Center, NPR, and the BBC.  

Her work has appeared in American Studies, Musical Quarterly, Black Music Research Journal, The Journal of the Society of American Music, American Music Research Journal, The U.S Catholic Historian, The African American Lectionary Project and numerous anthologies. Kernodle is the author of biography Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams and served as Associate Editor of the three-volume Encyclopedia of African American Music.  She served as a scholarly consultant for the National Museum of African American Music and Culture’s inaugural exhibits entitled “Musical Crossroads” and appears in a number of award winning documentaries including Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band and Girls in the Band. In 2018, she was awarded the Benjamin Harrison Medallion, the highest award given to a Miami University faculty member in recognition of their research, teaching and service.  

She is the President-Elect of the Society for American Music.

Alejandro L. Madrid (Ph.D. Ohio State) is a cultural theorist whose historical, ethnographic, and critical work focuses on music and expressive culture from Latin America and Latinos in the United States. Working at the intersection of musicology, ethnomusicology, and performance studies, his work explores questions of transnationalism, diaspora, and migration; homophobia, masculinity, and embodied culture; and historiography, narrative, and alternative ways of knowledge production in music from the long twentieth century. Madrid is the author of more than half a dozen books, for which he has received numerous awards, including the Mexico Humanities Book Award from the Latin American Studies Association (2016); the Béla Bartók Award from the ASCAP Foundation (2014); the Robert M. Stevenson (2016 and 2014) and Ruth A. Solie (2012) awards from the American Musicological Society; the Woody Guthrie Award from the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (2009); and the Casa de las Américas Musicology Award (2005) among others. He is the recipient of the 2017 Dent Medal given by the Royal Musical Association for “outstanding contributions to musicology,” being the only Ibero-Americanist who has received this prestigious honor since its inception in 1961. Madrid is currently professor of musicology and ethnomusicology at Cornell University. He is frequently invited as an expert commentator by national and international media outlets, including The Washington Post, Agence France-Presse, Public Radio International, and Radio Uruguay. Recently, he acted as music advisor to acclaimed filmmaker Peter Greenaway, whose latest film, Eisenstein in Guanajuato, is set in early 1930s Mexico.