UVA at American Musicological Society 2015

Graduate students, faculty, and alumni from our Critical and Comparative Studies program recently made an impressive showing at the 2015 meeting of the American Musicological Society on November 12-15 in Louisville, Kentucky. Although our PhD program is still quite young, it was a visible presence at this large meeting, and we were thrilled to be able to catch up with recent alums who are making their mark in teaching positions that span the country.

Vilde Aaslid

PhD candidate Stephanie Doktor presented a paper titled "How Virginia's Most Prominent White Supremacist Became Famous for His Symphonic Jazz: John Powell's Rhapsodie nègre (1917)." She drew on archival materials housed at UVa to show the continuities and contradictions within Powell's dual identity as both a modernist composer and a racist political activist. Vilde Aaslid,who is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University, presented a papertitled "Improvising Musicopoetics in Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd's In What Language." She showcased an original method of analysis that accounted for the intricate "conversation" between Ladd's free verse poetry and Iyer's musical improvisations.

Several UVa professors also made appearances during the weekend. Bonnie Gordon presented a paper titled "Sound Studies, Monteverdi, and the Death of a Cicada," in which she argued against the presentist orientation of sound studies to demonstrate the extraordinary breadth of experimentation with sound technology in the Early Modern period. In addition, she was one of five senior members of the field chosen to participate in a panel on the history of the AMS. Richard Will was also one of a few senior scholars selected to participate in a panel on the form and content of PhD programs in musicology. An essay on klezmer by Joel Rubin appeared in the anthology Dislocated Memories: Jews, Music, and Postwar German Culture (edited by Tina Frühauf and Lily Hirsch), which received the Ruth A. Solie Award from the AMS for a collection of musicological essays of exceptional merit.

Michael Puri with bodybuilder Blair MoneFinally, Michael Puri was announced as the incoming Review Editor (2017-19) for the Journal of the American Musicological Society, which is the flagship journal in the field. He also confesses to spending a morning playing hooky from the conference to attend the concurrent Kentucky Muscle Exposition, which allowed him to chat with friendly bodybuilders and marvel at various feats of human strength.


McIntire Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176

Email: music@virginia.edu