Karl Hagstrom Miller

Karl Hagstrom Miller

Associate Professor (Critical & Comparative Studies)

OCH 205


Karl Hagstrom Miller is a culture historian.  His work examines popular music in the United States through the intersections of race, gender, sound, and money.   His first book, Segregating Sound: Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow (Duke, 2010), combines cultural, economic, and intellectual history to chart the development of a segregated commercial music industry in the early twentieth century.  A musical color line, corresponding to the physical color line of southern segregation, emerged as both commercial record companies and academic folklorists scoured the south for fresh songs and categorized them according to the racial ideologies of the day.  Segregating Sound received the Woody Guthrie Award for the best annual book on popular music from the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. 
Dr.  Miller is currently completing Sound Investments: Amateurs Make Pop Music, a two-hundred-year history of pop music in the United States told from the perspective of amateur musicians rather than well-known pop stars.  Amateurs, from 19th-century parlor pianists to 21st-century YouTube warblers, have propelled the sound, economy, and cultural meanings of popular music.  Sound Investments give them center stage.  He is writing a history of music in Texas for the University of Texas Press. 
Dr. Miller received a Ph.D. in history from New York University.  He has received fellowships from the Smithsonian Institute and the American Council of Learned Societies.  His writing on a variety of pop music topics has appeared in Wax Poetics, Texas Observer, American Music, American Historical Review, and Popmatters, among other venues.


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

Email: music@virginia.edu