The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates our alumnus Dr. Nicholas (Niko) Higgins, (PhD, Ethnomusicology, 2013), who has been appointed to a (renewable) Guest Faculty position at Sarah Lawrence College.
Dr. Higgins' PhD dissertation is entitled "Confusion in the Karnatic Capital: Fusion in Chennai, India." It was advised by Prof. Christopher Washburne. Dr. Higgins has previously taught at Columbia University and at The New School.
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. Nili Belkind, a 2014 alumna of the Columbia Ethnomusicology PhD Program, who has been awarded a two-year Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities-Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Belkind's Columbia dissertation is entitled Music in conflict: Palestine, Israel, and the politics of aesthetic production. It was sponsored (advised) by Prof. Christopher Washburne. The dissertation is an ethnographic study of the fraught and complicated cultural politics of music making in Israel-Palestine in the context of the post-Oslo era, a time of highly polarized sentiments and general retreat from the expressive modes of relationality that accompanied the 1990s peace process. In it, she examines the politics of sound and the ways in which music making and attached discourses reflect and constitute identities, and also, contextualize political action. Ethical and aesthetic positions that shape contemporary artistic production in Israel-Palestine are informed by profound imbalances of power between the State (Israel), the stateless (Palestinians of the oPt), the complex positioning of Israel’s Palestinian minority, and contingent exposure to ongoing political violence.
will join the Department of Music as Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology on July 1, 2015.
Alessandra Ciucci received her PhD in music (Ethnomusicology) from The City University of New York at The Graduate Center. She was a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Music at Columbia in 2008-10, and is also an undergraduate alumna of the Department of Music at Columbia with a BA from Columbia's School of General Studies.
The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates Dr. Jessica Schwartz, currently completing her two year term as a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department, who has been appointed Assistant Professor of Musicology at The University of California, Los Angeles!
Dr. Schwartz holds the PhD in Ethnomusicology from New York University, where she completed a dissertation entitled: "Resonances of the Atomic Age: Hearing the Nuclear Legacy in the United States and the Marshall Islands, 1945-2010," advised by Prof. Jairo Moreno. She has published articles in, among other places, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society,Women and Music, and Music&Politics. Dr. Schwartz is also the founder of the Marshallese Educational Initiative, Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding educational opportunities for Marshallese and raising awareness of Marshallese issues.
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.