I am a historian of music who specializes in American music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. My avenues of inquiry include the material culture of music and book history, amateur music-making and gender, and soundscapes of colonialism. My book, Cultivated by Hand: Amateur Musicians in the Early American Republic, brings together the history of gender, books, and labor to explore the little-known world of amateur music-making by women and men in the first generation after the American Revolution. I am currently working on a new project on Christian sacred music and settler colonialism in the eighteenth century. This project explores the territorializing role of music and sound in settler colonialism, as well as the ways in which the adoption and adaptation of Protestant hymnody by Native Americans (primarily Haudenosaunee Six Nations and Southern New England Algonquian-language group speakers). The first fruits of this research can be seen in my article on the lost music manuscript books of Joseph Johnson (a Mohegan Christian), which appeared in the Journal of the Society for American Music’s special issue on “Settler Sounds: Music, Indigeneity, and Colonialism in the Americas” (Fall 2019). My other articles have appeared in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, the Journal of the Society for American Music, the William and Mary Quarterly, Eighteenth-Century Studies, and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association (forthcoming Fall 2020), and edited collections.
I teach courses on American music, women and music, popular music, and methods for the study of music history. My graduate seminars address topics in eighteenth-century studies, such as music and revolution, sacred music and settler colonialism; and methods/materials courses on music and book history, and archive studies. My approach to teaching and scholarship is fundamentally interdisciplinary. By training and inclination, I am very much a historian; I also have a background as a performer (I studied viola at Oberlin and Juilliard, where I played mostly experimental and contemporary music). Collaboration is important to me and I am in the middle of a large-scale collaborative interdisciplinary project with historian Rhae Lynn Barnes entitled American Contact: Intercultural Encounter and the History of the Book, which entails a symposium, a volume, and a digital humanities project. A second collaborative project with Dr. Barnes is on the topic “Early American Music and the Construction of Race.”
Cultivated by Hand: Amateur Musicians in the Early American Republic (Oxford University Press, 2020)
“Bound Together: The Intimacies of Music Book Collecting in the Early American Republic,” Journal of the Royal Musical Association (Fall 2020)
“Joseph Johnson’s Lost Gamuts: Native Hymnody, Materials of Exchange, and the Colonialist Archive,” Journal of the Society for American Music special Issue on Indigeneity and Colonialism, edited by Gabriel Solis and Jessica Bissett Perea (Fall 2019)
“Sounds Heard, Meaning Deferred: Music Transcription as Imperial Technology,” Eighteenth-Century Studies Vol. 52, No. 1, Special Issue: Empires in the Eighteenth Century (Fall 2018)
“Transatlantic Contrafacta, Musical Formats, and the Creation of Political Culture in Revolutionary America,” Journal of the Society for American Music Vol. 11, no. 4 (Fall 2017)
“The ‘Swinish Multitude’ come to America: Political Song and Transatlantic Print in the Age of Revolution.” The Oxford Handbook of Protest Music, Eric Drott and Noriko Manabe, eds.
“Land and Conversion: New Frameworks for Colonial Hymnody,” in Crossing Boundaries: Music and Conversion in the Early Modern City, Fenlon, Marie-Alexis Colin, and Matthew Laube, eds. (Turnhout, Belgium: Epitome Musical Series of Brepols Pub.)
“‘Hideous Acclamations’: Captive Colonists, Forced Singing, and the Incorporation Imperatives of Mohawk Listeners,” in Sound, Music, and Alterities in Early Modernity, Suzanne Cusick and Emily Wilbourne, eds. (Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers, forthcoming)
“The Power to Please: Gender and Celebrity Self-Commodification in the Early American Republic.” Consuming Music: Individuals, Institutions, Communities, 1730-1830, Emily Green and Catherine Mayes, eds. (University of Rochester Press, 2017), pp. 176-202
“Transatlantic Music Studies.” In Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford University Press (2015)
“Musical Sleuthing in Early America: ‘Derry Down’ and the XYZ Affair.” Common-Place, Special Issue on Music, Vol. 13, No. 2 (2013)
“‘The Tears I Shed at the Songs of Thy Church’: Seventeenth-Century Musical Piety in the English Atlantic World.” Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 65., No. 3 (Fall 2012)
“‘But they differ from us in sound’: Indian Psalmody and the Soundscape of Colonialism, 1651-75.” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., Vol. 69., No. 4 (Fall 2012)