Penn Graduate Students Shine at AMS and SEM Conferences

November 17, 2020
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Penn graduate students were very active at this year’s American Musicological Society and Society for Ethnomusicology conferences. We’re thrilled to have been such a strong presence at these important gatherings. At the time of writing, SEM prizes have yet to be announced, but we already know that some students won AMS prizes, which we list here along with student presentations.


Congratulations to:

Maria Ryan [], sixth year, Musicology, for winning not one but two awards: the Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Dissertation Fellowship for her dissertation “Hearing Power, Sounding Freedom: Black Practices of Listening, Ear-Training, and Music-Making in the British Colonial Caribbean”; and the Paul A. Pisk Prize for the best graduate student paper presented at the meeting for her paper “Enslaved Black Women’s Listening Practices and the Afterlives of Slavery in Musical Thought” delivered in the session “Race, Music, and Slavery in the British Colonial Caribbean: Research Beyond Recovery.”

Xintong (Bess) Liu [], fifth year, Musicology, for having been awarded a fellowship from the Ora Frishberg Saloman Fund for musicological research oriented to music criticism and reception history, for her project “Resonant China: Transnational Music-making and the Construction of the Public (1934-1958).”

In addition, three graduate students presented papers:

Siel Agugliaro [], seventh year, Musicology: "Especial Miracles": The Collective Making of the Phonograph as an American Musical Product,” in the session “The Impact of Recordings”.

Erik Broess [], fourth year, Musicology; “Toward a Mise en Circuit: Archiving Tone in Electric Guitar Pedals” in the session “Hardware, Software”; and "Reading Knob Interfaces: The Archaeology of Electric Guitar Tone" in the Roundtable “The Sound Object and Music Media (AMS Music and Media Study Group / SMT Film and Multimedia Interest Group)”.

Winnie W. C. Lai [], third year, Theory: “I Heard You Through the Tear Gas!”: Sound Acts in the 2019–20 Hong Kong Protests,” in the session “Sounding the Hong Kong Protests.”


Siel Agugliaro [], seventh year, Musicology: “The Thing with Vaporwave: Reassessing Deconstruction,” in the session “Case Studies in the Digital Realm.”

Juan Castrillon [], sixth year, Ethnomusicology: “Disappearing the Yuruparí: An Organology Without Musical Instruments, Women’s Laughter, and Labor in the Northwestern Amazon,” in the session “Music, Labor, Commerce.”

Elise Cavicchi [], fifth year, Ethnomusicology and Anthropology: “Postcards from Italy: Slow Violence After the Belice Earthquake,” in the session “Music and Responses to Disaster.”

Winnie W. C. Lai [], third year, Theory: “I Heard You Through the Tear Gas!”: Sound Acts in the 2019-20 Hong Kong Protests,” in the session “Sound and Protest.”

Xintong (Bess) Liu [], fifth year, Musicology, took part in a roundtable on “Truth and Narratives: Music and Scholarship in the Shadow of a Rising China.”

Keisuke Yamada [], recently graduated, Ethnomusicology: “Strings in the Age of Global Industrial Chemicals: An Object-Oriented Approach to Twentieth-Century Music History,” in the session “Ethnomusicological approaches to political economy and resource ecologies.”

Shelley Zhang [], sixth year, Ethnomusicology: “China's One-Child Generation in Musical Migration: The Strategic Citizenship of Sea Turtles,” in the session “Musical Afterlives of Revolution: Political and Social Legacies from China's 20th Century.”