Research and Scholarship

My research addresses how humans experience meaning through sound and addresses topics such as contemporary experiences of traditional sacred musics, the role of music and sports in society, the globalized music industry, and live music in the digital age. My most recent paper, “(White)washing our Sins Away: Race, Music and Symbolic Violence in American Churches” was presented at the 2018 Society for Ethnomusicology meeting. My work on music in the United States relates to my broader research on the transnational sacred music industry. For example, my forthcoming 2019 article “ESL: English as a Sacred Language in German Evangelical Worship Music” integrates social geography techniques to explore the Anglophone worship music industry’s linguistic transformation of contemporary Christian music and communities in the context of globalization and Americanization. This work, which will be published in Springer’s The Changing World Language Map explores blurring linguistic boundaries, imagined communities, and socioeconomic tensions across borders.

 Other aspects of my research develop new theories about how humans perceive music. For example, my chapter appearing in the forthcoming 2019 Oxford Handbook of Phenomenological Ethnomusicology applies phenomenological theory to participants’ sonic and ethical negotiations in contemporary transnational music festivals. My engagement with theory and practice also extends to writing about how to do and teach ethnomusicology: my 2015 Yearbook of Traditional Music article on collaborative fieldwork, co-authored with Dr. Fredara Hadley, explores the dynamics of working together in the field; I also analyze innovative uses of technology in student assignments in a pedagogy article recently featured in Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments. This article resulted from a Music and Sports course that I developed for Syracuse University, which attracted a roster and waitlist of music majors, music industry students, journalism students, and Division One student-athletes every semester it was offered.

In summer of 2019, I will be guiding the Public Religion Project team from University Colorado, Boulder’s Center for Media, Religion and Culture on a study trip to the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music in Fes, Morocco.