Lauren McGuire Jennings (Lecturer) is a musicologist who studies song, poetry, and manuscript culture in the Middle Ages. Her research explores on the relationship between music and poetry in late-medieval Italy using interdisciplinary methods that focus on books as material objects. Her monograph, Senza Vestimenta: The Literary Tradition of Trecento Song, (Ashgate, 2014) reconsiders the literary status of song texts in late-medieval Italy by giving voice to 50 poetic manuscripts that have hitherto stood on the sidelines of both musicological and literary scholarship. Her current project, “Form, Visuality, and the Art of Memory in Fourteenth-Century Song,” explores the perception of form, both musical and poetic, in the late Middle Ages. It seeks to elucidate why structural rigor and pervasive repetition is so fundamental to late-medieval vernacular song by historicizing the formes fixes (particularly the Italian madrigal and ballata) in the context of medieval cognition, visual culture, and the ars memorativa. Jennings also studies the early history of concert life and amateur music making in the United States and has presented papers on performances of Haydn’s Creation in Bethlehem (PA) and Philadelphia during the early 19th century.
Lauren Jennings is currently a lecturer in music history at UNC-Chapel Hill. She holds a B.A. from Smith College, an M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research has been supported by grants from the the U.S.-Italy Fulbright Commission, the American Musicological Society, the Medieval Academy of America, and the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, she is an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Critical Bibliography through the Rare Book School. Before coming to UNC, she taught at the University of Southern California as a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities.
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