Born in 1922, Janet Knapp became the first female president of the American Musicological Society in 1975 (Grove Music Online). Knapp earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Oberlin College. A few years later, Knapp became the first woman on faculty in the Department of Music at Yale University in 1958 (Yale Library). She served on faculty in the department until 1963, and while there made time to earn her Ph.D. in Music History (1961). After her tenure at Yale, she was appointed to the faculty of Brown University, and later became the Mellon Professor of Music at Vassar College until her retirement in 1986. Knapp specialized in medieval music, focusing on the conductus of the Notre Dame School, and published numerous essays on the unique polyphony and rhythms of the school.
The current president of AMS is also a female musicologist and a UNC Music alumna. Suzanne Cusick (Ph.D. 1975) currently teaches at New York University and specializes in gender and sexuality in relation to musical cultures of early modern Italy and contemporary North America. Cusick has authored numerous publications on this subject, as well as the book Francesca Caccini at the Medici Court, Music and the Circulation of Power (University of Chicago Press, 2009), which won the 2010 Book Award from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. She is currently working on her next book, Men Hearing Women in Medicean Florence. In 2011, Suzanne Cusick was the inaugural speaker at the UNC Hooding ceremony in the Dean Smith Center. (See the transcription of her speech, here.) The Department of Music congratulates Professor Cusick on her fine work in the field throughout the years.
Also making big strides for female voices within the field of musicology are UNC Professors Bohlman, Fauser, MacNeil, Neal, and Ndaliko. (See the March 6th feature on Isabella d’Este and MacNeil, here, and the March 20th feature on Miriam Makeba and Ndaliko, here.)
Assistant Professor Dr. Andrea Bohlman is a historical musicologist focusing on the political stakes of music-making in the 20th- and 21st-centuries. Bohlman has received numerous grants and fellowships in support of her research, including from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Musicological Society (AMS50), and a Fulbright-Hays fellowship. She has written numerous articles and book chapters, including the article “Solidarity, Song, and the Sound Document” for the Journal of Musicology in the spring of 2016 and the chapter “‘Where I Cannot Roam, My Song Will Take Wing’: Polish Cultural Promotion in Belarus, 1988” in Music and International History (published by Berghahn Books in 2015). In 2012, Bohlman also authored a book with her father (another renowned musicologist) Philip Bohlman, “Hanns Eisler (1898–1962): “In der Musik ist es anders.” She is currently working on her next book, Musical Solidarities: Political Action and Music in Late Twentieth-Century Poland. This book will focus on “the roles music and sound played in cohering and interfering with political action in the Polish context, when in the 1980s the Solidarity movement galvanized the opposition to state socialism.” Also a talented educator, Bohlman has taught courses such as Music History Since 1750 (MUSC 255), Music and Politics (MUSC 291), and Music and Migration (MUSC 258). In Fall 2019 she will teach the graduate seminar, The Work and Power of Tape (MUSC 950.002).
Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Music, Harold J. Glass USAF Faculty Mentor/Graduate Fellow Distinguished Term Professor, & Adjunct Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies Dr. Annegret Fauser, has been on faculty in the department since 2001. She is a cultural musicologist whose work emphasizes how music intersects with its social, political, and artistic contexts, particularly in the 19th-and 20th-centuries. Fauser has taught undergraduate courses such as Music in the United States during World War II (Honors Seminar); Introduction to Women and Music (cross-listed with Women’s and Gender Studies), and Sounds of War and Revolution, 1750–1850 (cross-listed with Peace, War, and Defense); and graduate seminars such as Opera in fin-de-siècle Paris: Institution, Genre, and Convention, Aaron Copland: A Composer in Context, and Musical Paris in the 1920s. She has also advised over 15 graduate students on their doctoral theses during her tenure at UNC and has written/edited seven published books. Her latest book, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring (Oxford University Press, 2017), was awarded the ASCAP’s 2018 Virgil Thomson Award for Outstanding Music Criticism. Dr. Fauser has earned fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the European Research Council, the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (U.K.), the Fondation Nadia et Lili Boulanger, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst. She has been recognized with major awards such as the Ruth A Solie Award, the Music in American Culture Award, and perhaps most notably was the 2011 recipient of the Edward J. Dent Medal of the Royal Music Association. This coming fall Dr. Fauser will teach Women In Music (cross-listed with Women’s and Gender Studies).
Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor Dr. Jocelyn Neal focuses her acclaimed research primarily on commercial country music and American popular music. The second edition of her book Country Music: A Cultural and Stylistic History (Oxford University Press, 2012) was published in 2018, and her 2009 book The Songs of Jimmie Rodgers: A Legacy in Country Music was a winner of ASCAP’s Deems Taylor Award and the ARSC Certificate of Merit. A music theorist having earned her Ph.D. in music theory, her dissertation was titled “Song Structure Determinants: Poetic Narrative, Phrase Structure, and Hypermeter in the Music of Jimmie Rodgers.” Professor Neal has taught undergraduate courses such as Music Theory and Analysis, History of Country Music, and Popular Music Analysis; and graduate seminars including Twang and Genre, Cover Songs, Time in Music (Theories of Rhythm and Meter), Authenticity in Country Music, and Tonal Theory and Analysis. In Fall 2018, she introduced a new course focused on songwriting titled, Inside the Song: Analysis of Songcraft, in which students learned about the craft of songwriting and presented their original compositions in a showcase at the end of the semester. Dr. Neal also directs the Carolina Bluegrass Initiative that established the Carolina Bluegrass Band in 2016, and she has been a constant champion and advocate of the group. Aside from her teaching and research, Neal has served on the editorial boards for the academic journals Music Theory Spectrum and Music Theory Online, and co-edited Southern Cultures (2009-2014). She has served as chair of the Popular Music Group for the Society of Music Theory and as director of UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South (2012-2013). In Fall 2019, Dr. Neal will be on leave to delve further into her research on the impact of the 1909 Copyright Act on the evolution of American Popular music.
With one of the leading graduate musicology programs in the country, the department is thankful for the leadership and innovation of these powerful female voices.