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Faculty Profile

Ellen Gray

Associate Professor of Music (2016)

Contact Information

Weiss Center for the Arts Room 210


Lila Ellen Gray holds a PhD in cultural anthropology (2005), a MA in music (2000), and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Duke University and a BA in humanities from New College of Florida (1993). Her teaching and research interests include: urban ethnomusicology; sound studies; gender; peripheral early musics; vocality; Portugal; the Lusophone world; and Europe’s South. Her book, Fado Resounding: Affective Politics and Urban Life (2013 Duke University Press), is a musical ethnography of fado, Portugal’s most celebrated musical genre, and was the recipient of the 2014 Woody Guthrie Award of the International Association for Popular Music (IASPM-US). Her present work concerns musical celebrity, amateur musicianship and mass tourism, and the labors of sound, heritage, and the senses in the context of multiple forms of precarity across Europe’s South. Publications include articles in the journals Ethnomusicology, History and Anthropology, Anthropology and Humanism and Culture, Theory and Critique. She is currently completing a book for Bloomsbury Press on the Portuguese diva Amália Rodrigues. She has previously taught at Columbia University and at the University of Amsterdam. Organizations that have supported her work include: The Bogliasco Foundation; The Social Science Research Council; The Council for European Studies; The Luso-American Foundation for Development; and the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis. Her courses are informed by longstanding commitments to interdisciplinary scholarship and emphasize the role of sound and music in shaping socio-cultural life.


  • B.A., New College of Florida, 1993
  • M.A., Duke University, 2000
  • Ph.D., 2005

2022-2023 Academic Year

Fall 2022

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

MUAC 101 Early Musical Migrations
What did the past sound like? What kinds of music did people dance to, worship with, celebrate with, protest with? What musical instruments were used and how were they made? Who participated in music-making, composing, and listening and what did gender, race, or religion have to do with it? How did musical forms shapeshift as people migrated, traveled, conquered, colonized, or were forcibly displaced? How did new musical forms emerge in moments of encounter? These are just some of the questions that this interdisciplinary course will explore. Students will investigate select musical worlds from 900-1750 from the areas now known as Europe and the Americas. Students will acquire skills in critical listening. The ability to read music is not required for this course and non-musicians are welcome and encouraged.