Faculty Profile

Ellen Gray

Associate Professor of Music (2016)

Contact Information

grayl@dickinson.edu

Weiss Center for the Arts Room 210
717.254.8718

Bio

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 European early music communities, 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 Ethnomusicology, History and Anthropology, and Anthropology and Humanism. She has previously taught at Columbia University and at the University of Amsterdam. At Dickinson, she teaches in both the fields of early music and ethnomusicology. Her courses are informed by longstanding commitments to interdisciplinary scholarship and emphasize the role of sound and music in shaping socio-cultural life.

Education

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

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall 2017

MUAC 101 History of Music
An introductory course for students with some previous music experience providing training in intelligent listening through chronological discussion and analysis of selected representative works from the Middle Ages to 1750.

MUAC 209 Ethnomusicology
This course explores the musical culture of six regions (Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Middle East, North American, and Europe) from the disciplinary perspective of ethnomusicology, a field that emphasizes the direct connections between social structures and musical sound/aesthetics. Students are exposed to the disciplinary methods of ethnomusicology, including its basic terminology and classification systems, and then apply these tools to the study of non-Western musics in a series of analytical assignments and presentations. Some of the questions posed in the class include: What differentiates music from sound, speech, and dance? How does music reflect cultural values and social structures? How does one learn to listen to non-western music? How has globalism affected local musical cultures? How does western terminology limit our understanding of another's music? What are the ideological and physical boundaries that hinder the experience of another culture's music?

Spring 2018

LALC 200 Lusomusics
Cross-listed with AFST 220-08, MUAC 210-02 and PORT 380-02. This course investigates select musical genres and soundscapes in 20th-21st century Portugal, Cape Verde, Angola, and Brazil as a lens into understanding four national cultures interlinked through a common language, geographical positioning in relation to the Atlantic ocean, and histories of Portuguese colonialism. Working with a wide range of case studies, from urban and popular music genres, to revivals of traditional music and dance, to newly emergent expressive forms, “Lusomusics” uses musical ethnographies, histories, and sound and video recordings as the materials through which to think about colonialism/post-colonialism, culture, musical circulation, and contact. Likewise, this course introduces students to the analytic tools to think critically about the production and packaging of “lusomusics” and their histories for international markets for “world music.”

MUAC 210 Lusomusics
Cross-listed with AFST 220-08, LALC 200-01 and PORT 380-02. This course investigates select musical genres and soundscapes in 20th-21st century Portugal, Cape Verde, Angola, and Brazil as a lens into understanding four national cultures interlinked through a common language, geographical positioning in relation to the Atlantic ocean, and histories of Portuguese colonialism. Working with a wide range of case studies, from urban and popular music genres, to revivals of traditional music and dance, to newly emergent expressive forms, “Lusomusics” uses musical ethnographies, histories, and sound and video recordings as the materials through which to think about colonialism/post-colonialism, culture, musical circulation, and contact. Likewise, this course introduces students to the analytic tools to think critically about the production and packaging of “lusomusics” and their histories for international markets for “world music.”

MUAC 210 Music, Gender, and Performance
Cross-listed with WGSS 301-04.May Cuba trip as an option – applications due Nov. 27. See Global Ed or Community Studies Center website for more information or contact Susan Rose (rose@dickinson.edu) This course examines relationships between gender, music, and performance from an interdisciplinary perspective (music and sound studies, ethnomusicology, gender and queer theory, performance studies). We examine debates around issues of sex and gender and nature and culture through the lens of musical performance and experience drawing on musical examples from a diverse range of genres, traditions, historical moments, and socio-cultural contexts. Some questions we consider include: To what extent is participation in particular musical cultures or scenes dictated by gendered conventions? What social purpose do these delineations serve? What might the voice tell us about gender or sexuality? What might music tell us about the body? What is the relationship between performance and the ways in which social attitudes about masculinity and femininity, homosexuality and heterosexuality are shaped? How can we think about the concept of nation via gender and music? How might the gendered performances and the voices of musical celebrities come to represent or officially “speak” for particular publics? How does music shape our understanding of emotion, our experience of pleasure? Class discussions will focus on careful readings of the assigned texts and listening/viewing assignments

WGSS 301 Music, Gender, and Performance
Cross-listed with MUAC 210-01.May Cuba trip as an option – applications due Nov. 27. See Global Ed or Community Studies Center website for more information or contact Susan Rose (rose@dickinson.edu) This course examines relationships between gender, music, and performance from an interdisciplinary perspective (music and sound studies, ethnomusicology, gender and queer theory, performance studies). We examine debates around issues of sex and gender and nature and culture through the lens of musical performance and experience drawing on musical examples from a diverse range of genres, traditions, historical moments, and socio-cultural contexts. Some questions we consider include: To what extent is participation in particular musical cultures or scenes dictated by gendered conventions? What social purpose do these delineations serve? What might the voice tell us about gender or sexuality? What might music tell us about the body? What is the relationship between performance and the ways in which social attitudes about masculinity and femininity, homosexuality and heterosexuality are shaped? How can we think about the concept of nation via gender and music? How might the gendered performances and the voices of musical celebrities come to represent or officially “speak” for particular publics? How does music shape our understanding of emotion, our experience of pleasure? Class discussions will focus on careful readings of the assigned texts and listening/viewing assignments

MUAC 355 Music and Place
May Cuba trip as an option – applications due Nov. 27. See Global Ed or Community Studies Center website for more information or contact Susan Rose (rose@dickinson.edu)This course provides an introduction to contemporary work on music and place from an ethnomusicological perspective. It situates specific musical case studies within an interdisciplinary theoretical framework that draws from the fields of cultural anthropology and geography, cultural studies, and performance studies. Music often shapes deeply felt experiences of place, belonging and the local while simultaneously possessing a facile capability for travel, displacement and transformation. In the current political climate where nationalisms and regionalisms sometimes escalate in tension with senses of belonging and social solidarities formed via imagined communities and international coalitions, this course looks to sound and music as a lens into understanding how senses of place and displacement, longing and belonging are shaped, felt and experienced. In making an argument for the critical position of music to understanding relations between the “local” and the global, to understanding the role of the imagination, the body and feeling in shaping the experience of belonging and locality, this interdisciplinary course bridges the arts and the social sciences.

PORT 380 Lusomusics
Cross-listed with AFST 220-08, LALC 200-02 and MUAC 210-02. This course investigates select musical genres and soundscapes in 20th-21st century Portugal, Cape Verde, Angola, and Brazil as a lens into understanding four national cultures interlinked through a common language, geographical positioning in relation to the Atlantic ocean, and histories of Portuguese colonialism. Working with a wide range of case studies, from urban and popular music genres, to revivals of traditional music and dance, to newly emergent expressive forms, “Lusomusics” uses musical ethnographies, histories, and sound and video recordings as the materials through which to think about colonialism/post-colonialism, culture, musical circulation, and contact. Likewise, this course introduces students to the analytic tools to think critically about the production and packaging of “lusomusics” and their histories for international markets for “world music.”