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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

2021-2022 Academic Year

Spring 2022

LALC 200 Pop Music of Port Black Atl
Cross-listed with MUAC 210-01, PORT 380-01, and AFST 220-04. Samba, samba, fado, morna, tropicália, bossa nova. These are all popular music and dance forms from Portuguese speaking cultures. This interdisciplinary 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 and histories of colonialism and African diaspora. Working with a wide range of case studies, from urban and popular musics, to revivals of traditional music and dance, to newly emergent expressive forms, we will listen to sound recordings, watch documentary films about performance, and read and discuss widely. We will ask questions about relationships between musical expression and the enduring legacies of colonialism. We will study music making in relation to power and resistance. We will explore issues of cultural appropriation, musical exoticism and hybridity in the marketing of local musics for international “world music” consumers.No previous music experience or Portuguese skills necessary. Majors from across the College are welcome.

ANTH 205 Listening Across Cultures
Cross-listed with MUAC 209-01.

ANTH 205 Music and Sound Ethnography
Cross-listed with MUAC 355-01. This seminar introduces students to ethnography as a genre, as a set of practices, and as a repertoire of methods for understanding music and sound in relation to sociocultural life. Through close attention to select ethnographic texts, recordings, and films from the past three decades, students will engage with a diverse range of musical and sonic worlds. Some of the questions to be considered include: What is the relationship between data and story, fieldwork and ethnography, music and representations of music? What might it mean to study a particular musical scene or culture as an “insider” versus as an “outsider”? How can we think about sound and/or video recordings as ethnography and/or as method? What might be some of the stakes and ethics of conducting ethnographic research on music? Musical note reading not required. Interested non-majors who do not meet prerequisites are encouraged to seek permission of instructor.

MUAC 209 Listening Across Cultures
Cross-listed with ANTH 205-02.

MUAC 210 Pop Music of Port Black Atl
Cross-listed with LALC 200-02, PORT 380-01, and AFST 220-04. Samba, samba, fado, morna, tropicália, bossa nova. These are all popular music and dance forms from Portuguese speaking cultures. This interdisciplinary 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 and histories of colonialism and African diaspora. Working with a wide range of case studies, from urban and popular musics, to revivals of traditional music and dance, to newly emergent expressive forms, we will listen to sound recordings, watch documentary films about performance, and read and discuss widely. We will ask questions about relationships between musical expression and the enduring legacies of colonialism. We will study music making in relation to power and resistance. We will explore issues of cultural appropriation, musical exoticism and hybridity in the marketing of local musics for international “world music” consumers.No previous music experience or Portuguese skills necessary. Majors from across the College are welcome.

AFST 220 Pop Music of Port Black Atl
Cross-listed with LALC 200-02, MUAC 210-01, and PORT 380-01. Samba, samba, fado, morna, tropicália, bossa nova. These are all popular music and dance forms from Portuguese speaking cultures. This interdisciplinary 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 and histories of colonialism and African diaspora. Working with a wide range of case studies, from urban and popular musics, to revivals of traditional music and dance, to newly emergent expressive forms, we will listen to sound recordings, watch documentary films about performance, and read and discuss widely. We will ask questions about relationships between musical expression and the enduring legacies of colonialism. We will study music making in relation to power and resistance. We will explore issues of cultural appropriation, musical exoticism and hybridity in the marketing of local musics for international “world music” consumers.No previous music experience or Portuguese skills necessary. Majors from across the College are welcome.

MUAC 355 Music and Sound Ethnography
Cross-listed with ANTH 205-01. This seminar introduces students to ethnography as a genre, as a set of practices, and as a repertoire of methods for understanding music and sound in relation to sociocultural life. Through close attention to select ethnographic texts, recordings, and films from the past three decades, students will engage with a diverse range of musical and sonic worlds. Some of the questions to be considered include: What is the relationship between data and story, fieldwork and ethnography, music and representations of music? What might it mean to study a particular musical scene or culture as an “insider” versus as an “outsider”? How can we think about sound and/or video recordings as ethnography and/or as method? What might be some of the stakes and ethics of conducting ethnographic research on music? Musical note reading not required. Interested non-majors who do not meet prerequisites are encouraged to seek permission of instructor.

PORT 380 Pop Music of Port Black Atl
Cross-listed with LALC 200-02, AFST 220-04, and MUAC 210-01. Samba, samba, fado, morna, tropicália, bossa nova. These are all popular music and dance forms from Portuguese speaking cultures. This interdisciplinary 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 and histories of colonialism and African diaspora. Working with a wide range of case studies, from urban and popular musics, to revivals of traditional music and dance, to newly emergent expressive forms, we will listen to sound recordings, watch documentary films about performance, and read and discuss widely. We will ask questions about relationships between musical expression and the enduring legacies of colonialism. We will study music making in relation to power and resistance. We will explore issues of cultural appropriation, musical exoticism and hybridity in the marketing of local musics for international “world music” consumers.No previous music experience or Portuguese skills necessary. Majors from across the College are welcome.