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News from Faculty and Students in the History-Theory and Ethnomusicology Programs 

Recent Job Placements for Alumni in the History-Theory and Ethnomusicology Programs

Graduate Studies in Music History-Theory and Ethnomusicology

The Stony Brook Department of Music offers graduate degrees in the History and Theory of Music and in Ethnomusicology. Students in these programs have the opportunity to engage with a broad historical and cultural span of music.  Our faculty pursue ambitious, far-reaching research agendas, and encourage our students to take up similarly cross-disciplinary questions and projects.  Recent seminars and symposia have explored sound studies, operatic dramaturgy, global protest music, theories of affect, print culture, music and belief, and recent Continental philosophy. Students in Ethnomusicology and History-Theory interact as members of a comprehensive music department with world-renowned performance and composition programs. Career development and professionalization occur at every stage of the degree, working toward conference presentations, publications, and a competitive professional portfolio.

Students in Graduate Programs in History-Theory and Ethnomusicology: 

  • Interact with faculty on a regular basis, receiving highly individualized attention and close supervision.

  • May take seminars in the New York Metro Consortium, which includes Columbia, NYU, Princeton, CUNY, and others.

  • May complete graduate certificates in Women’s Studies, Cultural Studies, Philosophy and the Arts, and Media, Art, Culture, & Technology

  • Benefit from doctoral committees that comprise faculty from across music’s sub-disciplines.

Current Faculty Include: 

Margarethe Adams: Ethnomusicology (Central Asia, Northwest China)
Erika S. Honisch: History and Theory (16th-17th Centuries, Sound Studies)
David Lawton:  History and Theory (19th Century Opera)
Judith Lochhead: History and Theory (20th-21st Centuries, Analysis)
Ryan Minor: History and Theory (“Long” 19th Century)
August Sheehy: History and Theory (History of Music Theory, Analysis, Improvisation)
Stephen D. Smith: History and Theory (19th-20th Centuries)
Benjamin Tausig: Ethnomusicology (Southeast Asia, Sound Studies)


  • Margarethe Adams:  Music and Belief;  Time and Temporality in Ethnomusicology and Film 
  • Erika Honisch: Performance Spaces of the Baroque; The Baroque Listener
  • Judy Lochhead: Listening, Hearing, Perception: Contests of the Ear; Phenomenological Approaches to Music Analysis: Affect’s Musical Traces
  • Ryan Minor: Operatic Spectatorship from Gluck to Wagner; Opera and/as Drama
  • August Sheehy: Analysis and Historicism in the Tonal Era
  • Stephen Decatur Smith: Music and Sound: Nature, Modernity, Modernism
  • Benjamin Tausig: Music, Tension, and Conflict; Aural Mutiny: Theories of Resistance and Refusal
Some Recent Stony Brook Dissertations (completed or in progress):
  • David Blake, “Building Distinctions: Cultivating Popular Music in the American University, 1960–2010”

  • Katherine Kaiser, “Singing Subjects/Vocal Objects: The Recorded Voice in Modern Music”

  • Michael Richardson, “Medievalism and Nationalism in Early Nineteenth-Century German Opera”

  • Alecia Barbour, “Music and Remembrance: Listening to U.S. ‘Internment’ Camps, 1939-1947”

  • Aaron Hayes, “The Discourse on Time in the European Post-War Avant-Garde

  • Cordelia Chenault, “Behind a Flourishing Avant-Garde: An Institutional History of Recent Opera Production in Germany”

  • Benjamin Downs, “Dividing Sense from Sense: Post-War Avant-Garde Music and the Politics of Listening”

  • Michael Boerner—”Perpetual Revolution: Music, Sound, and Experiential Surrealism”

  • Anna Reguero –”The Aesthetics of ‘Indie-Classical’: Music in the Age of Post-Postmodernism”

  • Anna Parkitna: "Opera in Warsaw, 1765–1830: Operatic Migration, Adaptation, and Reception in the Enlightenment"

  • Bethany Cencer, "London Partsong Clubs and Masculinity, 1750–1820"

Select Job Placements for Alumni in the History-Theory and Ethnomusicology Programs

  • David Schulenberg (1982), Professor, Wagner College/Juilliard School of Music
  • Kristina Muxfeldt (1991), Professor, Indiana University
  • Lloyd Whitesell (1993), McGill University
  • Steven Cahn (1996), Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music
  • Stephen Meyer (1996), Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music
  • Elizabeth Keathley (1999), Associate Professor, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • Theo Cateforis (2000), Associate Professor, Syracuse University
  • Jennifer Bain (2001), Associate Professor, Dalhousie University
  • Lisa Barg (2001), Associate Professor, McGill University
  • Brian Locke (2002), Associate Professor, Eastern Illinois University
  • Kirsten Yri (2004), Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Jason Hanley (2011), Vice President of Education and Visitor Engagement, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Nicholas Tochka (2012), University of Melbourne
  • Kassandra Hartford (2013), Assistant Professor, Muhlenberg College
  • Jocelyn Ho (2016), Assistant Professor, UCLA

Recent Faculty News

  • Benjamin Tausig has a forthcoming monograph entitled Bangkok Is Ringing: Sound, Protest, and Constraint (Oxford University Press, 2018).
  • Erika Honisch has a forthcoming article, “Drowning Winter, Burning Bones, Singing Songs: Representations of Popular Devotion in a Central European Motet Cycle,” Journal of Musicology 34 No. 4 (October 2017).
  • Erika Honisch has a forthcoming chapter in Music in Rudolfine Prague, which she is co-editing with Christian Leitmeir (Leiden: Brill, 2017).
  • Steven D. Smith has an upcoming talk, "Souls and Sounds: Nature, Tekne, and Life in Weber's Freischütz," Northwestern University, May 2017.
  • Ryan Minor recently gave a talk, “Rehearsing Germany with Albert Lortzing,” at the conference “Germans Abroad: Opera and Cosmopolitanism 1790-1850,” Kings College, London (February 2017).
  • Benjamin Tausig gave a talk at the Stony Brook Humanities Institute. "Protest Sound, and Its Limits" Invited lecture at the Stony Brook Humanities Institute (February 2017).
  • Benjamin Tausig recently gave an invited talk entitled "Aural Refusal" at Ohio State University (February 2017).
  • Benjamin Tausig has a forthcoming article with Michele Friedner, "The Spoiled and the Salvaged," in Remapping Sound Studies, Gavin Steingo and Jim Sykes, eds. (Duke University Press, 2017).

For more information, please contact Ryan Minor at Ryan.Minor@stonybrook.edu

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