Anna Stirr completed the PhD in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University in 2009. She was a post-doctoral fellow in Music at Oxford University (UK), 2009-11. In January 2012, she began a tenure-track appointment as Assistant Professor of Asian Performing Arts at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa.
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Farzaneh Hemmasi is a 2010 PhD Alumna of Columbia's Ethnomusicology program. She was fellow at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Humanities Forum) from 2010-11, directed Columbia's new Middle Eastern music ensemble from 2011-12, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at The University of Toronto.
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Shannon joined the Ph.D. program in Ethnomusicology in 2007. Her dissertation explores emerging relationships between online media circulation, economy, aesthetic value, and sociality in the South American southern cone, particularly in Santiago, Chile and Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she currently resides. In addition to Chile and Brazil, Shannon also spent time living in Korea and Japan, where she dabbled in various "traditional" instruments. While in New York, she plays hichiriki with the Columbia Gagaku Ensemble, and bass guitar with the Chilena-Brooklyn band Nutria N.N. Now several years a capoeirista, she is currently working on pandeiro, atabaque and of course, berimbau.
Shannon has been the recipient of several research grants for her work in Chile and Brazil, including the IIE Graduate Fellowship for International Study, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (the canceled 2011-2012 Fulbright-Hays DDRA award).
In 2012 she has been writing and presenting on a Brazilian political-cultural network called Fora do Eixo, the subject of her forthcoming article for a special issue of the Journal of Popular Music Studies on music, labor, and value. The article, titled "The space, the gear, and two big cans of beer": Fora do Eixo and the Debate Over Circulation, Remuneration, and Aesthetics in the Brazilian Alternative Market," is due out in December, 2012.
Marti Newland is a Core Lecturer in Music Humanities at Columbia, and a 2014 Ph.D. alumna of the Columbia Ethnomusicology program. She specializes in voice studies and African American music. Her dissertation, "Sounding Black: An Ethnography of Racialized Vocal Practices at Fisk University," is a phenomenological study of radicalized vocality in the United States, with a focus on blackness. Through ethnographic research about radicalized vocal practices among Fisk students, a historically black university in Nashville, Tennessee, Marti examines the procedures at play in sounding "black"--the performance of race ideologies through vocal acts, as well as the ethics of listening for race in voices. A 2011 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship supports her research. She previously explored the role of vocality in the naturalization and denaturalization of race in two Master's theses, one in African American Studies and the other in Ethnomusicology. In the first, she examined blackface minstrelsy's influence on the performance practices of concert spirituals by analyzing the politics of diction and orthography in constructing the dynamics between race and repertoire among American opera singers. This research was awarded the 2007 Langston Hughes Thesis Award for the Humanities from Columbia's Institute for Research in African American Studies. Most recently, she conducted an ethnographic study of a Japanese gospel choir in residence at a Baptist church in Harlem investigating how these Japanese singers, many of whom are atheist, and their Christian African American hosts negotiated racial and spiritual difference through gospel music making.
At Columbia, Marti has been the instructor for Introductory Ear Training and Music Humanities, for which she was awarded the 2011 Meyerson Award for excellence in teaching Music Humanities in the Columbia University Core Curriculum. She also serves as a choral adjudicator for Worldstrides Heritage Festivals choral competitions and has taught private voice lessons at Seton Hall University. She has sung in music festivals including three seasons with the Aspen Music Festival Opera Theater Center and Centro Studi Italiani in Urbania, Italy. Her music theater roles include Glenda (The Wiz) and Mama Euralie (Once on This Island) and she has been a guest soloist with the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Opera Noire of New York, and Harlem Opera Theater. Marti has worked with teachers and directors including W. Steven Smith, Lorraine Manz, Caroline Jackson Smith and Edward Berkeley. While she has performed roles in opera scenes including Antonia (Les Contes d'Hoffmann), Governess (Turn of the Screw), Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro), Musetta and Mimi (La Boheme), and Cio Cio San (Madame Butterfly), Marti is especially committed to performing African American art music.