Knar Abrahamyan is an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Race. Her work examines the historical and political entanglements of cultural production. Her forthcoming book, Opera as Statecraft in Soviet Armenia and Kazakhstan, re-envisions Soviet music history by analyzing the power dynamics between the state and its ethnic and racial Others. It explores opera as a contested imperial space through which the Soviet state pursued colonial subjugation under the guise of cultural modernization. Abrahamyan’s work on Soviet music and politics was published in the DSCH Journal and a collected volume, Analytical Approaches to 20th-Century Russian Music. She is a recipient of the Fulbright Research Fellowship in Moscow, a Metropolitan Opera Education Department Fellowship, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus Research Fellowship (funded by the US Department of State Bureau). Prior to joining the Department, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia's Society of Fellows in 2022–2023.
Alongside research and teaching, Abrahamyan pursues mentorship, service, and outreach aimed at global issues such as equity in education and climate change. With grants from the Tufenkian Foundation and Yale’s Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking, she founded and directed the Hadrut Educational Summer Camp in her native Nagorno-Karabakh region (2019). Within her broad research interests—including posthumanism, sound studies, Slavic studies, and environmental humanities—Abrahamyan’s scholarly explorations continuously reassess the role of the Other, thinking about and through difference. It is through this act of reassessment that her work promotes humanistic inquiry as the key to averting hostility and violence between seemingly irreconcilable worldviews.