Lauren Marilyn Shepherd

PhD Student in Music Theory

Lauren Shepherd is a PhD Candidate in Music Theory at Columbia University where she specializes in genre theory within American music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Her dissertation, provisionally titled “Reconceiving Genre: Exploring the Social Constructions of Musical Styles in American Popular Music,” presents an interdisciplinary analysis of the politics of genre in popular music that combines frameworks from music theory, musicology, and ethnomusicology with theories of gender, race, sexuality, and class. She argues that shifting emphasis away from artists at the top of popularity charts to the music of underrepresented groups is one way to reconstitute the notion of genre from a more equitable perspective through different case studies within each chapter.

She maintains a strong interest in pedagogy and has been involved with many initiatives through Columbia’s Center for Teaching and Learning. Lauren is presently serving as the Music Department’s Lead Teaching Fellow through the CTL.

Lauren holds an MM in Music Theory from the University of Arkansas where she worked in the Music Cognition Lab with Lisa Margulis and a BA in Flute Performance and Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she worked in the Developmental Brain Lab based in the Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior. Her work has been published in Current Musicology and has been presented at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, the Columbia Music Scholarship Conference, Music and the Internet, in addition to others. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys baking and spending time with her dog, Peanut Butter.