Sonja Wermager is the 2023-24 Early Career Fellow in the Department of Music. Her research focuses on intersections of religion, medicine, and music in nineteenth-century Germany. She defended her dissertation, "Robert Schumann and 'The Artist's Highest Goal:' Religion, Romanticism, and Nation in the Late Choral Works," in May 2023.
Articles based on her dissertation research have appeared recently in 19th-Century Music and Sacred and Secular Intersections in Music of the Long Nineteenth Century. She also maintains interests in Reformation studies and has published on sixteenth-century psalmody in the Yale Journal of Music & Religion. She was previously a dissertation fellow with Columbia's Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, and has presented at domestic and international conferences including American Musicological Society and German Studies Association annual meetings.
As an Early Career Fellow, she is teaching Music Humanities and History of Western Music II. From 2021-2023 she taught Literature Humanities as part of Columbia's Core Curriculum. She received the 2020 Core Preceptor Award for Teaching Excellence in Music Humanities.
A committed teacher, she has been actively involved in pedagogy initiatives with Columbia's Center for Teaching and Learning as a Teaching Observation Fellow, Lead Teaching Fellow, and Senior Lead Teaching Fellow.
Prior to doctoral studies at Columbia, Sonja completed a B.A. in Music and History at St. Olaf College and a M.A. in Renaissance, Reformation, and Early Modern Studies at the University of Birmingham (UK), where she received the U.S. Postgraduate Student Scholarship and graduated with distinction. She also served as an AmeriCorps volunteer working with high school seniors on college access and affordability.