Susan Boynton

Professor of Music, Historical Musicology
On leave (2020–21)
Office Address: 
619B Dodge Hall
(212) 854-7186
Susan Boynton joined the Columbia faculty in 2000. Her research interests include liturgy and music in medieval Western monasticism, particularly the abbey of Cluny; manuscript studies; music in the Iberian peninsula; music and childhood; and intersections between music and the visual arts. In 2020, Boynton was named a Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French Ministry of Education. Boynton is a recipient of Columbia's Distinguished Faculty Award and has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Academy in Rome, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Boynton has published seven books. The first, Shaping a Monastic Identity: Liturgy and History at the Imperial Abbey of Farfa, 1000-1125 (2006), won the Lewis Lockwood Award of the American Musicological Society. Her second monograph, Silent Music: Medieval Song and the Construction of History in Eighteenth-Century Spain (2011), won the Society's Robert M. Stevenson Award. Prof. Boynton coedited (with Diane J. Reilly) The Practice of the Bible in the Middle Ages (2011). Also coedited with Diane J. Reilly,  Resounding Images: Medieval Intersections of Art, Music, and Sound (2015) won the Society's Ruth A. Solie Award.
Boynton's other volumes include From Dead of Night to End of Day (2005)coedited with Isabelle Cochelin, Musical Childhoods and the Cultures of Youth (2006), coedited with Roe-Min Kok; and Young Choristers, 650-1700 (2008), coedited with Eric Rice. She has published articles in The Journal of the American Musicological SocietySpeculumViatorTraditio, and other musicology and medieval studies journals, as well as in numerous edited volumes (for a complete list see the CV linked on the right).
Boynton serves as coeditor of the medieval art history journal Gesta (with coeditor Diane J. Reilly), published by the University of Chicago Press for the International Center of Medieval Art. From 2016-19 she was the Columbia Project Leader for a digital humanities and musical iconography exchange with the Sorbonne, FAB-Musiconis. With the historian Isabelle Cochelin (University of Toronto), Boynton is a general editor of the interdisciplinary series Disciplina Monastica: Studies on Medieval Monastic Life/Etudes sur la vie monastique au moyen age (Brepols Publishers), in which 12 volumes have appeared to date. Boynton is an Associate Member of the Institut de recherche en musicologie (IReMus) of the Centre national de le recherche scientifique (France). She is a member of the Wissenschaftlicher Beirat (Scientific Board) of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel, Switzerland) and the Advisory Board of The University Seminars at Columbia. Boynton serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies and the Journal of Musicology.  In 2018-19 she was Resident Faculty Director of the new Institute for Ideas and Imagination at Columbia's Global Center in Paris
Degrees from Other Institutions: 
Yale University
Medieval Studies
Yale University
Medieval Studies
Louvain la Neuve
Music and Women's Studies
Brandeis University
Brandeis University