Colloquium with Prof. Philip Ewell (Hunter College of the City University of New York)

Friday, March 26, 2021 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

The Department of Music at Columbia University is pleased to present a talk by Prof. Philip Ewell (City University of New York):

“On Confronting Music Theory’s Antiblackness: Three Case Studies”

Friday March 26, 2021
Zoom Link available below
Open to the General Public
For Information: aaf19 [at]

Jointly sponsored by the Musicology/Music Theory Colloquium Series and the Center for Ethnomusicology

Abstract: The Summer 2020 controversy over Vol. 12 of the Journal of Schenkerian Studies has changed the course of American music theory in ways not seen in decades, if ever. As the figure at the eye of this storm, I have a unique perspective on the antiblackness that drove Vol. 12. In this talk I relate three case studies on music theory's antiblackness in hopes of driving a new narrative on antiracism in the field, a field that remains stubbornly resistant to antiracist and antisexist change, a field that seems willing to risk its very existence in clinging to twentieth-century norms that are, two decades into the twenty-first, at once undesirable and unsustainable.

Philip Ewell is an Associate Professor of Music Theory at Hunter College of the City University of New York, where he serves as Director of Graduate Studies in the music department. His specialties include Russian music and music theory, Russian opera, modal theory, and critical-race studies. He received the 2019–2020 “Presidential Award for Excellence in Creative Work” at Hunter College, and he is the “Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellow” of the American Council of Learned Societies for 2020–2021. In August 2020 he received the “Graduate Center Award for Excellence in Mentoring,” which recognized his “ongoing, long-term, commitment to students at all stages of graduate research.” He is also a “Virtual Scholar in Residence” at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music for 2020–2021. As a result of his ACLS award, he is currently working on a monograph—to be published by the “Music and Social Justice” series at the University of Michigan Press—combining race and feminist studies with music and music theory. Finally, he is under contract at W.W. Norton to coauthor a new music theory textbook, “The Practicing Music Theorist,” which will be a modernized, reframed, and inclusive textbook based on recent developments in music theory pedagogy.

Topic: Philip Ewell Colloquium

Time: Mar 26, 2021 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Upcoming event: Please join us at 3PM on Friday April 2, 2021 for a talk by Prof. Alisha Lola Jones (Indiana University)