Associate professor in musicd
Rachel Mundy is an Associate Professor of Music in the Arts, Culture, & Media program at Rutgers University in Newark. She specializes in twentieth-century sonic culture with interests at the juncture of music, the history of science, and animal studies. Her work shows how music has been used to navigate changing boundaries between race, species, and culture during a century of social and ecological crisis.
Rachel’s work has been cited as initiating an “animal turn” in music studies. She has published widely and given invited talks for audiences at institutions including Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Eastman, and Lincoln Center.
Rachel locates herself within a broad movement in the arts and sciences towards new ideas about human identity, nature, and culture in an era of social and ecological crisis. Her classes explore sound in the history of science, animals and posthumanism, Newark’s soundscapes, and Western traditions in a global context. Rachel is also a licensed teacher of the Japanese traditional flute or shakuhachi, which she has played and performed since 2001.
BA in music, Wesleyan University 2000
MM in music history, Hartt School of Music, 2003
PhD in music studies, New York University 2010
Animal studies; history of science and technology; sound studies; environmental history; race, animals, and representations of difference in Western art music; music and humanism in the twenty-first century; honkyoku
Music, Culture, and Technology
Inhumanities: a graduate seminar in music, literature, and American studies
Advanced Topics in Music Theory
Survey of Music History to 1750
Survey of Music History after 1750
Introduction to Music
Recent Invited Lectures
Harvard University, Mahindra Humanities Center (roundtable) (Nov. 2021)
Keynote, University of Cambridge, UK, Winged Geographies (April 2021)
Princeton University, Music-Science Borderlands (roundtable) May 2021
Berlin Live Talk Series, Universität der Künste Berlin (Feb. 2021)
University of Toronto, Moving Animals and Climate Change (Nov. 2020)
University of Michigan Society of Fellows (Apr. 2020)
Columbia University, Seminar on Human-Animal Studies (February 2020)
University of California, Berkeley (February 2020)
Selected Awards & Distinctions
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow (2022)
Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence Award, Rutgers University (2020)
University of Maastricht, Invited Visiting Scholar in Technology and Society Studies (2012, 2013)
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Music, Columbia University (2010-2012)
Jun-shihan license in Japanese shakuhachi music
–jun shihan certificate in shakuhachi
Books in progress
Paradise: Hearing Beyond Humanism [scholarly monograph on sound, gender, and stories of environmental apocalypse from the 1970s to the present].
Laura Boulton, The Music Hunter: Songs and Identity 1920-1950 [comic-book inspired digital biography of song collector Laura Boulton].
Representative essays and articles:
“Humane Treatment, Sound Experiments” in The Science-Music Borderlands, ed. Deirdre Loughridge, Psyche Loui, Elizabeth Margulis, MIT Press (in production, projected 2022).
“Life, Death, and Humanistic Comparison,” Ethnomusicology Review, 22:2 (winter 2020): 85-92.
“Why Listen to Animals?,” blog post published simultaneously in the blog of the American Musicological Society (Musicology Now) and of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. October 2018.
“Museums of Sound: Audio Bird Guides and the Pleasures of Knowledge,” Sound Studies, 1 (2016): 52-68.
“Evolutionary Categories and Musical Style from Adler to America” Journal of the American Musicological Society 67, no. 3 (fall 2014): 735-768.
“The “League of Jewish Composers” and American Music,” The Musical Quarterly 96, no. 1 (Spring 2013): 50-99.
“Birdsong and the Image of Evolution,” Society and Animals 17, No. 3 (2009): 206-223.
Manuscript book review:
Indiana University Press
Oxford University Press
W.W. Norton & Company
Manuscript article review:
Frontiers in Psychology
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Journal of the Society of American Music
Nineteenth Century Music
Yale Journal of Music and Religion