Title/Position: Visiting Assistant Professor, MusicologyProfile:
Why did you choose ethnomusicology as your career?
I have been a world traveller and a musician all my life. During my time as an undergraduate student I realized that I could combine my interest in music and peoples and cultures. I discovered that I loved speaking with people about their music and culture. I found it fascinating to explore (among many other things) the different ways people think about and experience musical sound, how musicians and listeners can make political statements (both intentionally and unintentionally), and how musical traditions change as peoples and sounds move around the world.
What are some of your proudest professional accomplishments, to date?
I am particularly proud of conducting dissertation research that took me to nineteen countries in Europe, West Africa, and North America over the course of a year.
What do you hope to pass onto your students?
I want students to explore how music connects with and lives in culture at home and around the world. I hope students will learn to think critically, not only about the musics and cultures we explore in the classroom, but also about how they can work to develop deeper and more nuanced understandings of the musics, peoples, and cultures that surround them.
What music have you been listening to lately?
I’ve been listening to South African music lately. The Boyoyo Boys, the Mahotella Queens, Miriam Makeba.
Aleysia K. Whitmore is visiting assistant professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. She holds a BM from the University of Toronto and AM and PhD degrees in ethnomusicology from Brown University. Her dissertation, entitled Performing Pleasure: Africa and its Diaspora on the World Music Stage, was an ethnographic study of two world music bands that creatively combine West African and Cuban musics, and the industry and audiences that surround them. A multi-sited ethnographic study of the contemporary world music industry across Europe, West Africa, the Caribbean, and North America, it provides a window into the transnational lives of musicians, industry personnel, and audiences, and the specific post-colonial era of globalization in which they are situated. She is currently researching cultural policy and the world music industry in France.