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Lisa Barg

Academic Title(s): 

Associate Professor

Department: 
Music Research
Area(s): 
Music History/Musicology
Contact Information
Email Address: 
Group: 
chair
music research
research
Degree(s): 

B.A. in Arts from Antioch College (1987), M.A. (1994) Music History from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Ph.D. (2001) Music History from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Area of Expertise: 

Professor Barg’s research and teaching center on issues of race, gender and sexuality in 20th-century music, modernism, jazz and popular music. She has published articles in journals including American Music, Journal of the Society of American Music, Journal for the American Musicological Society, Musical Quarterly, Black Music Research Journal, and Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture. She is currently finishing a book, Day Dream: Billy Strayhorn, Queer History and Midcentury Jazz, which explores queer history, identity, aesthetics and collaboration in jazz through a focus on the music and legacy of composer, arranger and pianist Billy Strayhorn. An article from this project, “Queer Encounters in the Music of Billy Strayhorn” was awarded the 2014 Philip Brett Award for exceptional musicological work in the field of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/transsexual studies.

Biography: 

Lisa Barg received her B.A. in Arts from Antioch College (1987), and her M.A. (1994) and Ph.D. (2001) in Music History from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her dissertation examined questions of race, modernism and nation in American music during the years 1927-1943. An essay from this reserach, “Black Voices/White Sounds: Race and Representation in Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts,” was published in American Music (2000), and received the Kurt Weill Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in Music Theater that year. Undergraduate courses include early 20th-century music, women and music, and music in the United States; graduate seminar topics have included gender and jazz, modernism and transnational histories, and avant-garde performance practices.

Professor Barg’s work has appeared in journals including Journal of the Society of American Music, Journal for the American Musicological Society, Musical Quarterly, Black Music Research Journal, and Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture. She is currently finishing a book, Day Dream: Billy Strayhorn, Queer History and Midcentury Jazz (forthcoming, Wesleyan University Press), which explores queer history, identity, aesthetics and collaboration in jazz through a focus on the music and legacy of composer, arranger and pianist Billy Strayhorn. An article from this project, “Queer Encounters in the Music of Billy Strayhorn” was awarded the 2014 Philip Brett Award for exceptional musicological work in the field of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/transsexual studies. Her research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Fellowship.

Selected Publications: 

Articles in refereed journals

“Working Behind the Scenes: Gender, Sexuality and Collaboration in the Vocal Arrangements of Billy Strayhorn.” Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture, Vol. 18 (2014), 24-47.

“ 'Taking Care of Music': Gender, Arranging and Collaboration in the Liston-Weston Partnership.” Special Issue on Melba Liston, Black Music Research Journal Vol. 34, No. 1 (Spring 2014), 97-119.

“Queer Encounters in the Music of Billy Strayhorn.” Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 66, No. 3 (Fall 2013), 771-824.

“ ‘Your Music Has Flung the Story of “Hot Harlem” to the Four Corners of the Earth!’: Race and Narrative in Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige.” Musical Quarterly, Vol. 96, No. 3/4 (Summer/Fall 2013 double issue), 1-33.

“Paul Robeson’s Ballad for Americans: Race and the Cultural Politics of ‘People’s Music.’” Journal of the Society for American Music 2/1 (February 2008): 27-70.

“Black Voices/White Sounds:  Race and Representation in Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts,” American Music 18/2 (Summer 2000), 121-161.