Divided by a Common Language: Musical Theater and Popular Music Studies
As a scholar of American music and culture, Jake Johnson studies the ways communities throughout the country use music, sound, and voice to perform an American identity. Currently he is an assistant professor of musicology at Oklahoma City University's Wanda L. Bass School of Music, where he also works as a vocal coach and musical director. Jake is the author of Mormons, Musical Theater, and Belonging in America and is finishing a second book about musicals, deception, and the American Midwest.
Masi Asare is a composer, lyricist, playwright, and assistant professor of theatre at Northwestern University. Her shows include The Family Resemblance (book/music/lyrics; Theatre Royal Stratford East commission, Eugene O'Neill Center); Rishvor, a new musical about racial passing (book/music/lyrics; Barbara Whitman/Grove Entertainment commission); Monsoon Wedding (lyrics), the Broadway-bound adaptation of Mira Nair's film; Mirror of Most Value (Samuel French), a one-act play for Marvel; and spy musical Sympathy Jones (music/lyrics/concept; NYMF; Playscripts). A past Dramatists Guild Fellow, Masi has received the Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award for a woman composer of musicals and an Emerging Artist Grant from the Theater Hall of Fame. Her scholarly book project is titled Voicing the Possible: Technique, Vocal Sound, and Black Women on the Musical Stage. She has presented at BroadwayCon; Song, Stage, and Screen; ASTR; ATHE; and EMP PopCon. Masi holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in performance studies from New York University.
Amy Coddington is an assistant professor of music at Amherst College, where she teaches classes on American popular music. She is working on a book tentatively titled How Hip Hop Became Hit Pop: Rap, Race, and Crossover on Top 40 Radio, which explores how rap broke through to a mainstream audience in the late 1980s and early 1990s through programming on commercial radio stations. She recently published a chapter on related matters in The Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Studies.
Daniel Goldmark is professor of music and director of the Center for Popular Music Studies at Case Western Reserve University. He is the series editor of the Oxford Music/Media Series and the author and/or editor of books on animation, film, and music, including Tunes for 'Toons: Music and the Hollywood Cartoon (California, 2005) and The Grove Music Guide to American Film Music (Oxford, 2019).
Raymond Knapp is Distinguished Professor of Musicology and Humanities at UCLA, where he is academic associate dean for the Herb Alpert School of Music and director of the Center for Musical Humanities. He has authored five books and co-edited two others, including The American Musical and the Formation of National Identity (2005; winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism), The American Musical and the Performance of Personal Identity (2006), The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical (2011, with Mitchell Morris and Stacy Wolf), and Making Light: Haydn, Musical Camp, and the Long Shadow of German Idealism (2018).
Oliver Wang is a professor of sociology at CSU-Long Beach and former co-editor of the Journal of Popular Music Studies. He contributes to NPR's All Things Considered, KCET's Artbound, KPCC's Take Two, the Los Angeles Review of Books and other outlets. He also co-hosts the album appreciation podcast, Heat Rocks.
Elizabeth L. Wollman is professor of music at Baruch College, City University of New York, and a member of the doctoral faculty in theater at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of The Theatre Will Rock: A History of the Rock Musical, From Hair to Hedwig; Hard Times: The Adult Musical in 1970s New York City; and A Critical Companion to the American Stage Musical. Most recently she is co-editor, with Jessica Sternfeld, of The Routledge Companion to the Contemporary Musical.
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Jake Johnson, Masi Asare, Amy Coddington, Daniel Goldmark, Raymond Knapp, Oliver Wang, Elizabeth Wollman; Divided by a Common Language: Musical Theater and Popular Music Studies. Journal of Popular Music Studies 1 December 2019; 31 (4): 32–50. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jpms.2019.31.4.32
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