Emily Abrams Ansari

Director of Research
Associate Professor
Office: TC 229
Phone: (519) 661-2111 x85387
Email: emily.ansari@uwo.ca

Emily Abrams Ansari, PhD is an associate professor in music history who focuses on 20th-century music. She joined the faculty in 2007.

Before coming to Western, Ansari received a BA from Durham University and an MSt from Oxford University (both in the United Kingdom) and in 2010 gained her PhD in historical musicology from Harvard University.

Ansari teaches courses on 19th- and 20th-century music history at Western at the undergraduate and graduate level. She is particularly interested in offering her students the chance to think about music in its social and political contexts, while simultaneously seeking an intimate understanding of the music itself. Her graduate student advisees are engaged in a range of projects pertaining to 20th-century art music or music and politics (across all genres and styles), particularly music composed in the Americas.

Ansari’s research lies in the area of music and politics, particularly focused on national identity and music. She has won a number of major prizes for her work, including the ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award, the Kurt Weill Prize, and the Society for American Music's Cambridge University Press Award. Recent journal publications and her book, The Sound of a Superpower: Musical Americanism and the Cold War (OUP, 2018), consider the effect of the Cold War on American classical composers. Ansari also studies the intersection of national politics with the politics of race, and she has particularly focused on the career of African American composer Ulysses Kay.

Ansari has recently begun a collaborative, interdisciplinary project that will consider the social role of popular and folk music for refugees from El Salvador's Civil War during the 1980s.

Representative publications:

The Sound of a Superpower: Musical Americanism and the Cold War (OUP, 2018)

"Musical Americanism, Cold War Consensus Culture, and the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Composers' Exchange, 1958-1960," The Musical Quarterly 97/3 (Fall 2014): 360-389.

"'Vindication, Cleansing, Catharsis, Hope': Interracial Reconciliation and the Dilemmas of Multiculturalism in Kay and Dorr’s Jubilee (1976)," American Music 31/4 (Winter 2013): 379-419.

"Aaron Copland and the Politics of Cultural Diplomacy," Journal of the Society for American Music 5/3 (2011).

For more information on Ansari’s teaching and research, see her website and blog: http://www.emilyabramsansari.com