Nancy Yunhwa Rao is a Distinguished Professor of Music at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. She is a music theorist and historian specializing in the analysis of American ultra-modernist musical works, the transpacific history of American music, and contemporary composers of East Asian heritage. Previously, she taught at Oberlin College and has held visiting professorships at the Curtis Institute of Music, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Princeton University, and Bard College. She has also regularly served as an outside reader for dissertation committees at universities including Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, and the National University of Singapore.
Rao is a recipient of two Research Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2004, 2021) and a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (2003), as well as fellowships from the Library of Congress and Huntington Library. She was honored with the Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research by the President of Rutgers University (2021) and the Outstanding Alumni Award from National Taiwan Normal University (2018). Rao has held leadership roles in various professional societies, including her election to the Executive Board of the Society for Music Theory in 2018. In 2023 she became editor of the journal American Music.
As a music theorist Rao has combined gender studies and music analysis. Her 2007 article “Ruth Crawford's Imprint on Contemporary Composition” received the Lowens Article Award from the Society for American Music.
One of Rao's most impactful contributions to music scholarship is her 2017 book, Chinatown Opera Theater in North America, which explores the iconic theaters and migration networks that integrated Chinese opera into North American cultures. The book received multiple recognitions, including the Lowens Book Award from the Society for American Music, the Music in American Culture Award from the American Musicological Society, the Book Award in Humanities and Cultural Studies from the Association for Asian American Studies, and a Citation of Merit from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. It received reviews in nineteen academic journals.
A Chinese translation of the book was published in 2021 by the highly regarded Guangxi Normal University Press. It was selected as one of sixteen best books in the translation category by leading Chinese publishers in September 2021 and appeared on recommended book lists of scholarly associations such as the American History Association of China and China Association for Anthropology of Arts. Since the book's publication, Rao has been invited to collaborate on various projects and has served as a consultant for museums, documentaries, and performing groups. In 2022, she joined a research team on "Opera as Cultural Heritage" at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Baltic Sea Region Research at the University of Greifswald, Germany.
Rao's ongoing research addresses music theory and the interdisciplinary fields of musicology, ethnomusicology, ethnic studies, and Asian studies. Most notably, the transpacific perspective presented in her work offers a new framework for understanding American music history, advancing multiple fields of study, and shedding light on the often-unheard voices of Asian American in American music history.
Professor Evie Shockley is the author of Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (U Iowa P, 2011) and six collections of poetry, most recently suddenly we (Wesleyan UP, 2023). Among her earlier books, the new black (Wesleyan UP, 2011) received the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; semiautomatic (Wesleyan UP, 2017) received the same award in 2018, and was also a finalist that year for the LA Times Book Review Prize and the Pulitzer Prize.
Shockley's intellectual and creative work takes a variety of forms. Her current research on "Black Graphics" concerns the strategies Black poets and other artists (literary and visual) have employed during the recent period characterized by the dominance of "colorblindness" ideology. Articles related to this project have appeared in New Literary History, The Black Scholar, and Contemporary Literature. Other scholarly and teaching interests include 20th and 21st century African American and African Diaspora literatures, Black feminist thought, and contemporary poetry and poetics in the US and beyond. She has placed numerous essays on these subjects in academic journals, edited volumes, and broader audience publications, such as How We Do It: Black Writers on Craft, Practice, and Skill; Furious Flower: Seeding the Future; The New Emily Dickinson Studies; Harriet; The Fate of Difficulty in the Poetry of Our Time; LARB; Literary Hub; The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Poetry; Jacket2; and Boston Review, among others. Since 2021, she has served as Editor for Poetry (scholarship) at Contemporary Literature. Her poetry has appeared nationally -- in publications like Kenyon Review, Obsidian, Poem-a-Day, The 1619 Project, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Adi, Lana Turner, Ploughshares, The Best American Poetry, The Paris Review, Torch Literary Arts, and Poetry Daily -- and internationally, with pieces translated into French, Spanish, Polish, and Slovenian. Honors for the body of her poetry include the Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Award, the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Stephen Henderson Award, and the Holmes National Poetry Prize.
Timothy Power is an associate professor of Classics at Rutgers University. His research has focused largely on matters relating to the lyric poetry and drama of early Greece, in particular their music, performance, and social and religious contexts. His 2010 book, The Culture of Kitharôidia (Center for Hellenic Studies/HUP), is a study of the popular Greco-Roman musical genre of lyre-singing from the age of Homer through the reign of the emperor Nero. In more recent work, he has also examined the extra-musical roles of sound, voice, and listening in ancient Greek religion. His current book project is devoted to questions concerning the relationship between singing, dramaturgy, mimesis, and verisimilitude in Athenian tragedies of the fifth century BCE.
Stacy S. Klein is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University, where she teaches courses on early English literature, poetry, gender, and sexuality. She is the author of Ruling Women: Queenship and Gender in Anglo-Saxon Literature (University of Notre Dame Press, 2006), and is currently completing a monograph entitled The Militancy of Gender and the Making of Sexual Difference in Early English Literature, ca. 700-1100 AD. Klein has published numerous articles on Old English language and literature, gender and the history of sexuality, premodern disability, birds, environmental humanism, and aesthetics. Her newest book project investigates childhood and human development in early English literature; its working title is Beyond Biology: Forms of Parenting from Beowulf to Modern Family. At the 2023-24 CCA seminar, Klein will develop her research on gendered voices in anonymous Old English poetry.
Daniel da Silva is Assistant Professor of Portuguese at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, with a Ph.D. in Latin American and Iberian Cultures from Columbia University. Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey's Ironbound neighborhood, Silva's work centers queer performance and subjectivities in Luso-Afro-Brazilian cultures. He has published “Unbearable Fadistas: António Variações and Fado as Queer Praxis” (Journal of Lusophone Studies 2018), and “Black Mothers and Black Boats: Queer, Indigenous and Afro-Brazilian Intersections in Ney Matogrosso’s ‘Mãe Preta (Barco Negro)’” (Journal of Lusophone Studies 2019), among other works. He is co-director of the Queer Aqui international working group, which hosted their Rio gathering in May of 2023. His forthcoming book is Trans Tessituras: Queer Repertoires and Black Diaspora in Lusophone Popular Music.
Alanna Beroiza is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Writing Program at Rutgers. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Rice University. Her work draws on film and media studies, gender and sexuality studies, and psychoanalysis to examine how visual and aural media construct models for gender and sex in twentieth- and twenty-first century medical and popular discourses. Her publications include, “How Pictures Make Bodies and Bodies Make Pictures: Gender as a Scopic System in Annie Leibovitz’s Photographs of Caitlyn Jenner for Vanity Fair and Pedro Almodóvar’s La piel que habito” (Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies, 2020).