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Committee on Women and Gender Endowed Lecture: Tammy Kernodle

Tammy Kernodle to Deliver CWG Endowed Lecture in Boston

The Committee on Women and Gender Endowed Lecture will be delivered at 10:45 a.m. on Friday, 1 November. Tammy Kernodle will present “'No More Tears and Prayers': Black Women, Black Music, and the Mythology of Post Racial America.” Kernodle describes her talk as follows: 

In the wake of Barack Obama's election in 2008 cultural critics and political pundits began exclaiming that America was becoming post racial.  However, as Obama prepared for his re-election campaign a series of violent events began to disrupt this narrative. Most notable were the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Sandra Brown as well as the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. As a result artistic communities sparked a wave of protest/resistance culture. While the hip hop community reacted almost immediately, artists reflecting other genres of popular music also entered this soundscape. Women's voices were very evident providing some of the most angry and explicit musical reactions. This presentation will historicize the role black women musicians in framing the current wave of civil rights or protest music.  Specific emphasis will be placed on contemporary artists such as  Lauryn Hill, Rhiannon Giddens, and Janelle Monae who have shaped the current context of protest culture that extends through various contemporary social movements including Black Lives Matters, Time's Up, and the #MeToo Movement.” 

Tammy Kernodle is Professor of Musicology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her scholarship and teaching has stretched across many different aspects of African American music and American music.  Kernodle earned a B.M. in Choral Music Education with an emphasis in piano from Virginia State University, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Musicology from The Ohio State University.

She served as the Scholar in Residence for the Women in Jazz Initiative at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City from 1999 until 2001, and has worked closely with a number of educational programs including the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival, Jazz@Lincoln Center, NPR, and the BBC.  Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Kernodle is the author of biography Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams and served as Associate Editor of the three-volume Encyclopedia of African American Music.  She served as a scholarly consultant for the National Museum of African American Music and Culture’s inaugural exhibits entitled “Musical Crossroads” and appears in a number of award-winning documentaries including Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band and Girls in the Band. In 2018, she was awarded the Benjamin Harrison Medallion, the highest award given to a Miami University faculty member in recognition of their research, teaching and service. 

She is the President of the Society for American Music.