I have just completed my first year as a Ph.D. student in ethnomusicology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Throughout my higher education journey, I have been gifted with great mentors: During my undergraduate years at Eastern Connecticut State University, I studied with Dr. Richard Jones-Bamman, an ethnomusicologist specializing in Sámi music, who took me and several classmates to Sweden in the summer of 2013, as well as Dr. Anthony Cornicello, a New Music composer, theorist, and jazz musician. I now study with Dr. Ben Teitelbaum here at CU, who is talented both as a scholar and performer of Swedish folk music, among other areas of Swedish musical expression and politics. My research has been shaped and strengthened by the opportunity to study with these three scholars: I’m currently working on projects related to Swedish folk-jazz, Sámi musical-political activism, and Swedish-American cultural exchange. In the future, I plan to incorporate my interest and background in gender studies into my scholarship and research activities.
I am honored to be the recipient of the SWEA language learning scholarship, and will be traveling to Uppsala for three weeks in July and August to take part in an intensive language program, The Uppsala International Summer Session. My time spent there will be invaluable. In studying the intersections of music, culture, and politics, the success and quality of my research will depend on my ability to meet the music and people respectfully on their own terms: in Swedish! There is a wonderful Swedish language instructor here at CU, Merete Leonhardt-Lupa, and I have studied with her for a year, and will continue to do so. Still, there is nothing quite like an immersion experience. In addition to improving my Swedish, I look forward to experiencing everyday life in Uppsala, adventuring to museums and live music events, talking with musicians, learning some new tunes, as well as meeting with a scholar in Stockholm whom I had met at a research conference in New Orleans, to discuss some Swedish-American research potentials.
I look forward to future correspondence and collaborations with the SWEA-Denver. I am excited to have received an invitation to share some of my experiences and research when I return from Uppsala, in a program about Swedish music activities. I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to the SWEA-Denver, and particularly the scholarship committee, for supporting my research and language learning endeavors!