Conference 2014: Keynote Speakers & Respondents

Keynote speakers:

Professor Carolyn Abbate (Harvard University)

Carolyn Abbate is Professor of Music at Harvard.  She received a BA from Yale University and a PhD from Princeton University. She has also taught at Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania, and (as visiting professor) at the Freie Universität Berlin; and held research fellowships and lectureships at the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin, the University of Hong Kong, and the Institute for Advanced Study Princeton. Outside academia, she has worked as a dramaturge and director. Many of Abbate’s writings focus on opera, from its beginnings around 1600 through the 21st century. She has published essays on musical automata from Mozart to Ravel; film scores in the 1930s; musical hermeneutics; the ethics of overlooking the ephemeral; Wagner and the soundtrack. Her latest book, co-authored with Roger Parker, is A History of Opera: The Last Four Hundred Years (Penguin, 2012). She has also worked as a translator – most recently, of writings by French philosopher Vladimir Jankélévitch. In 2014, Abbate was named a University Professor, Harvard’s highest honor for a faculty member.

Professor Kathleen Higgins (University of Texas at Austin)

Kathleen Higgins is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. Her main areas of research are philosophy of music, aesthetics, continental philosophy, and philosophy of emotion. She is author of The Music between Us:  Is Music the Universal Language? (University of Chicago, 2012), The Music of our Lives (revised edition, Lexington, 2011), Nietzsche’s “Zarathustra” (2nd ed., Lexington, 2010), Comic Relief: Nietzsche’s Gay Science (Oxford University Press, 2000), and co-author (with Robert C. Solomon) of books on Nietzsche and the history of philosophy.  She has edited or co-edited several other books on such topics as Nietzsche, German Idealism, aesthetics, ethics, erotic love, non-Western philosophy, and the philosophy of Robert C. Solomon.  Recent work includes ““Biology and Culture in Musical Emotions,” Emotion Review 4 (2012) and  “Visual Music and Synaesthesia,” in The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music (2010). She has been a Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (2013), Visiting Fellow of the Australian National University Philosophy Department and Canberra School of Music (1997), and Resident Scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study and Conference Center (1993).  She has also been a frequent visiting professor at the University of Auckland.

Professor Philip Kitcher (Columbia University)

Philip Kitcher was born in 1947 in London.  He obtained his B.A. from Cambridge University, and his Ph.D. from Princeton.  He is currently John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University.   He has written fifteen books on a wide variety of topics, including studies of Wagner’s Ring and Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. His most recent book, Deaths in Venice: The Cases of Gustav von Aschenbach, explores philosophical issues in Thomas Mann’s novella, Benjamin Britten’s opera, and Luchino Visconti’s film (particularly focusing on the use of music in the film).  He has been President of the American Philosophical Association (Pacific Division) and Editor-in-Chief of Philosophy of Science.  He has won many fellowships and awards, and, in 2006, he was the inaugural recipient of the Prometheus Prize, awarded by the American Philosophical Association for lifetime achievement in expanding the frontiers of science and philosophy.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an Honorary Foreign Member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences.

Professor Dmitri Tymoczko (Princeton University)

Dmitri Tymoczko is a composer and music theorist who teaches at Princeton University.  He is the author of one book (A Geometry of Music, Oxford University Press) and two CDs (Beat Therapy, for jazz/funk ensemble, and Crackpot Hymnal, for classical ensembles, both available from Bridge Records). His articles have appeared in the American Mathematical Monthly, the Atlantic Monthly, Berfrois, Boston Review, Civilization, Integral, Journal of Music Theory, Lingua Franca, Music Analysis, Music Theory Online, Music Theory Spectrum, Science, Seed, and Transition. Dmitri’s music has won numerous prizes and awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two Hugh F. MacColl Prizes from Harvard University, and the Eisner and DeLorenzo prizes from the University of California Berkeley.

Keynote respondents include:

Professor Diana Raffman (University of Toronto)

Diana Raffman is a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto.  She has published a number of papers about perceptual experience, language, and music, and is the author of two books—Language, Music, and Mind (MIT/Bradford, 1993) and Unruly Words: A Study of Vague Language (Oxford, 2014).   She received her BA in music from Yale College.  Before embarking on a PhD in philosophy, Raffman studied flute playing with Doriot Anthony Dwyer, then principal flutist of the Boston Symphony, and was a Leonard Bernstein fellow at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood.

Professor Alexander Rehding (Harvard University)

Alexander Rehding is Fanny Peabody Professor of Music and Department Chair at the Department of Music at Harvard University. He is editor-in-chief of the Oxford Handbooks Online/Oxford Research References series and served as editor of Acta musicologica. His research focuses on the history of music theory and on 19th and 20th-century music, with publications such as Hugo Riemann and the Birth of Modern Musical Thought (2003) and Music and Monumentality (2009). Rehding’s interest in the encounters of tonal theory with non-tonal music has found expression in a range of projects, including a collaborative exhibition (with online catalogue) “Sounding China in Enlightenment Europe” (2012), and a number of articles on ancient Greek music and ancient Egyptian music. Other research interests include questions in aesthetics, media, and sound studies. In 2013/14 he is the convener of a John E. Sawyer Seminar series on the topic of “Hearing Modernity”.

Professor Murray Smith (University of Kent)

Murray Smith is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK, co-director of the Aesthetics Research Centre at Kent, and President of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image. He has published widely on film, art and aesthetics. His research interests include the psychology of film viewing, and especially the place of emotion in film spectatorship; the philosophy of film, and of art more generally; music and sound design in film; cognitive constraints on the appreciation of music, film and art; musique concrete as a musical practice, and as an approach to film sound design; the interplay between musical and dramatic imperatives; imaginary soundtracks; music video and audiovisual composition; and the intersection of popular and experimental music. His publications include Engaging Characters: Fiction, Emotion, and the Cinema (OUP); Trainspotting (BFI); Film Theory and Philosophy (co-edited with Richard Allen) (OUP); Contemporary Hollywood Cinema (co-edited with Steve Neale) (Routledge); and Thinking through Cinema (co-edited with Tom Wartenberg) (Blackwell). He is currently at work on Film, Art, and the Third Culture (forthcoming with OUP).

Professor Jason Stanyek (University of Oxford)

Jason Stanyek teaches at the University of Oxford where he is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Tutorial Fellow at St. John’s College. Before arriving to Oxford he was Assistant Professor at New York University, Visiting Associate Professor at Harvard University, and External Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. His research on improvisation, on music technology, and on Brazilian music and dance has appeared in a range of academic journals and edited volumes. The two-volume Oxford Handbook of Mobile Music Studies (co-edited with Sumanth Gopinath) was published in early 2014 and “Deadness: Technologies of the Intermundane”—co-written with Benjamin Piekut and published in TDR—was given the Association of Theater in Higher Education’s Outstanding Article Award in 2011 and was also named by MIT Press as one of the 50 most influential articles published across all of its journals over the past 50 years. From 2013-2018 he will serve as Reviews Editor of the journal Twentieth-Century Music.