Kay Kaufman Shelemay
Professor of African and African American Studies (Harvard University)
Kay Kaufman Shelemay is the G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Shelemay, a former Chair of the Department of Music, is an ethnomusicologist who has carried out fieldwork in Africa (Ethiopia and Ghana), the Middle East (Israel), and the United States. She received her Ph.D. in Musicology in 1977 from the University of Michigan. A Congressional appointee to the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress since 2000, she was Chair of that Board from 2002-2004. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Radcliffe Institute. Shelemay was named the Chair in Modern Culture at the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress during August and September, 2007 and June, 2008.
In addition to longtime interests in musical ethnography and music and memory, Shelemay's current research is on Ethiopian music and musicians in their North American diaspora. Recent publications include Soundscapes: Exploring Music in a Changing World (2001, 2nd ed. 2006) and Pain and Its Transformations: The Interface of Biology and Culture (co-edited with Sarah Coakley, 2007).