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Stodgy Department Adds Groovy Colleague

The Department of Music is delighted to welcome Fritz Schenker to campus as a postdoctoral teaching fellow in music. Fritz's teaching and research centers on popular music, race, and empire. His current book project examines musical labor and jazz in colonial Asia, focusing on the travel and circulation of music and musicians in the 1920s along a littoral entertainment circuit extending from Japan to India. By focusing in particular on the experiences of Filipino and Filipina musicians, dancers, and songwriters, he explores the contradictory ways in which popular dance music was both a force of U.S. and European empire yet also a medium of disruption in multiple social forums and fields.

His scholarship has appeared in Jazz Perspectives and is coming soon in several edited volumes. Some of his other projects explore contested performances of musical blackness among contemporary New York jazz musicians inspired by Balkan music, global circulations of early Tin Pan Alley songs, and urban soundscapes of colonial Asia. His approach towards the study of music is also deeply informed by his ongoing experiences as a jazz and salsa pianist.

Fritz received his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2016) and a B.A. in American Studies at Northwestern University (2007). His work has been supported by a Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources (for archival research in Manila, Hong Kong, and Singapore), a University of Wisconsin Chancellor’s Fellowship, and a Mellon-Wisconsin Summer Fellowship. Fritz was previously a postdoctoral teaching fellow in music at Washington University in St. Louis.