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Ruth Emily Rosenberg

Associate Professor

Ruth Emily Rosenberg


Courses Taught

  • MUS 100: Introduction to Music
  • MUS 114: Jazz History
  • MUS 117: History of the Symphony
  • MUS 118: History of American Popular Music
  • HON 121: Women and Music
  • MUS 227: Music Cultures of the World
  • MUS 240: Music, Gender and Culture (crosslisted with GWS)


PhD, University of Pennsylvania


Ruth E. Rosenberg has been at UIC since 2008, and teaches classes related to ethnomusicology, music history, gender, and sound studies in the Department of Theatre and Music. She is a Faculty Fellow of the UIC Honors College and will join the faculty of UIC’s new Engaged Humanities Initiative next spring. In all of her classes, students are asked to engage with music in its social and cultural complexity, and to consider the study of music history, ethnomusicology within a broad, humanistic perspective.

Rosenberg received her PhD in Anthropology of Music from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a recipient of a Mellon postdoctoral fellowship from Columbia University in New York (2006–2008) and a Faculty Fellowship from the Institute for the Humanities at UIC (2011). In 2013 she was awarded at Teaching Recognition Award from UIC’s Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Rosenberg’s research is multi-disciplinary, drawing from ethnomusicology, musicology, sound studies, gender and women’s studies, and postcolonial theory. Her work has been published in the journals Current Musicology, Musical Quarterly, and Nineteenth-Century French Studies. Her reviews have appeared in Popular Music and Society, Current Musicology, The Yearbook for Traditional Music, and Notes. She contributed several articles to the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, including entries on James Moody and Clifford Jordan. Her research has been presented at the annual meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the American Anthropological Association, and the American Musicological Society.

Rosenberg’s first book, Music, Travel, and Imperial Encounter in Nineteenth-Century France: Musical Apprehensions (Routledge Studies in Ethnomusicology, 2014) examines narratives of musical encounter found in Romantic travel writing and in the work of proto-ethnomusicologists in the French empire. In addition to ongoing historical work on American music in the French imaginary during the long nineteenth century, Rosenberg’s current project concerns historical and popular debates over tuning standards, the 432 Hz music phenomenon, and issues related to sonic vulnerability and musical healing