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About me

I was born in London into a family descended from Jamaican and Irish immigrants, in a flat full of music and art. But I grew up in an English education system that taught slavery as if “Britain had introduced Negro slavery solely for the satisfaction of abolishing it” (Eric Williams, British Historians and the West Indies, 1964). It was only during my graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania that I really began to question why I knew more about William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect than the realities of life in Britain’s Caribbean colonies, and began connecting the ways we teach and understand colonialism with the ways we teach and understand music. These questions led me to my current research, in which I explore the ways African and African-descended people, enslaved and free, engaged with European music through listening, performance, theorizing, and composition, in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. I am an assistant professor of musicology at Florida State University where I teach courses on Black feminism, music and colonialism, and music and slavery and am a senior fellow in the Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography.

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Please email me at mariatnryan@gmail.comI am happy to share copies of my work if you do not have institutional access.

I look forward to connecting with you.

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