A Grand Jamaica ball! or the Creolean hop a la muftee; as exhibeted in Spanish Town
1802, Library of Congress

I presented this piece of writing at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in February 2020. In it I share some of my preliminary ideas about how we can think about enslaved musicians in the British colonial Caribbean. I build on this research in the first chapter of my dissertation, about the pedagogies and music of enslaved violinists.

Musical Company by Johannes Voorhout (1674)

I collaborated with my dear friend and colleague David Chavannes to create this manifesto. David is a Philadelphia based creator of words, sound worlds, and music. In David's words: "We wanted to make something that could help to change the aspects of teaching music surveys that so alienated and frustrated us. For us, this meant starting with pedagogical practices. So, this manifesto emerged from a place of frustration and pain but also deep care and passion—how can we create learning environments that, to use Paulo Freire’s formulation, help to make us more fully human?"

Curious Llama on the Ausangate Circuit

I wrote this essay as a final piece for a course taught at the University of Pennsylvania by Jim Sykes called "Comparative Ontologies." It is a personal, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, exploration of the ontological turn and the limits of ontological thinking about race.

still from fka twigs TWO WEEKS music video

A reflection on FKA twigs and Nabil's video for Two Weeks that follows the unfolding of this one-shot film.

© 2020 by Maria Ryan. All photos by Maria Ryan unless otherwise noted.