Collegiate Affiliation

Karen Painter, a musicologist whose field in music and politics, has published, taught, given public lectures, and advised graduate work, in a wide range of subjects. She is now studying implicit bias in recent music criticism, both anti-Asian and bias against black and Latinx composers. Her longterm projects involve music and mourning in German culture and politics across the two World Wars. Nazi Germany and the Holocaust have been focal points in her research and teaching across two decades. In her scholarship, Painter has explored past ways of listening to music and how these impressions and aesthetic judgments were captured in language. In the past, this work led to engagement with historical writings about Mahler, Mozart, Schoenberg, Richard Strauss, Hindemith, Bruckner, Dallapiccola, and Orff, but over the past five years, in her scholarship, teaching, and work towards expanding the curriculum of music majors in US postsecondary institutions, Painter encourage a more expansive approach that does not prioritize white Central European composers. Since 1996, alongside professorships at Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Minnesota, Painter has been active collaborating with music organizations in the United States, Great Britain, and Europe, co-planing symposia, giving lectures, writing program notes, and more. She has also prioritized collaboration within the collegiate and university, helping to bride to the community and connecting departments. While on leave from Harvard, Painter served as Director of the Office of Research and Analysis for the National Endowment for the Arts.


Educational Background
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Educational Background

  • PhD: Music, Columbia, 1996
  • MPhil: Music, Columbia, 1991
  • MA: Music, Columbia, 1990
  • BA: Philosophy and Music, Yale, 1987