Presenter Bios

  • Robert Cherry is Broeklundian Professor of Economics at Brooklyn College.  His most recent publications include Moving Working Families Forward (NYU Press, 2012) and “The Hasidic Revolution: Foundation of American Popular Culture,” (Midstream, Fall 2011).
  • Susan Filler graduated from the doctoral program in music history and literature at Northwestern University, is an independent musicologist based in Chicago.  Her research is primarily focused on the lives and work of Gustav and Alma Mahler, and the music of the Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe.  Her articles and reviews are published in such periodicals as Journal of Musicological Research, College Music Symposium, Pendragon Review, News About Mahler Research, Music and Letters, MLA Notes, Shofar, Transversal, Studia Musicologica and Magyar Zene. She has contributed essays to collections from Indiana University Press, A-R Editions, Garland Publishing, Peter Lang, Creighton University Press, Northwestern University Press, Ashgate and Salem Press.  She is the author of Gustav and Alma Mahler: A Research and Information Guide (Garland Publishing, 1989, revised edition Routledge, 2008), and co-edited Essays in Honor of John F. Ohl: A Compendium of American Musicology (Northwestern University Press, 2001).  She has presented papers at meetings of the American Musicological Society, International Musicological Society, and Midwest Jewish Studies Association, at conferences in the United States, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Hungary, and was an invited lecturer at the Conservatories of Music in Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai, China.
  • Devora Geller is a Ph.D candidate in musicology at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and an adjunct lecturer at Brooklyn College.  Her main research endeavors to date have explored  intersections between Jewish identity and music, particularly in twentieth century American culture.  She presented her research on Joseph Rumshinsky and the Yiddish theater at the 2011 Society for American Music national conference in Cincinnati, and recently co-edited a bibliography of publications since 1996 about the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, which has been published on the RVW Society and North American British Music Association websites.
  • Jennifer Griffith moves between creative efforts as a composer, jazz vocalist and scholar. She studied composition with Donald Wheelock, Thea Musgrave, David Del Tredici and Tania León, earning her doctorate at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her dissertation examines composer/bandleader/bassist Charles Mingus’s reanimations of early jazz, and his intellectual project of rearticulating black masculine performer identities.
  • Charles Hersch is Professor of Political Science at Cleveland State University, where he teaches political theory and constitutional law.  His writings explore the role of the arts, particularly music, in expressing and altering social reality.   He is the author of two books: Democratic Artworks: Politics and the Arts from Trilling to Dylan (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998) and Subversive Sounds: Race and the Birth of Jazz in New Orleans (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007). He has also written articles concerned with democracy and art, the idea of a jazz tradition, Louis Armstrong and civil rights, and American constitutional interpretation, among other subjects.  His current research looks at Jews in the jazz world in relation to issues of Jewish identity in America.
  • Jonathan Karp is the Director of the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) and Associate Professor of History at Binghamton University (SUNY). He is the author of The Politics of Jewish Commerce: Economic Thought and Emancipation in Europe: 1638-1848(Cambridge, 2008), just released in paperback, and co-editor with Adam Sutcliffe of Philosemitism in History (Cambridge, 2011) and with Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett of The Art of Being Jewish in Modern Times (UPenn, 2008). He has written extensively the topic of Jews as economic and cultural brokers in early modern and modern Jewish history.  He is completing a book entitled, Chosen Surrogates: A Class and Cultural History of Black-Jewish Relations.
  • Emily Joy Rothchild is a PhD candidate in the Anthropology of Music program at the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her masters degree there in 2011 with a thesis titled American Jews and the 1960s: Negotiating Jewishness through Fiddler on the Roof. She was the secretary for the Society of Ethnomusicology’s Jewish Music Interest Group from 2011-2012. Her research interests include music and politics, cultural policy, global hiphop, women and music in Islam and Christianity, and Broadway musicals. She currently resides in Hamburg, Germany, where she is conducting dissertation fieldwork on government integration programs that utilize hiphop to integrate Muslim immigrant youth into society. Recent publications include the book chapter (2012) “This sounds so exotic!” Teaching about the Representation of the Exotic through South Pacific” in Essays on World Music and its Preservation, UM Book Series on Research in Musicology no. 5 and the EthnoScripts 13.1 (2011) article “Mach Platz für die Bitch: Lady Bitch Ray’s Musical and Social Message in “Mein Weg.”
  • Katherine Turner holds a Ph.D. in Musicology and a Doctoral Portfolio in Women and Gender Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. She has received educational and research support from the NEH and the Mellon Foundation, presented at international conferences, and published both in early modern women’s musical culture and American twentieth-century music and politics. Currently she is working on a monograph on “Strange Fruit” as the song at the intersection of Jazz and Art music crossing Communist politics and Southern culture. Additionally, she is the editor of a collection of essays for Ashgate focusing on irony in popular music and the public sphere. Her teaching positions have extended from Texas to the Carolinas where she has focused on interdisciplinary courses for both graduate and undergraduate students.