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Dr. Jacqueline AvilaDr. Jacqueline Avila

Associate Professor in Musicology
Hired: 2012
Tenure-track

University of Tennessee
School of Music
231 Natalie L. Haslam Music Center
Knoxville, TN 37996-4040
Phone: 865-974-3241
Email: javila1@utk.edu
Musicology website


Jacqueline Avila is a musicologist who specializes in film music studies, sound studies, and the intersections of identity, tradition, and modernity in the musical cultures and new media of Mexico, Latin America, and the Latinx community in the United States. Her book, Cinesonidos: Film Music and National Identity in Mexico’s Época de Orowas published in 2019 by Oxford University Press, Music and Media Series. Building on sound and media studies, Mexican film history, and cultural studies, Cinesonidos examines the varying roles and functions of film music in genres considered significant to the national film industry, including the comedia ranchera (ranch comedy), the prostitute melodrama, and the cine de añoranza porfiriana (films of Porfirian longing). Featuring a wide variety of primary sources and several films as case studies, Cinesonidos is the first book to focus on the music and sound practices of Mexican cinema and how these practices impacted national identity construction during the so-called época de oro (Golden Age). Dr. Avila’s current projects focus on transnationalism, nostalgia, and cultural identity in Latinx film and streaming media and the musical cultures on the US-Mexico border. She is also working on an edited volume that features interdisciplinary approaches to discussing film music in Latin American film industries.

Her work has been supported and funded by the UC MEXUS Dissertation Research Grant (2008–2010), the American Musicological Society’s Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship (2009), the UC MEXUS Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014–2015), the University of New Mexico’s Robert E. Greenleaf Visiting Library Scholar Award (2016), and the University of Tennessee’s Humanities Center, Office of Research & Engagement, and the College of Arts & Science SARIF-EPPE Subvention (2019).

Dr. Avila has presented her research and served on roundtables at several international and national conferences including a Keynote Address for the Centro de Estudios de Cultura y Comunicación, Universidad Veracruzana in 2014. She was a participant in the Charlas de Cine series for the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City in 2015 and served as a roundtable speaker for the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 2017. Dr. Avila has also presented numerous invited lectures at academic institutions. These include among others UCLA, UCR, University of Texas, Austin, the University of Colorado, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), the University of Alabama, and the University of Georgia. Her articles and reviews can be found in the Journal of Film Music, Latin American Music Review, American Music, Opera Quarterly, the Journal of Music History Pedagogy, Balajú: Revista de Cultura y Comunicación, the Yearbook for Traditional Music, The Worlds of Music, The Grove Dictionary of American Music,the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History, and the edited volumes Clásicos del cine mexicano (Frankfurt: Editorial Vervuert Verlag, 2015) and Cinema Between Latin America and Los Angeles: Origins to 1960 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2019).In addition to her published work, Dr. Avila is currently serving as the Book Review Editor for the journal American Music.

Dr. Avila is an affiliate faculty in Cinema Studies, Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Global Studies.

  • Ph.D. in musicology - University of California, Riverside
  • M.A. in musicology - University of California, Riverside
  • B.A. in French horn performance and music education - University of California, Los Angeles

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