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Dr. Rachel GoldenDr. Rachel Golden

Associate Professor of Musicology
Coordinator of Musicology
Hired: 2002

University of Tennessee
School of Music
235 Natalie L. Haslam Music Center
Knoxville, TN 37996-4040
Phone: 865-974-8054
Musicology website

Rachel May Golden (PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is associate professor of musicology in the School of Music at the University of Tennessee, where she heads the musicology area and is also chair of the interdisciplinary program in women, gender, and sexuality. She is a former co-chair of the medieval and renaissance interdisciplinary program.

Her research embraces experiential and cultural aspects of medieval music of the 12th century, including issues of monastic devotion, the cult of the Virgin Mary, songs of the Crusades, and words-music relationships. She also works in contemporary music, where her research addresses opera and oratorio; intersections among music, drama, and text; multimedia and technology; gender, identity, and performativity.

Her forthcoming monograph Mapping Medieval Identities in Occitanian Song is under contract with Oxford University Press. This work demonstrates the intersections between the early Crusades and contemporaneous musical-poetic Occitanian (southern French) genres—namely the devotional Latin versus and the courtly love song of the troubadours. Unfolding an array of dynamic reciprocities among song, place, action, and belief, this book argues that the abstract ideas that impelled Crusading—distance, geography, and centrality—both shaped and were shaped by the musical repertories that surrounded Crusading. In interacting with its environment, such song, through both musical and poetic content, conveys Occitanian Crusade experiences, manifests geographical space, explicates regional self-definitions, and fashions religious identities

With Katherine Kong, Golden is also co-editing an interdisciplinary collected volume entitled Gender and Voice in Medieval French Literature and Lyric, under advance contract with University Press of Florida.

Her work also appears in The Journal of Musicology, Music & Letters, Musical Quarterly, and Opera Quarterly, among others. She has been an American Council of Learned of Societies Fellow and an NEH Summer Scholar.

  • Ph.D. in Musicology – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2000)
  • M.F.A. in Musicology – Brandeis University (1996)
  • B.A. in Mathematics – Cornell University (1992)
  • "Across Divides: Aquitaine's New Song & London BL, Add. 36881," Chapter 3 of Manuscripts and Medieval Song: Inscription, Performance, Context, edited by Helen Deeming and Elizabeth Eva Leach.  Forthcoming, Cambridge University Press.
  • "Polyphonies of Sound and Space: Motet, Montage, Voices of Light, and La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc." Musical Quarterly 9, no. 2, (Summer 2013): 296-330.
  • "Chanson, French/Troubadour." In New Catholic Encyclopedia, Supplement 2011, ed. Robert Fastiggi, et. al., 164–167. Cengage Learning & The Catholic University of America Press, 2011.
  • "Music and Pilgrimage." In Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage, ed. Larissa Taylor, et. al., 463–468. Leiden: Brill, 2009.
  • "Two Paths to Daniel's Mountain: Poetic-Musical Unity in Aquitanian Versus." Journal of Musicology 23, no. 4 (Fall 2006): 620–646.
  • "Striking Ornaments: Complexities of Sense and Song in Aquitanian Versus." Music & Letters 84, no. 4 (November 2003): 527–556.
  • "'As Were We Born Today': Characterization and Transformation in Samuel Barber's Vanessa."  Opera Quarterly 17, no. 2 (Spring 2001): 235–249.

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