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Joe Finkel

PhD Student in Cross-Cultural Musicology

Joseph Finkel is a second year Ph.D. student studying musicology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts at degree at Youngstown State University in Ohio and his Master of Arts degree at Arizona State University. Some of his interests include late twentieth–century experimental music composition, politics, and environmentalism. Joe has given papers on John Luther Adams, Ben Johnston, and La Monte Young. He has also published works on the music and ideas of Alvin Curran and John Cage. Recently, Joe has been examining ambient music and Southern California minimalism. He is also interested in independent music publications around the United States (ca. 1970s) and specifically intersections of culture, identity, and narrative, in EAR magazine.

Research Interests: 

Twentieth and twenty–first century musiking; Intersections of culture, identity, and narrative, in music magazine culture; Environment and politics of space in experimental music composition; Minimalism.

Selected Publications: 

Finkel, Joseph. “If I had my live to love over again, I would be a Botanist”: John Cage’s

Mycology Collection. Digital Exhibit. March 2021.

Finkel, Joseph. “Building Environmentally Attuned Communities: The Politics of Alvin Curran’s Maritime Rites.” MIT Press Leonardo Journal 51 No. 3 (Summer 2018): 301–302.


Finkel, Joseph. Negotiating Music and Politics: John Cage’s United States Bicentennial

Compositions “Lecture on the Weather” and “Renga with Apartment House 1776.” M.A. thesis, Arizona State University, 2015.

Honors and Awards: 

Center for Archival Research and Teaching Fellow, UC Santa Cruz

Chancellor Fellowship, UC Santa Cruz

Education and Training: 
B.F.A., Youngstown State University, Youngstown Ohio
M.A., Arizona State University, Tempe Arizona