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Kira Dralle

PhD Candidate in Cultural Musicology

Kira Dralle is a PhD Candidate in Cultural Musicology at the University of California Santa Cruz. As the 2021-2022 recipient of the UC President’s Dissertation Fellowship, she has been widely recognized not only for her rigorous scholarly contributions, but also for her pointedly activist aims of racial diversity in music academia. At the intersection of Historical Ethnomusicology and Visual Culture, her dissertation examines archival silence surrounding Black American jazz musicians in wartime Europe, as well as the continued effects on transatlantic jazz historiography, canonization, and the racial imaginary.

In 2020, Kira was a Visiting Scholar in Residence in the Dietrich Schulz-Köhn Archive at the Kunst Universität Graz and has given numerous invited academic and public lectures throughout North America and Europe. Her work has earned multiple awards, including the History of Art and Visual Culture Rebele Award, the UC Regents Fellowship, the Newcastle University Research Grant, and numerous excellence grants to present research abroad. As an interdisciplinary scholar and Teaching Fellow, she has developed courses and inclusive pedagogies within the departments of Music, Art, the History of Art and Visual Culture, and Feminist Studies. Deeply committed to service, Kira serves on the UCSC Music Department Diversity Committee, serves as a Union Steward and Music Graduate Representative to the Arts Division, and she has worked extensively with the Title IX office and Beyond Compliance initiatives at UCSC.

Kira is an active member of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the American Musicological Society, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (US and D-A-CH chapters), the German Studies Association, Feminst Theory & Music, and she regularly presents at Rhythm Changes, Documenting Jazz, and the International Society for Jazz Research in Europe. She has published works in Ethnomusicology Review, with the Center for New Music (San Francisco), and has multiple forthcoming publications in Notes: the Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, Jazzforschung / Jazz Research, Jazz and Culture, and Jazz Research News.

Research Interests: 

Jazz and popular musics, visual culture, interdisciplinarity, public scholarship, canonical and archival silence, politics of memory, racial imagination, critical race and feminist theory