Alderman Stacks


Associate Professor, McIntire Department of music
Bonnie Gordon

As a music historian who has always worked in many disciplines and creative practices I was drawn to the college fellows program as a way to engage first year students in the challenge and pleasure of playing with ideas. I’m fascinated by the idea of sound as fundamental to the ways we move through the world and deeply committed to the idea that learning about sound is not for musicians only.

My class engages aesthetics through the concept of noise.  We will use the idea of noise to ask questions about aesthetics and difference. We will think about the ways that our positions as listeners effect our ability to move through the world. We will listen to noise as it relates to power, economics, the environment, love, the body, race, gender, and class. in our own city. The class will include a playlist of aural encounters including music, readings from a variety of fields, and hands on noise making activities.

At the University of Virginia, I have taught a variety of classes in the music department where I am a Professor. I have also enjoyed teaching classes cross listed with Women and Gender Studies and a Pavillian Seminar.  I founded the Arts Mentors program; a program that pairs UVa Students with underresrouced children for a variety of Arts Experiences. The program is now housed at Madison House. I play rock, jazz, and classical viola and occasionally write for news outlets, including the Washington Post and Slate.

My first book, Monteverdi's Unruly Women as about the intersection of gender, desire, and sound at the end of the Italian Renaissance. I am finishing a book now called Voice Machines: The Castrato, The Cat Piano and Other Strange Sounds that listens to early modern cyborgs.  My next project is called Jefferson’s Ear  and it focuses on sound, music, and race in two locations: Monticello and New Orleans.

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