Photo: Annette Hornischer

Assistant Professor of History and Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan

Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow - Class of Fall 2017


Kira Thurman is Assistant Professor of History and Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan. A classically trained pianist who grew up in Vienna, she earned her PhD in history from the University of Rochester, with a minor in musicology through the Eastman School of Music. Her research, the results of which have appeared in the German Studies Review, Journal of World History, Journal of the American Musicological Society, and Opera Quarterly, focuses on the relationship between music and national identity in European history, and Europe’s historical and contemporary relationship with the black diaspora. Her article “Black Venus, White Bayreuth: Race, Sexuality, and the De-Politicization of Wagner in Postwar West Germany” won the German Studies Association’s prize for best paper by a graduate student in 2011 and the DAAD prize for best article on German history in 2014. In the digital humanities, Thurman has taken on two projects that apply geospatial technologies and data-visualization tools to history and musicology: the first visualizes black biographies in European spaces; the second maps the German musical diaspora around the world.