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Photo: Annette Hornischer

Professor of African Cultural Studies and Music, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities - Class of Spring 2019

Ronald Radano is Professor of African Cultural Studies and Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was a senior fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities from 2013 to 2017. After studying music composition at Rowan University, he completed his PhD in musicology at the University of Michigan. Radano then spent a few years at the Smithsonian Institution, where he researched American music and helped plan the launch of the Jazz Masterworks Editions publication series. Radano’s main area of specialization is US black music as a historical phenomenon and in its transnational circulation.


Radano is the author of two award-winning books: New Musical Figurations: Anthony Braxton’s Cultural Critique (Chicago, 1993) and Lying up a Nation: Race and Black Music (Chicago, 2003). He is co-editor of Music and the Racial Imagination (Chicago, 2000) and Audible Empire: Music, Global Politics, Critique (Duke, 2016). He has published widely, including articles in Musical Quarterly, Daedalus, Critical Inquiry, Modernism/Modernity, Radical History Review, and boundary 2, and co-edits two book series, Refiguring American Music (Duke) and Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology. A Guggenheim Fellow in 1997, Radano has received recent grants from the German Academic Exchange Service and Mellon Foundation, and fellowships from the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University and the Rockefeller Foundation’s initiative at the University of Pennsylvania.  Work initially begun at Harvard will result in the publication of his forthcoming study in music aesthetics, Secret Animation of Black Music: A Theory of Value.

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