William Cheng

Academic Appointments

Chair and Professor of Music

I am Chair and Professor of Music at Dartmouth College. My research and teaching focus on history, media, ethics, disability, race, and digital games. I received a B.A. in Music and English from Stanford University in 2007, and a Ph.D. in Musicology from Harvard University in 2013. Between 2012–16, I was a Junior Fellow with the Harvard Society of Fellows.

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I'm a founding coeditor of University of Michigan Press’s Music & Social Justice series. In addition to books and academic articles, I have written op-eds and features for publications such as Washington Post, Slate, TIME, Huffington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Pacific Standard. I serve on the Council of the American Musicological Society and on the boards of Journal of the Society for American Music, Music & the Moving Image, Women & Music, Ethnomusicology Review, Sound Studies, and Journal of Videogame Sound and Music.

I am the recipient of the 2020 Jerome Goldstein Distinguished Teaching Award (Dartmouth), 2020 Irving Lowens Article Award (Society for American Music), 2020 Marcia Herndon Book Award (Society for Ethnomusicology), 2019 Richard Waterman Prize (Society for Ethnomusicology), 2018 Wetterhahn Memorial Award for Distinguished Creative or Scholarly Achievement (Dartmouth), 2017 Enhanced Junior Faculty Fellowship (Dartmouth), and 2016 and 2011 Philip Brett Award (American Musicological Society).

I am currently preparing a 2nd edition of Just Vibrations (University of Michigan Press, originally published 2016), coediting A Cultural History of Western Music in the Modern Age (with Danielle Fosler-Lussier, Bloomsbury Academic), and completing two new monographs – Gaslight of the Gods: Chronicles of Trauma, Survival, and Restorative Justice in Music Education (University of Michigan Press) and The Revolution Will Be Deafening: Sonic Artillery, Militarized Peacekeeping, and the Future of Civil Protest (publisher TBD).



2012-16: Society of Fellows, Harvard University

2014-18: Assistant Professor, Department of Music, Dartmouth College

2018-21: Associate Professor, Department of Music, Dartmouth College

2020-present: Chair, Department of Music, Dartmouth College

2021-present: Professor, Department of Music, Dartmouth College



2007: B.A. - Stanford University (Music, English) with Distinction and Honors

2009: M.A. - Harvard University (Music)

2013: Ph.D. - Harvard University (Music)

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64 Hopkins Center
HB 6187

Selected Publications


Sound Play: Video Games and the Musical Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2014). Foreword by Richard Leppert

Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good (University of Michigan Press, 2016). Foreword by Susan McClary.

Loving Music Till It Hurts (Oxford University Press, 2019).



Queering the Field: Sounding Out Ethnomusicology (Oxford University Press, ed. with Greg Barz, 2019).

A Cultural History of Music in the Modern Age (Bloomsbury Academic, ed. with Danielle Fosler-Lussier).



Visit www.willxcheng.com