William Cheng

Academic Appointments

Chair and Associate Professor of Music

I conduct research and teach varied courses in 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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In 2017, I cofounded the University of Michigan Press’s Music & Social Justice series, for which I serve as coeditor. In addition to books and academic articles, I have written op-eds and features for publications such as Washington Post, Slate, TIME, Huffington Post, Pacific Standard, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. 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), 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).

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64 Hopkins Center
HB 6187
B.A. - Stanford University (Music, English) with Distinction and Honors, 2007
M.A. - Harvard University (Music), 2009
Ph.D. - Harvard University (Music), 2013
Post-doc - Harvard Society of Fellows, 2012-16

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