William Cheng

Academic Appointments

Chair and Professor of Music

I am Chair and Professor of Music at Dartmouth College. An avid gamer and lifelong pianist-improviser, I work at the intersections of cultural histories, disability studies, media theories, care ethics, and queerness. I earned 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 the author of Sound Play: Video Games and the Musical Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2014), Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good (University of Michigan Press, 2016), Loving Muisc Till It Hurts (Oxford, 2019); and coeditor of Queering the Field: Sounding Out Ethnomusicology (Oxford, 2019), A Cultural History of Western Music in the Modern Age (Bloomsbury, forthcoming), and the University of Michigan Press's Music & Social Justice Series (launched in 2017 with Andrew Dell'Antonio). I have contributed op-eds and features to Washington Post, Slate, TIME, Huffington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Pacific Standard. I serve on the Ethics Committee and Publications Committee 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’m 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’m presently laying groundwork for two transnational ethnographies: Gaslight of the Gods: Chronicles of Trauma, Survival, and Restorative Justice in Music Education around the World (Michigan); and The Revolution Will Be Deafening: Sonic Artillery, Weaponized Peacekeeping, and Global Futures of Civil Protest (publisher TBD).

In AY 2022-23, I will begin a multi-modal and genre-bending project called Touching Pitch: A Decolonial Escapade. Equal parts memoir-treatise, live-recorded collaborative album, and VN-RPG (visual novel role-playing game), Touching Pitch illustrates how culturally-hybridized pedagogies and practices of Western classical improvisation (a so-called “lost art”) may empower minoritized musicians to animate a spectrum of anti-racist, anti-assimilationist, and anti-capitalist agendas in the twenty-first century.

I proudly serve as a WISE Ambassador in the Upper Valley. To learn more about WISE and its mission to end gender-based violence in the Upper Valley and beyond – and to find out how you can join – please access the website and its many resources at www.wiseuv.org.

 

Appointments

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

 

Education

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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63310
64 Hopkins Center
HB 6187
Department(s): 
Music

Selected Publications

SINGLE-AUTHORED BOOKS

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).

 

EDITED VOLUMES

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).

 

ARTICLES

Visit www.willxcheng.com