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Kristen Turner

Lecturer, Musicology

Department of Performing Arts and Technology


Kristen M. Turner is a lecturer at NC State. She received her doctorate in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015. Her dissertation, Opera in English: Class and Culture in America, 1878–1910, won a Glen Haydon Award for an Outstanding Dissertation in Musicology. Her research centers on the intersection of music, identity, and politics in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century and in the mid-twentieth century Civil Rights Movement. Her research has been published in a number of collected editions and scholarly journals, including Carmen Abroad, edited by Clair Rowland and Richard Langham Smith (U. Cambridge Press, 2020), which won the RMA/Cambridge University Press Outstanding Edited Collection Book Prize for 2021 from the Royal Musicological Association. Working with Lucy Caplan, she co-edited a special issue on “The Arts in the Black Press During the Age of Jim Crow” for American Studies published in Fall 2020. Her work has also appeared in The Musical Quarterly, the Journal of the American Musicological Society, and the Journal of the Society for American Music. Race and Gender in the Western Music History Survey: A Teacher’s Guide (Routledge, 2022) which she wrote with Horace Maxile, won the 2023 American Musicological Society Teaching Award for an Exceptional Pedagogical Resource. Her first single-authored monograph, Singing Opera on Broadway During the Ragtime Era is under contract with the University of Illinois Press. Her research has been supported by grants from the Society for American Music and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dr. Turner is a member of the Black Opera Research Network’s working team member, which is an international group that promotes Black opera through scholarship and engagement with performers, composers, and the public. She is also active in professional musicological societies. She has been president of the American Musicological Society’s Southeast chapter (2020–2022) and a member-at-large of the Society for American Music’s Board of Trustees (2020–2023). She continues to serve both societies by chairing various committees. At NC State, Kristen teaches courses on women in music, American music, and film music, and honors seminars on the role of the arts in perpetuating the Lost Cause historical myth, resisting political oppression, and in the Civil Rights Movement.


B.M. Performance UNC-Greensboro

M.A. Musicology Eastman School of Music

M.A. Musicology UNC-Chapel Hill

Ph.D. Musicology UNC-Chapel Hill

Area(s) of Expertise

Musicology, 19th century opera, 19th and 20th century American musical culture, African American music, music and politics, music and gender


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