Megan E. Hill, Ph. D.
- Managing Editor, Head Researcher & Writer
Megan E. Hill, Ph.D. is an ethnomusicologist, educator, writer, and editor. Before becoming involved with Music by Black Composers, she completed a Ph.D. in Musicology with an Ethnomusicological Emphasis at the University of Michigan. While there, she was also assistant editor at the Gershwin Initiative, producing critical editions of the works of George and Ira Gershwin, where she worked on projects including Porgy and Bess and An American in Paris.
As an ethnomusicologist, Dr. Hill’s area of specialization is in music in contemporary Japan, with a secondary specialization in American popular music. In her dissertation, “Asakusa Ondo: Soundscape Agency, Montage, and Place in a Dynamic Tokyo Neighborhood” (2016), she offered a theoretical framework for analyzing and understanding the ways that people make sense of sound, music, and place in dense, diverse urban environments. She has broad research interests that intersect with issues of music, place, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and other aspects of human identity and experience in everyday life.
Dr. Hill has presented her research at the 3rd International Council for Traditional Music Forum (Beijing, 2018), the Music Integration and Innovation Symposium (Beijing, 2018), the Society for Ethnomusicology’s annual conference (Denver, 2016; Washington, DC, 2017), the Association for Asian Studies (Toronto, 2017), Stony Brook University’s Periods and Waves Conference (2016), Boston University’s Sound and Bodies in the World Conference (2015), and the Inter-Asia Popular Music Conference (Taiwan Normal University, 2012). She has been an invited guest lecturer for courses and symposia at the University of Michigan and the University of Toledo. She was the recipient of the inaugural William P. Malm Prize for Outstanding Student Writing (2010) from the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan, the Glenn McGeoch Memorial Scholarship in Musicology Pedagogy (2016) from the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the University of Michigan, and the Louise E. Cuyler Prize in Musicology (2016) from the University of Michigan’s Musicology Department. Her dissertation field research was supported by a Dissertation Fellowship (2011-2012) from the Japan Foundation. Most recently, Dr. Hill was invited by the Chinese Music Culture Institute as a research scholar for the 2018 International Summer Institute in Beijing, China, where she carried out a research project on the soundscapes of the city of Beijing.
She is currently a Lecturer in Ethnomusicology at Western Michigan University where she teaches the undergraduate capstone music course on ethnomusicological theory and practice. She has a number of articles in progress for publication on such topics as the musical construction of place in a Tokyo neighborhood a contemporary Japanese band’s glocalization of a local folk song, the politics of gendered language in Japanese popular song, and the creative musical practice of a Japanese blues pianist in Chicago, Illinois.