Dr. Tammy Kernodle poses in front of a brown background wearing all black.
Start: October 19, 2022 2 p.m.
End: October 19, 2022 2:50 p.m.
Location: Sursa Performance Hall
Contact Details
Heather Platt

Writer/activist Langston Hughes has been identified as a radical and progressive voice whose imprint stretched throughout the 20th century. While much attention has been given to his collaborations with William Grant Still, Kurt Weill and other male composers/songwriters, very little focus has been placed on his work with women artisans. This talk explores the personal and collaborative relationships that Hughes cultivated with black women musicians and composers who were key in the formation of black liberation ideology during the height of the black civil rights movement. Specific emphasis will be given to Hughes' collaborations with folk singer Odetta, jazz musician Nina Simone, and composer/pianist Margaret Bonds during the late 1950s and 1960s in an effort to illuminate how these relationships and the resulting compositions/performances linked the intellectual labor of black women to the mid-century black liberation movement.

Dr. Tammy L. Kernodle is Miami University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Music, who specializes in African American music (concert and popular) and gender studies in music. She is also an affiliate of the American Studies Program, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Program, and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

Her scholarship explores the intersection of the politics that surround gender and racial identity, performance practice and genre. Her work has appeared in major peer-reviewed journals including American Studies, Musical Quarterly, Black Music Research Journal, The Journal of the Society of American Music (JSAM), American Music Research Journal, The U.S Catholic Historian, and the Journal of the American Musicological Society (JAMS). She also was a contributor to The African American Lectionary Project, the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip Hop and Rap and the Carnegie Hall Digital Timeline of African American Music. Her scholarship also appears in numerous anthologies and reference works including Women’s Voices Across Musical Worlds, John Coltrane and Black America’s Quest for Freedom: Spirituality and the Music, and The Cambridge Companion to Women in Music Since 1900.

Kernodle is the author of biography Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams, served as Associate Editor of the three-volume Encyclopedia of African American Music and was also one of the Editors for the revision of the New Grove Encyclopedia of American Music.

Kernodle served as the Scholar in Residence for the Women in Jazz Initiative at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City from 1999 until 2001. She has worked closely with a number of educational programs including the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival, Jazz@Lincoln Center, NPR, Canadian Public Radio, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and BBC. Kernodle is currently serving as scholarly consultant with New World Symphony’s Harlem Renaissance initiative, which seeks to elevate the music and voices of black artisans.

From 2012-2016, Kernodle served as a scholarly consultant for the exhibits entitled “Musical Crossroads” at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She appears in a number of award-winning documentaries including Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band and Girls in the Band, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, and How It Feels to Be Free.

In 2014, she received the Effective Educator Award from the Miami University Alumni Association and in 2018 was awarded the Benjamin Harrison Medallion. The Harrison Award is the highest award given to a Miami University faculty member in recognition of their research, teaching and service. In 2021 she was promoted to the rank of University Distinguished Professor. She is the Past President of the Society for American Music.