American Studies

T. Carlis Roberts Associate Professor - Music

I am a scholar, teacher, and artist devoted to exploring the aesthetic, political, and spiritual potential of performance. My research investigates the connections between sound and social identities, centering on marginalized histories of popular and folk music in the Americas. Specific interests include: interracial musical collaboration, music of enslaved Africans in the U.S. and Caribbean, intercultural percussion performance, womens drumming communities, diasporic connections in African American and Afro-Caribbean folkloric traditions, queer and trans popular music making, and the technology and politics of spiritual musical practice. In all, my work engages how music is used to construct individual identities and communitiesoften of seemingly disparate individualswhile at the same time holding the potential to render our lives more complexly than static labels of race, gender, sexuality, etc. I also work as a composer, sound designer, and performer in music, theater, dance, and film. More details on my website.