Mikkel Vad

Mikkel Vad

Assistant Professor

I am a musicologist, specializing in jazz history, popular music studies and Danish music history. My research and teaching revolve around the themes of race and ethnicity (especially whiteness studies), history (especially reception history and historiography), space and place (especially cultural geography and transnational music), and technology and media (especially theory and analysis of sound recording).

My current book project focuses on intersections of European jazz and US culture. It asks the basic question, specifically about the dissemination and reception of European jazz in the US: what happens when jazz returns "home"? I study the (primarily white) European musicians who came to the United States and argue that this transnational flow of music and musicians did not dissolve racial distinctions. I find that the whiteness of European jazz was accentuated in its meeting with African American culture. I am also a specialist on the jazz history of my native Denmark; and more broadly on Nordic music, especially on 20th century popular music and modernism. My secondary research projects include a critique of discourses of so-called "reverse racism" in music; research on the analysis and theory of space in recorded music and its connection to visual culture and cultural geography; and research on sites of memory in jazz and popular music culture.

At the University of Copenhagen, I teach music history and analysis. I teach problem-based courses on cultural theory, historiography, media studies, and music where students learn to think critically about music and the arts across genres, time periods, and cultures.

Before coming to the University of Copenhagen, I taught sound studies, African diasporic music history, world music, and jazz theory and arranging at Bucknell University (USA); and, before that, as Ph.D. candidate courses on music, media, cultural studies, and historiography at the University of Minnesota (USA). Previously, I taught sociology of music and culture and industry studies at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen; and I was a radio presenter of jazz and classical music at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. I also played, conducted, and wrote a lot of music.

ID: 108813698