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Treasurer Candidate Bios
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Judah M. Cohen is the Lou & Sybil Professor of Jewish Culture, Associate Professor of Musicology (Jacobs School of Music), and affiliate faculty with the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology (College of Arts and Sciences) at Indiana University Bloomington. Trained in Ethnomusicology at Harvard University (Ph.D., 2002), he joined SEM in 1997 and has attended all but one Annual Meeting since, regularly giving papers and/or chairing sessions. He is a member of the SEM Council (2015-2017); he served on the SEM 2013 Program Committee; he chaired the SEM 2014 Pre-Conference committee (Indianapolis); and he chaired the SEM 2015 Program Committee. In addition, he co-convened the Jewish Music Special Interest Group, and holds strong relationships with the Medical Ethnomusicology Special Interest Group and the Historical Ethnomusicology Section. Judah is invested in the Society and its future, and deeply aware of the field’s current joys and challenges.

In his scholarly and professional efforts Judah seeks to bring ethnomusicology into deep conversation with musicology, religious studies, folklore, history, health studies, media studies, and related fields. His written work includes a musical ethnography on the formation of authority (The Making of a Reform Jewish Cantor: Musical Authority, Cultural Investment [Indiana University Press, 2009]), a co-edited volume on global health (The Culture of AIDS in Africa: Hope and Healing Through Music and the Arts [New York:  Oxford University Press, 2011], featured at the SEM 2011 President’s Roundtable), and a historical monograph of Caribbean Jewish life (Through the Sands of Time: A History of the Jewish Community of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands [Brandeis University Press, 2004]). He has also published essays in a variety of journals, including Ethnomusicology, Popular Music, AJS Review, Contemporary Jewry, Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, Western Folklore, and, as part of a roundtable, the Journal of the American Musicological Society. He also serves on the Executive Council of the American Jewish Historical Society and on the Academic Advisory Committee for New York’s Center for Jewish History.


Dr. Donna Lee Kwon teaches ethnomusicology at the University of Kentucky and taught previously at Rhodes College, Grinnell College and Lawrence University. Educated at UC Berkeley (Ph.D.), Wesleyan University (M.A.) and Oberlin College and Conservatory (B.A./B.M.), Donna has developed firsthand knowledge of various types of academic institutions across the United States. She is currently serving a second term on the SEM Council (2006-2009, 2015-2018) and is in her second term as the President of the Association for Korean Music Research (2012-2016), an ancillary organization of SEM. Her commitment to service and community engagement stems from earlier work with community organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, such as the Korean Youth Cultural Center, Community Educational Services, and First Voice. In this capacity, she brings experience in bookkeeping and payroll management and acquired other relevant skills—writing grants, negotiating arts contracts, managing budgets and overseeing two organizations acquire state and federal status as a 501(c)3 non-profit.

She is the author of Music in Korea: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture (Oxford University Press, 2011) and has published in Ethnomusicology, The Grove Dictionary of American Music, and the Korean journal Music and Culture. Her teaching and research interests include the music of North and South Korea, issues of space and place, ecomusicology, Asian American music, sound studies, gender, music and ritual, globalization, and voice studies. She has presented her research at the International Committee for Traditional Music (2015, 2013), the Society for American Music (2015) and the Association for Asian Studies (2015, 2016) but has considered SEM her disciplinary home since the mid-1990s where she is a frequent chair and presenter (2015, 2014, 2011, 2008, 2006, 2003, 2002). She is currently on sabbatical as an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow (2015-2016) and is completing her book manuscript on the embodiment of space and place in Korean drumming and dance. Her other major awards include a Fulbright IIE fellowship, and two grants from the Korea Foundation. Finally, Donna Kwon continues to perform and improvise on Korean percussion instruments and has performed many times in Chicago and San Francisco-based Asian American jazz and creative music festivals, the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and many other venues. She was also a performing member of the Balkan band Žabe i Babe and recorded a CD with them entitled Drumovi (1997), and was featured in the series Exploring Worlds of Music, Sound, and Environment (1998) aired on PBS.

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