Assistant Professor of Music
Tracy McMullen is a cultural theorist, performer, and composer. Her interests include American music and culture; jazz; popular music; improvisation; musical performance and identity; cultural memory; and musical re-enactment. Her articles have appeared in the peer-reviewed journals Current Musicology and Critical Studies in Improvisation and in the edited volumes Big Ears: Listening for Gender in Jazz Studies; Sounding the Body: Improvisation, Representation and Subjectivity; People Get Ready: The Future of Jazz is Now; The Encyclopedia of African American Music; The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies; and the Grove Dictionary of American Music.
Dr. McMullen’s manuscript-in-progress, Replay: Repetition and Identity Compulsion from ABBA to Žižek (solicited by Duke University Press) examines the growth of live musical re-enactment in relation to postmodern anxieties about impermanence and intersubjectivity. Her second major project investigates improvisation as an alternative model for negotiating identity, suggesting a theorization of an improvisative, rather than a performative. Her courses include “History of Hip Hop,” “Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Music,” “Music, Memory, and Identity,” and “Music in Everyday Life.”
As a jazz/experimental saxophonist, she has performed or recorded with David Borgo, George Lewis, Anthony Davis, Dana Reason, Mark Dresser, Pauline Oliveros, and many others and can be heard on the Cadence Jazz label.
B.A. Stanford University
M.M., M.A., University of North Texas
Ph.D. University of California, San Diego
2014 “‘Bring It On Home’: Robert Plant, Janis Joplin, and the Myth of Origin.” The Journal of Popular Music Studies, Vol. 26 (2) (June 2014)
2010 “Subject, Object, Music: John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, and Eastern (Western) Philosophy in Music.” Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études Critiques en Improvisation, Vol. 6 (2) (December 2010).
2006 “Corpo-Realities: Keepin’ it Real in ‘Music and Embodiment’ Scholarship.” Current Musicology, No. 82 (Fall 2006), 61-80.
2014 “Restaging and Covering Historic Jazz Improvisation,” in The Oxford Handbooks Online in Music edited by Alexander Rehding. Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
2013 “People, Don’t Get Ready: Improvisation, Democracy, and Hope” in People Get Ready: The Future of Jazz in Now, edited by Ajay Heble and Robert Wallace. Duke University Press.
2013 “The Improvisative,” in The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies, edited by George Lewis and Ben Piekut. Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
2013 “Improvisation Within a Scene of Constraint: Judith Butler interviewed by Tracy McMullen” in Sounding the Body: Improvisation, Representation and Subjectivity edited by Gillian Siddal and Ellen Waterman. Wesleyan University Press, forthcoming.
2008 “Identity for Sale: Glenn Miller, Wynton Marsalis and Cultural Replay in Music.” In Big Ears: Listening for Gender in Jazz Studies, edited by Nichole Rustin and Sherrie Tucker. Durham: Duke University Press, 2008.
2008 Sounding Out: Pauline Oliveros and Lesbian Musicality, by Martha Mockus. In Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études Critiques en Improvisation, Vol. 4 (2) (December 2008).
2013 “Gender.” In Grove Dictionary of American Music, second edition, edited by Charles Hiroshi Garrett. Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
2011 “Brass Bands, Orchestras, and Dance Bands, 1919-1942.” In Encyclopedia of African American Music, edited by Emmett G. Price III, Tammy L. Kernodle, and Horace J. Maxile. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
2011 “Rhythm n’ Blues, 1968-1980.” In Encyclopedia of African American Music, edited by Emmett G. Price III, Tammy L. Kernodle, and Horace J. Maxile. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
2011-2013 Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Humanities, University of Southern California.
2009-2010 Visiting Scholar with the Beatrice M. Bain Research Group, University of California, Berkeley.
2007-2008 Postdoctoral Scholar with the “Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice” (ICASP) Research Initiative, University of Guelph, ON, Canada.
2003-2007 University of California Predoctoral Humanities Fellowship, University of California, San Diego. One of only four fellowships awarded each year, campus-wide. Two years teaching-release.
2006 The Erickson Prize for Excellence in Research in Music, University of California, San Diego.
2006 The Jazz Society of Lower Southern California Award for Excellence in Jazz Performance, University of California, San Diego.
2002-2003 Scholarship in Composition, University of North Texas.
2001-2002 The David M. Schimmel Memorial Scholarship in Composition, University of North Texas.