Assistant Professor of Music, Area Coordinator for World Music
Kaley Mason’s research examines the interplay of creative choices and material constraints in contemporary musical experience. Although his primary area of specialization is South Asia, his work is broadly concerned with how music serves as a vehicle for cultural dignity, and how performers in turn shape movements for social change. This is the focus of his first book, The Labor of Music: South Indian Performers and Cultural Mobility (forthcoming with Oxford). His second India-centered project tracks the relationship between art and activism in song, from the music of political theater and revolutionary film, to emergent genres like alternative rock. He also has a secondary interest in Francophone popular music, specifically the heterogeneous origins of the chanson française and the influence of singer-songwriters in debates over national belonging and intercultural empathy in France and Québec. Having taught previously at the University of Chicago, his recent courses include music of South Asia, chanson française, ethnographic methods, and gastromusicology.
Ph.D. 2006, University of Alberta, B.Mus. 1999, Queen’s University