MSA Study Session and Annual Business Meeting – Sunday, November 22, 2020

5:00-8:00 p.m. (EST), 2:00-5:00 p.m. (PST)
(online, via Zoom)

Since this year’s joint meeting of the American Musicological Society (AMS) and Society for Music Theory (SMT) was held virtually, rather than in person, and the AMS was consequently unable to host meetings of affiliate societies such as ours, MSA held its Study Session and Annual Business Meeting online, during the weekend after the conclusion of the AMS-SMT meeting.

The session included the presentation of this year’s Marjorie Weston Emerson Award and a short business meeting, but the main event was a panel discussion, organized and moderated by Prof. Catherine Coppola (Hunter College, City University of New York):

"Race and Gender in the Magic Flute"

Talking About Race and Gender in The Magic Flute

For musicology to remain relevant to how society moves forward from the tipping point of 2020, we must welcome potentially uncomfortable conversations around canonic works. Many of us have been quietly doing this work for some time now, but it has recently taken on greater urgency. For this study session on Mozart’s The Magic Flute, we focus on the role of race as well as its intersection with gender. Our goal is to function as a platform for shared ideas on how we might move forward in facing difficult questions as a community of scholars, pedagogues, performers, and presenters. In this format, short position papers are followed by ample time for discussion of the opera and its ramifications for how we might productively interrogate and present this canonic work.


  • Micaela Baranello (University of Arkansas), “Julie Taymor’s Multicultural Mozart”
  • Lily Kass (Temple University), “‘When will the veil be lifted?’: How Translations Obscure Racism in The Magic Flute
  • Adeline Mueller (Mount Holyoke College), “From Othello to Monostatos: Re-reading The Magic Flute with Shakespeare Studies”
  • Kira Thurman (University of Michigan), “Performing Pamina and the Politics of Race: Leontyne Price in The Magic Flute in Postwar Vienna”
  • Jessica Waldoff (College of the Holy Cross), “Rethinking Gender and Race in Die Zauberflöte