Carol J. Oja, the William Powell Mason Professor of Music at Harvard University, is a historical musicologist affiliated with American studies. Her research focuses on music in the United States, and her most recent book, Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War (Oxford University Press, 2014), explores issues of race in an era of staged racial segregation.
While at Radcliffe, Oja continues her work on “Black Virtuosos and Civil Rights,” which aims for a cultural history of a breakthrough generation of African American performing artists in classical music. Racial practices at the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic are the primary focus. Oja’s project involves deep archival research, and it benefits hugely from access to digitized black newspapers.
Oja, who earned her PhD in music and musicology from the Graduate Center, City University of New York, won the 2015 Music in American Culture Book Award from the American Musicological Society for Bernstein Meets Broadway. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic, and a Walter Channing Cabot Fellow at Harvard University.