About Radcliffe / Faculty Directors

Carol J. Oja

  • Humanities
  • Director of the humanities program, Harvard Radcliffe Institute; and William Powell Mason Professor of Music, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Headshot of Carol J. Oja
Photo by Tony Rinaldo

Carol J. Oja, who directs Radcliffe’s humanities program, is a music historian whose research focuses on diverse 20th- and 21st-century American musical traditions. Sounding Together: Collaborative Perspectives on U.S. Music in the 21st Century (University of Michigan Press, 2021), coedited with Charles Hiroshi Garrett, is a collection of collaboratively authored essays exploring the intersections between social responsibility, community engagement, and academic practices in the study of music. Oja’s award-winning books include Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War (Oxford University Press, 2014), which received the Music in American Culture Book Award from the American Musicological Society, and Making Music Modern: New York in the 1920s (Oxford University Press, 2000), which won the Irving Lowens Book Award from the Society for American Music. Her article “Marian Anderson’s 1953 Concert Tour of Japan: A Transnational History,” written together with Katie A. Callam, Makiko Kimoto, and Misako Ohta, won the 2021 Irving Lowens Article Award.

Oja earned her PhD in music from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 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 and is an occasional contributor to the Times Literary Supplement. Oja is at work on “Eileen Southern and the Music of Black Americans,” a multipart initiative focused on the scholarship, teaching, and legacy of Eileen Southern, the first African American woman tenured in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and author of the landmark book The Music of Black Americans: A History.

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