Carrie Gates | August 19, 2019
At its peak of popularity in the early 1900s, hundreds of thousands of pianos were being manufactured and sold in the United States each year.
But for Rebecca McKenna, the piano’s history is about much more than just manufacturing or marketing — it’s about issues of race, class, and gender at the turn of the 20th century. It’s about transnational trade and the debut of a new genre of music.
McKenna, an assistant professor in the Department of History, is exploring all of these issues for her new book project, with support from a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship.
“In so many ways, this is new ground for me, because I haven’t done music history before,” McKenna said. “I’m excited for what the story encompasses and what it requires me to bring together to tell it.
“I’m also grateful for this recognition from the NEH. It’s encouraging to learn that people who care about American culture and history see merit in this project, and it allows me the time to begin researching in a much more substantial way.”
Read more here.