Welcoming Joanna Bosse as Interim Head, School of Music
Joanna Bosse will join the College of Fine Arts (CFA) and the School of Music as Interim Head and Visiting Professor of Music for a two-year term beginning August 1.
Bosse currently serves as Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs and Strategic Initiatives in the College of Music at Michigan State University (MSU). Prior to that appointment, she served for six years as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at MSU.
“I am delighted to welcome Joanna to our community,” said Mary Ellen Poole, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “I’m confident that she will be a strong advocate for the students, faculty and staff of the School of Music while engaging them in crucial conversations about the future.”
An ethnomusicologist and dance scholar with a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Bosse has taught at MSU, Bowdoin College, Millikin University, and Illinois State University. Throughout her career, she has expressed a strong commitment to the notion that sustained artistic practice is a necessary component of optimal wellness for individuals and communities. To that end, this philosophy is reflected in her research interests that most recently include the relationship between music, health and well-being; music and movement; and music cognition and emotion.
“I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students and alumni who are part of the School of Music, focusing on future-directed initiatives that build upon the strong foundation that is part of the school’s history,” Bosse said.
Bosse’s publications have focused on partnership dance traditions like salsa, tango, swing and ballroom among amateur, hobbyist performers. Her book, Becoming Beautiful: Ballroom Dance in the American Heartland (University of Illinois Press 2015), presents an ethnographic case study of amateur ballroom dancers who experience personal transformation through artistic engagement, and her award-winning documentary film, Becoming Beautiful (2017), has screened on three continents. Her research on whiteness, race and performance appears in The Journal of American Folklore, Dance Research Journal, Ethnomusicology Forum, and elsewhere.
“Pittsburgh is a city rich in the arts, and I’m excited to become part of the CFA and CMU communities, as well as the broader arts community,” Bosse said. “We have an obligation to the next generation of music students, and I truly look forward to working with the school’s team to meet their needs.”