Skip to main content

Kirsten Paige

Asst Teaching Professor


Price Music Center NA


I am an Assistant Teaching Professor of Musicology in the Department of Music at North Carolina State University. I also teach in the University Honors Program and am an NC State Impact Scholar. I am a member of the American Musicological Society’s Council and AMS Graduate Education Committee, the “Music & Nature” Study Group at the Gustav Mahler Centre (Innsbruck, Austria), and the “Music Studies in/and the Anthropocene” Research Network, which I founded in 2021.

Before joining the NC State faculty, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Music at Stanford University for three years (2018-21). I received my Ph.D. in Music History and Literature from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018, M.Phil. in Music from the University of Cambridge in 2012, and my A.B. in Music History and Theory from the University of Chicago in 2011.

My work explores how scientific — especially, environmental, energy, and climate — knowledge shaped musical and aural practices, technologies, and cultures in the long nineteenth century (and beyond), with special attention to global cultural and scientific exchanges. My research is deeply concerned with how music, sound, and their technologies fit into the matrix of modern crisis. In particular, I’m invested in questions of how musical and aural practices can participate in decolonial, collaborative approaches to studying or even counterpoising the Anthropocene’s human and non-human violences.

My essays on material, conceptual, and intellectual histories of music and the environment have appeared in journals including 19th-Century Music, the Cambridge Opera Journal, The Opera Quarterly, the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Sound Studies, and the Journal of the American Musicological Society. My book project, “Richard Wagner’s Political Ecology,” is under contract with the University of Chicago Press. The special issue of 19th-Century Music that I guest-edited and contributed an essay to, “Music and the Invention of Environment,” appeared in August 2021. New work is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, The Wagner Journal, Nineteenth-Century Music Review, Sound Studies, and The New York Times.

I would be interested in collaborating with scholars in any field on issues surrounding environmental history, arts, and literature, climate change, and sustainable technology and design.


View all publications