Corinna S. Campbell

Corinna S. Campbell

Associate Professor of Music

Bernhard Music Center Rm 37


B.M. Northwestern University (2003)
M.M. Bowling Green State University (2005)
Ph.D. Harvard University (2012)

Areas of Expertise

  • Ethnomusicology
  • The Maroons of Suriname and French Guyana
  • Afro-Caribbean and South American Music and Dance
  • Performance Arts of West Africa, with a concentration on Ghanaian Music and Dance
  • Cultural Tourism and Folkloric Representations
  • Gender in Performance and Ethnographic Practice
  • Integrated Approaches to Music and Dance Analysis

Scholarship/Creative Work

“Playing the Changes: Performing Flexible Identifications.”American Folklore Society’s Annual Conference, October 2013.

“The Politics of Participation: Dilemmas in Cultural Consumption among the Surinamese Maroons.” SEM/AMS/SMT Conference, November 2012.

“Creole Languages in Scholarship: Challenges, Politics, Myths.” African Languages in the Disciplines Conference, Harvard University. April, 2012.

“Sounding the Body, Dancing the Drum: Integrated Analysis of an Afro-Surinamese Performance Genre.” SEM/CORD joint meeting, November 2011.  Online archive

“Personalizing Tradition in Surinamese Maroon Folkloric Dance.”  African Dance Diaspora: A Symposium on Embodied Knowledge.  Harvard University, March 2011.

“Making Miss Banamba: Tradition and Change in a Surinamese Dance Contest.”

Society for Ethnomusicology National Meeting, November 2010.

Harvard University Graduate Music Forum Conference, March 2010.

Current Committees

  • Calendar and Schedule Committee, Chair


Corinna Campbell’s work focuses on music and dance in the African Diaspora and West Africa, with a specialization in the traditional genres of the Suriname Maroons. Both her recent research in Suriname and previous work in Ghana have been propelled by her interest in three overlapping themes: performance-educational strategies in bridging cultural divides, music/dance interconnections, and the uses of music, dance, and related social discourses in navigating broader systems of power.

Her first manuscript, tentatively titled “Personalizing Tradition: Practicing Community and Articulating Selfhood through Surinamese Maroon Music and Dance,” examines how culture-based collectives mobilize tradition in order to fulfill a variety of social needs and aspirations.  While this concept is broadly applicable, it carries particular implications for Maroons (a minority population descended from escaped slaves) in their ongoing struggles for rights and resources in Suriname, a young and ethnically diverse South American country.

Professor Campbell is the director and founder of the Fieldwork Mentoring Program, co-sponsored by the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Section for the Status of Women, and the Gender and Sexualities Taskforce.  Her research has been funded by a number of institutions, among them the Fulbright Program, Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Prior to joining the faculty at Williams, Professor Campbell taught at a number of Boston area institutions, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston College, and Harvard University.