Dr. Kirsten Speyer Carithers

Assistant Professor, Music History


Kirsten Speyer Carithers specializes in music of the 20th and 21st centuries, exploring the intersections between music and labor across a spectrum of performance practices. Research and teaching interests include music and technology, experimentalism, ludomusicology, and the connections between indeterminacy, improvisation and creative labor. A frequent participant in national and international conferences, Carithers has presented her research at meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, and the Modernist Studies Association, as well as Perspectives on Musical Improvisation (University of Oxford, 2014) and Performing Indeterminacy (University of Leeds, 2017).

Pedagogical interests include representation in music history curricula, the relationships between music and technology, and tools/techniques to help students develop information literacy. Prior to coming to UofL, she taught courses at The Ohio State University, the Capital University Conservatory of Music, and both the Bienen School of Music and School of Professional Studies at Northwestern University.

She holds the Ph.D. in Musicology from Northwestern, along with graduate certificates in Teaching and Critical Theory. Her dissertation, “The Work of Indeterminacy: Interpretive Labor in Experimental Music,” won the 2017 Wiley Housewright Award from the Society for American Music. She also holds degrees in music history (MMus, 2005) and oboe performance (BMus, 2002) from Bowling Green State University.