Join us for the Spring 2021 Season of The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here:

Ellie Hisama
Music and Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Columbia University

Produced and edited by Laura Menard (Music & Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto)

Ellie Hisama is Professor of Music and a member of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Columbia University, where she has taught since 2006. The author of Gendering Musical Modernism, she has published on the music of Geri Allen, Joan Armatrading, Benjamin Britten, Ruth Crawford, Julius Eastman, and DJ Kuttin Kandi. She will join the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music in July 2021 as Professor of Music and its next Dean.

For further reading:

W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1997 [1903].

Farah Jasmine Griffin, “When Malindy Sings: A Meditation on Black Women’s Vocality.” In Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies, ed. Robert G. O’Meally, Brent Hayes Edwards, and Farah Jasmine Griffin, 102-25. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.

J. B. T. Marsh, The Story of the Jubilee Singers: With Their Songs. 1883. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Michele Moody-Adams, Making Space for Justice: Social Movements, Collective Imagination, and Political Hope. New York: Columbia University Press, forthcoming.

J. B. Steane, 1973. The Grand Tradition: Seventy Years of Singing on Record. Portland: Amadeus.

Louise Toppin, The African Diaspora Music Project.

Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson “What Spirituals Mean to Me.” Typescript, 1962. The Marian Anderson Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, Kislak Center for Special Collections, University of Pennsylvania.

Ellie M. Hisama, “Popular Culture: Cultural Activism and Musical Performance.” In A Cultural History of Western Music in the Modern Age, vol. 6, ed. William Cheng and Danielle Fosler-Lussier. London: Bloomsbury, in press.

Allan Keiler, Marian Anderson: A Singer’s Journey. New York: Scribner, 2000.

H. T. Burleigh

H. T. Burleigh, “Deep River.” New York: G. Ricordi, 1917.

Harry T. Burleigh Society website

Ann Sears, “‘A Certain Strangeness’: Harry T. Burleigh’s Art Songs and Spiritual Arrangements.” Black Music Research Journal 24/2 (Autumn 2004): 227-49.

Jean E. Snyder, Harry T. Burleigh: From the Spiritual to the Harlem Renaissance. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2016.

Beverly Glenn-Copeland

“Beverly Glenn-Copeland on Finding Your Creative Voice.” Red Bull Music Academy, Montréal, December 6, 2017.

Grayson Haver Currin, “Listeners Found Beverly Glenn-Copeland. It Was Time.” New York Times, September 14, 2020.

Hua Hsu, “Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s Music for a Future that Never Came.” The New Yorker, September 14, 2020.

Nick Krewen, ‘Here’s a generation that’s speaking my language’ Beverly Glenn-Copeland, 77, finds new success after Japanese collector’s interest.” Toronto Star, October 1, 2020.


Marian Anderson, “Deep River” (1938 recording with pianist Kosti Vehanen)

Beverly Glenn-Copeland, “Deep River” from Live at Le Guess Who? (2018)

Beverly Glenn-Copeland, “Ever New” from Keyboard Fantasies (1986)

Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story, dir. Posy Dixon, 2019. [documentary]