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James Gordon Williams

James Gordon Williams

Assistant Professor
African American Studies

208 Sims Hall

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Practices of Resistance in Afro-diasporic Improvisation and Composition
  • Performance of Racial Identity through Music Technology
  • Epistemologies of African American Music
  • Digital Humanities


  • Ph.D. Integrative Studies in Music, University of California, San Diego
  • M.A. Music, New York University
  • B.Mus. New England Conservatory of Music

Current Course

  • Masters of Black Music AAS 408/608

Past Courses

  • Masters of Black Music
  • Introduction to African American Music
  • History of Jazz – 1940 to Present
  • Survey of African Music

Selected Publications

“Improvising On Feedback Piano: Aesthetic Discourses Behind Technology and Sound” in Rethinking Improvisation: Artistic Explorations & Conceptual Writing, Lund University, Sweden, 2013

“African American Influences On American Music” in Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories That Shaped Our Culture, Greenwood, 2013 

“Crossing Cinematic and Sonic Bar Lines: T-Pain’s Can’t Believe It“ Upcoming in UCLA’s Ethnomusicology Review Volume 19  2014