Jarek Paul Ervin is a scholar working at the intersection of musicology, cultural studies, philosophy, and social theory. Broadly, Ervin’s thought investigates the overlapping and often conflicting dynamics of music as aesthetic practice, social force, historical inheritance, and a privileged window into the domain of sensory experience. Specific avenues for this inquiry include: popular music studies, twentieth century music, and American music; philosophy of music, especially historical materialism, German idealism, and critical theory (Lukács, Bloch, Benjamin, and Adorno); and gender and sexuality in music.
Ervin is currently a PhD candidate in University of Virginia’s McIntire Department of Music. His dissertation focuses on New York punk during the 1970s. Drawing on a range of archival and recorded materials, the project explores the way the category punk served as a fragile placeholder for a diverse and polemical musical practice during its early years. Ultimately, this leads to an interrogation of broader issues related to genre theory, philosophy of music, and popular music’s troubled internal history.
Ervin’s published work appears with or is forthcoming in Popular Music, Popular Music & Society, and Jacobin. He has also presented at a number of recent conferences including 2014’s Left Forum and IASPM-US 2016. Ervin has held fellowships from the Library of Congress and UVa’s Vice President's Office for Research, and was a 2015 Gladys Krieble Delmas Visiting Scholar at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Library and Archives. In 2016, his work will be supported by a Battestin Fellowship from the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia.
For more about his research and teaching, click here.
FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
SELECT CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
Roundtable: The Spirit of ’77: Punk at 40.International Association for the Study of Popular Music, US Branch Annual Conference. Cleveland, OH (February 23-26, 2017).
Historical Materialism and Popular Music Studies.AMS/SMT. Vancouver, BC (November 3-6, 2016).
’Are You a Boy or Are You A Girl?’ New York Queer Punk in the 1970s.IASPM- US Annual Conference. Calgary, AB (May 28-30, 2016).
Lukács, Mahler, and the Antinomies of Musical Meaning.South Central Graduate Music Consortium. UNC Chapel Hill (September 19-20, 2014).
On Art's Right to Exist.Left Forum: Reform and/or Revolution. New York, NY (May 30-June 1, 2014).
From 'You Better Work' to 'Born this Way’: Popular Music and Gay Visibility.Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society. New Orleans, LA (November 1-4, 2012).
TEACHING EXPERIENCE (2012-present)University of Virginia (2012-present)
As Instructor of Record, Music
As Teaching Assistant & Discussion Leader, Music
Temple University (2010-2012)
As Teaching Assistant, Music Studies
For full CV, click here.
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Saving the NEA Won't Save Culture (with Benjamin Laude)
For more work, click here.