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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Musikwissenschaft

Prof. Dr. Sydney Hutchinson


Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin Theorie und Geschichte der populären Musik

Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Medienwissenschaft
Am Kupfergraben 5, Raum 311
10117 Berlin

E-Mail: sydney.hutchinson@hu-berlin.de



Sydney Hutchinson studied ethnomusicology at New York University (Ph.D, 2008), folklore at Indiana University (M.A., 2002) and piano performance at University of Arizona (B.M, 1996). Her dissertation, advised by Gage Averill, and assessed by committee members Peter Manuel, Suzanne Cusick, Ana María Ochoa, and Martin Daughtry, was on gender and the transnational geographies of Dominican merengue típico. She has published three books and numerous articles on Latino and Latin American music and dance, including Tigers of a different stripe: Performing gender in Dominican music (University of Chicago, 2016) and From quebradita to duranguense: Dance in Mexican American youth culture (University of Arizona, 2007). She has received the Samuel Claro Valdes prize in Latin American musicology, the Nadia and Nicholas Nahumck fellowship of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Marcia Herndon prize of the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Gender and Sexualities Taskforce, the Parsons fellowship of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and a special citation of the Society for Dance History Scholars’ De La Torre Bueno book prize, and an American Association for University Women research fellowship, among other awards.

Currently Associate Professor of ethnomusicology (on leave) and Judith Seinfeld Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Syracuse University’s Department of Art and Music Histories, Hutchinson has also taught at the University of Arizona, University of Cologne, and Centro León (Dominican Republic). She was a Humboldt Fellow at the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv of the Ethnological Museum in 2009-2010, and a visiting scholar at the same institution between 2018 and 2019. Most recently she was research associate at the Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Medienwissenschaft in summer 2019, and visiting professor for ethnomusicology at Goethe University Frankfurt in winter 2019-2020


Research and teaching interests:

  • Music and dance of the Hispanic Caribbean and its diasporas, esp. the Dominican Republic and New York City

  • Music and dance of the US-Mexico border

  • Social partner dance, esp. salsa - localization, globalization, and partnering protocols

  • Gender and performance

  • Choreomusicology (music/dance relationships and interactions)

  • Popular music in socialism, esp. Latin American music in the former East Germany

  • Masquerades of the Dominican Republic and Bermuda


Publications (selection):

monographs and edited volumes:

  • Focus: Music of the Caribbean. New York: Routledge, 2019
  • Tigers of a Different Stripe: The Performance of Gender in Dominican Music. (University of Chicago Press, 2016) (*Society for Ethnomusicology Marcia Herndon Award).
  • Salsa World: A Global Dance in Local Contexts. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2013) Sole editor of volume, author of two chapters, and translator for five chapters.
  • From Quebradita to Duranguense: Dance in Mexican American Youth Culture. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2007) (*Society for Dance History Scholars, De La Torre Bueno Special Citation).



  • Co-producer and writer of liner notes for CD “La India Canela: Merengue típico of the Dominican Republic.” Smithsonian Folkways Records, Nuestra Música series. (March 2008).


peer-review articles:

  • “Dancing lo típico: A choreomusical perspective on merengue.” 2019. World of Music (new series), forthcoming.
  • “Beyond the binary of choreomusicology: Moving from ethnotheory towards local ontologies.” Co-authored with Made Mantle Hood, World of Music (new series), forthcoming.
  • “Asian fury: A tale of race, rock, and air guitar.” 2016. Ethnomusicology 60(3): 411-433.
  • “Entangled rhythms on a conflicted island: Digging up the buried histories of Dominican folk music.” 2016. Resonancias 20(39): 139-154.
  • “A limp with rhythm: Convergent choreographies in Black Atlantic time.” 2012. Yearbook for Traditional Music 44:87-108.
  • Típico, folklórico, or popular? Musical categories, place, and identity in a transnational listening community.” 2011. Popular Music 30(2):245-262.


other academic articles:

  • “Music and food in multicultural Syracuse: Project Report.” 2018. Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore 44(1-4).
  • “Merengue típico in New York City: A history.” 2011. Camino Real. 4(5): 104-127.
  • Hutchinson, Sydney. 2010. “Los merengues caribeños: Naciones rítmicas en el mar de la música.” In A tres bandas. Mestizaje, sincretismo e hibridación en el espacio sonoro hispanoamericano (s. XVI-s. XX). Madrid: Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior (SEACEX), pp 81-88.
  • “Quebradita y el pasito duranguense: Dos bailes que cruzan fronteras.” 2006. Revista Dominicana de Antropología.
  • “Rural merengue in urban Queens: Típico communities in Ozone Park, Woodhaven, and Corona.” 2004. Urban Folk 1(3): 3-16.
  • “Pinto Güira and his magic bullet: A Dominican instrument maker in Queens.” 2002. Voices, the Journal of New York Folklore 28(3-4):10-15.


reference works:

  • “Colonialism.” In Progress. For Grove Musics in Global Perspective, Phil Bohlman, Tim Rommen, and Lars-Christian Koch, eds. Oxford University Press.
  • “Blas Durán,” “Domingo ‘Tatico’ García Henríquez,” and “José ‘Joseíto’ Mateo.” Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography, eds. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Franklin K. Knight. Oxford University Press. 2016.
  • “Dominican Republic.” 2014. Latin Music, ABC-CLIO, eds. Ilan Stavans and Jennifer Acker. Print and online, http://ebooks.abc-clio.com/
  • “Güira,” “canoíta,” “boombakiní,” “balsié,” “marimba,” “gayumba,” “Pinto Güira.”2014. Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, 2nd ed., ed. Richard Haefer. Oxford University Press.






summer semester 2020:


summer semester 2019: