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Kirsten S. Paige

Kirsten S. Paige studied first at the University of Chicago (AB in Music History & Theory, 2011) and the University of Cambridge (MPhil in Musicology, 2012; funded by an Edison Fellowship from the British Library, Music & Letters Award from Oxford University Press, and the Frank Huntington Beebe Fellowship from the Beebe Fund for Musicians), before coming to the University of California, Berkeley to pursue a Ph.D. in Music History and Literature.  Her dissertation, “Richard Wagner’s Political Ecology,” has been funded by the Albert Lepawsky Dissertation Fellowship from UC Berkeley’s Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, John L. Simpson Memorial Research Fellowship from UC Berkeley’s Institute for International Studies, and a Eugene K. Wolf Endowment Fund Grant from the American Musicological Society.

Kirsten’s work focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century German cultural and environmental history, opera studies, the history of science and technology (including medicine and architecture), media studies, critical theory, and film.  She has presented her work at annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, German Studies Association, Royal Musical Association, the Biennial Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, and other national and international conferences, and has published her work in the Cambridge Opera JournalMLA Notes, and the history journal European Romantic Review.  Since 2017, she has served as a Lecturer in Music History at the San Francisco Conservatory.

“‘Art and Climate,’ Parsifal, and the Atmospheric Politics of Wagnerian Theater” (under review, Opera Quarterly)
“Wagnerian Climatic Fantasies: Sound, Space, and Breath,” European Romantic Review, Vol. 28/3 (May 2017): 343-348. 
“The Nightingale, the Owl, and the Jew in the Thorn-bush: Relocating Anti-Semitism in Die Meistersinger,” co-authored with Thomas Grey (Stanford), Cambridge Opera Journal, Vol. 28/1 (March 2016): 1-35. 
“Book Review: David Trippett, Wagner’s Melodies,” MLA Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, Vol. 70/4 (June 2014): 708-710.


“Turning Wagner Inside Out: Wagnerian Atmospheric Design and the Politics of ‘Breathable Music,'” (part of a special seminar “Sights and Sounds: History of the Senses in German-Speaking Europe”), Presented at the Annual Conference of the German Studies Association, Atlanta, GA (October 2017).

“Wagnerian Climatic Fantasies: Sound, Space, and Breath,” (part of a special seminar “Anthropocene Historicism”), Presented at the Annual Meeting of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, Berkeley, CA (August 2016).      *Winner: Best Graduate Student Paper Prize

“Parsifal in the Darkness” (part of a pre-formed roundtable panel “New Approaches to Opera and Character”), Presented at the Nineteenth Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, Oxford, England (July 2016).

“Richard Wagner as Ecocritic: Wagnerian Climate Theory and the Anthropocene,” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Louisville, KY (November 2015).

“De-industrializing the Urban Body: Achieving Nature through Technology at the Bayreuth Festival, 1876-1890,” Presented at Dreams of Germany: Music and Transnational Imaginaries in the Modern Era, German Historical Institute/Max Weber Foundation, London, UK (February 2015).

“The Owl, the Nightingale, and the Jew in the Thorn-bush: Reassessing Walther’s Trial Song in Die Meistersinger,” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Pittsburgh, PA (November 2013).

“Multiplicity of Meaning in Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser: Understanding and Performing Vocal Naturalism,” Presented at the Performance Studies Network Second International Conference, AHRC Center for Musical Performance as Creative Practice, University of Cambridge, UK (April 2013).