Haden Smiley is a master’s student in ethnomusicology, originally from Friona, Texas. They received an AB from Harvard University (2019) in Music and Romance Languages & Literatures, with a secondary field in Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights. During their time at Harvard, they conducted prize-winning research on American country music, politics, and gender ideologies in northern Italy.
Haden entered the ethnomusicology program at Berkeley in 2019, where their studies have turned to issues of rural queerness and media, both online and in print. While country music is still a point of departure for them, they are particularly interested in the intersection of ethnography and media analysis, expanded notions of musicality and the iconography of popular culture, and anarchist and feminist politics of care, harm reduction, and abolition.
They have been a vocalist since childhood, singing in church from a very early age and in many choral ensembles since. Additionally, they studied solo voice privately through high school, continuing at New England Conservatory while enrolled at Harvard. They are active members of the music department community and the UC student workers’ union, UAW Local 2865.