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Parkorn Wangpaiboonkit

I am a PhD candidate in Musicology, and joined the department at UC Berkeley after completing my BA in Comparative Literature at Oberlin College. My dissertation examines how the localization of Western art practices in nineteenth-century Siam served as a discursive site for negotiating ethnological imperialism across the colonial modern. I juxtapose this history of Siamese court music at the turn of 1900—with its selective (mis)readings, emulation, and criticism of Italian opera—alongside the scrutiny of this fast-changing repertoire by early comparative musicologists of the Berlin school. My broader interests in opera studies include the performance of race and racialization, operatic masculinities and queer opera culture, new and old technologies of operatic sound reproduction, and colonial histories of Western opera.
I am excited to share my research on voice, timbre, and masculine performance in the article “Excavating operatic masculinity” available through open access in the Cambridge Opera Journal. My dissertation “Sounding Civilization: Race and Sovereignty in the Imperial Opera of Siam, 1870-1910” is supported by the Alvin Johnson AMS50 and the Howard Mayer Brown fellowships of the American Musicological Society.