Ryan Gourley is a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnomusicology at UC Berkeley specializing in Russian and Soviet popular music. His dissertation examines the politics of memory and musical circulation in Northern China from 1922-1949. Focused on the music of émigrés from the former Russian Empire, his research illuminates the vibrant forms of diasporic culture that developed amidst geopolitical instability and conflict in the region. Since 2019, he has collaborated with the staff at the Museum-Archive of Russian Culture, San Francisco to curate a community archive of over 3000 rare recordings.
Raised in sunny San Antonio, Texas, Ryan completed his bachelor’s degree in Music at Brown University in 2017, with equivalent minors in computer engineering and computer science. His undergraduate capstone project investigated the development of jazz scenes across the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. His research on Soviet jazz continued at UC Berkeley and became the topic of his master’s degree exam in 2019. As a secondary research area, he has published an article on the circulation of Soviet jazz in the United States in the Routledge Companion to Diasporic Jazz Studies (forthcoming) and presented on the topic at various conferences, including at the American Musicological Society (2020), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2020) at the City University of New York (2019).
Ryan’s work with the Museum-Archive of Russian Culture, San Francisco to digitize exceedingly rare 78 rpm recordings for the first time has been supported by a grant from the National Recording Preservation Foundation. The project website can be found on the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/
Memory studies, musical networks and circulation, phonography and media studies, mobility studies, Soviet and post-Soviet aesthetics, diaspora studies, digital humanities, and Soviet jazz.
“Soviet jazz on American vinyl: Consuming diasporic jazz at home” in The Routledge Companion to Diasporic Jazz Studies, edited by Anthony Bruce Johnson, Ádám Havas, and David Horn. Forthcoming.
Selected Conference Participation
“Russo-Japanese Musical Exchange and Diasporic Politics in Manchukuo.” Paper to be delivered at the joint meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, American Musicological Society, and Society for Music Theory at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel in New Orleans, USA. November 10-13, 2022.
“Russian Music Archives: Past, Present, and Future.” Roundtable panelist at the virtual portion of the 54th Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies. October 13-14, 2022.
“Live in Manchukuo: Russian Musical Tour Networks in Northeast Asia.” Delivered at the Sixth Sibelius Academy Symposium on Music History: “Agents and Actors: Networks in Music History” at the University of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland. June 1-3, 2022.
“The Sounds of Soviet Souvenirs in America: 78s at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York.” Delivered at the 53rd Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel in New Orleans, USA. November 18-21, 2021.
“Phonographic Homeland: Russian Records Across the Pacific Region.” To be delivered at the First Conference of the International Musicological Society’s Global History of Music Study Group: “Music in the Pacific World: Change and Exchange Through Sound and Memory” at National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan. October 15-17, 2021.
“White Melody, Red Lyrics: A Musical Palimpsest in Soviet Cinema” Delivered at “Music and the Moving Image Conference XVII” at New York University in New York, USA. May 27-30, 2021.
“Soviet Jazz on American Vinyl: Diasporic Politics and Record Circulation.” Delivered at the joint American Musicological Society (AMS) and Society for Music Theory (SMT) Conference on the joint Cold War and Musicology Study Group and Post-1945 Music Analysis Interest Group panel “Mediating the Cold War.” November 5-8, 2020.
“Echoes of the Tsar: Musical Narratives of the White Russian Diaspora in San Francisco.” To be delivered at “Symposium: Music and Politics in the 1930s” at the University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. December 7-8, 2019.
MUSIC R1B: “Music and State Socialism”
Instructor of Record: Fall 2022
MUSIC 26: “Music in American Cultures”
Instructor of Record: Summer 2020
Head Graduate Student Instructor: Spring 2023
Graduate Student Instructor: Summer 2022, Fall 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2020, Fall 2019
MUSIC 27: “Introduction to Western Art Music”
Head Graduate Student Instructor: Spring 2022
Graduate Student Instructor: Spring 2020
MUSIC 80: “Studies of Musics of the World”
Primary Graduate Student Instructor: Spring 2021
Graduate Student Reader: Spring 2022