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Matthew Joseph

Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Belonging, Equity, and Inclusion



B.A. Yale University, M.S. Columbia University, Ph.D. Columbia University

Current Courses

Race in American Popular Music, Spring 2023

Recent Publications

“‘A Totally Integrated Club Scene’: ‘New York, New Music’ at the Museum of the City of New York.” The Brooklyn Rail (October 2021)

“A Sound as International as the City Itself: A Review of Benjamin Lapidus’ New York and the International Sound of Latin Music, 1940-1990.” Gotham: A Blog for Scholars of New York City History (2021)

Entry on New York City hip hop. St. James Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Culture (2018)

“‘Lords of Sounds:’ The Mutual Constitution of Slave Music by Masters and Slaves in the Antebellum South.” The Yale Historical Review (2011)

Awards and Accolades

Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellowship, Smithsonian Institute, 2021-2022

Alvin H. Johnson 50 Dissertation Fellowship, American Musicological Society, 2020-2021

Teaching Scholars Award, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, 2020

Richard Hofstadter Fellow, Columbia University History Department, 2014-2019

Adrienne Fried Block Fellowship, Society of American Music, 2019

Center for Popular Music Studies Fellowship, Case Western Reserve University and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library & Archives, 2018

Summer Research Grant, Columbia University’s Center for American Studies, 2017

Ivy Plus Exchange Scholar, Ivy Plus Exchange Program, 2016

Brebner Travel Fund, Columbia University History Department, 2015, 2016

Summer Funding Award, Columbia University History Department, 2015


Matthew Pessar Joseph is a twentieth-century American racial, cultural, and urban historian, completing his Ph.D. at Columbia University. His research moves beyond the traditional boundaries of the United States and explores Black Atlantic music emanating from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and the greater Gulf Coast region. In his dissertation, Syncopating Segregation: Musical Cross-Pollination in Post-World War II New York City, he argues that by participating in diverse musical scenes, African American, Latinx, queer, and white residents of post-World War II New York City were able to transcend boundaries of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation at a time when scholars argue that Gotham became increasingly segregated. Matt has been awarded write-up fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution and the American Musicological Society and grants from Columbia University, Case Western Reserve University, and the Society of American Music. He received his B.A. from Yale University and hails from New Haven. Matt is committed to a creative, inclusive pedagogy, of reaching students where they are; his knowledge of music in Indiana and learning opportunities that the Greater Lafayette Area offers are astounding, and he will offer some very exciting courses to our students, in addition to expanding the unit’s programmatic initiatives that center DEIB.

Contact Info

149 Wood

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