Frank Gunderson is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at Florida State University. He received a B.A. from the Evergreen State College (WA), and an M.A. in World Music and Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University (CT). His primary music research interests include African and African diasporan history, sonic repatriation, biographical approaches, human rights, and documentary film. He has held appointments at Ohio University, University of Michigan, and University of Oklahoma, and once taught for two years in a village Harambee secondary school in Kenya. He is an active member of the African Studies Association (ASA), the American Anthropological Association (AAA), and the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), and is former president of SEMSEC (SEM Southeast and Caribbean chapter). He is editor-elect (2018-2022) of the SEM academic journal Ethnomusicology, and has also served as the journal's Film, Video, and Multimedia Review Editor. He has published articles and reviews in Ethnomusicology, Africa Today, History and Anthropology, Soundings, and African Music, and has twice been a guest editor of the journal World of Music. He is former music director of KAOS radio in Olympia WA, where he worked with the Northwest "outsider" musician Travis Roberts, a project which culminated in several high profile indy recordings as well as an award-winning film co-directed with Bret Woods, called Human Skab (SnagFilms, 2012). He has conducted extensive fieldwork in East Africa, and has produced the CD Tanzania: Farmer Composers of North West Tanzania (1997, Multicultural Media), and co-edited with Gregory Barz the book Mashindano!: Competitive Music Performance in East Africa (2000, Mkuki na Nyota Press/African Books Collective LTD, Michigan State University Press). His book “We Never Sleep We Dream of Farming”: Sukuma Labor Songs from Western Tanzania (Brill Academic Press, 2010) was the 2009-2011 winner of the SEM Kwabena Nketia Book Award for best African music monograph. He co-edited with Robert Lancefield and Bret Woods the Oxford Handbook of Musical Repatriation (OUP 2018), and is currently completing the dual biography, Rhumba Kiserebuka! The Creative Lives and Work of Tanzanian Musicians Muhidin Maalim Gurumo and Hassan Rehani Bitchuka (2018, Rowman and Littlefield). His next project is a film about guitar players in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology