David Wilson

David Wilson
Advisor(s): Anna Schultz
Research Interests: Music, nationalism, East Asia, Cold War, socialism, voice
Education: DMA, University of Southern California, 2016; MA, Middlebury College, 2012; MM, New England Conservatory, 2009; BM, University of Michigan, 2007


David Wilson is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago. His dissertation focuses on the ways in which transnational circulations of music and media affect music’s potential as a site for political discourse in modern China and Taiwan. He has written and presented on diverse topics such as the construction of gender in Chinese model operas, vocalism in Gustav Mahler’s orchestral songs, and the racial imaginary constructed by the musical playlist for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and inauguration.

David’s research is supported for the 2022-2023 academic year by a Fulbright-Hays DDRA grant. He has previously been awarded a Blakemore-Freeman Fellowship for Advanced Study of East Asian Languages, a Center for Chinese Studies grant at the National Central Library of Taiwan, and multiple FLAS grants from the US Department of Education. 

David also holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where he was named the outstanding vocal arts graduate in 2016. He has previously served as an instructor of voice at institutions such as Stanford University, New York University, and Middlebury College. He is the author of the blog Unmusable, available at deiwei.substack.com.


  • Ethnoise! (coordinator, 2019-20)

Teaching Experience

University of Chicago

  • Introduction to Western Art Music (Spring 2019)
  • Opera Across Media (Fall 2019)
  • Introduction to World Music (Winter 2020)
  • Listening to Movies (Spring 2020)

Stanford University

  • Musical Cultures of the World (Fall 2017)
  • Music of the African Diaspora (Fall 2017)
  • Elements of Music II (Winter 2018)
  • Music History Since 1830 (Spring 2018)