Laura Shearing Turner

Laura Shearing Turner
Cohort Year: 2011
Research Interests: American musics; Appalachian musics; the American “South;” 1960s popular music culture in U.S. and U.K; Haiti during U.S Occupation; Cultural heritage tourism; music “revivals; critical whiteness studies; music and “place”


I am an ethnomusicologist working on a dissertation entitled “Sounds of the Modern Backwoods: American Old-Time Musics and Shifting Meanings of Heritage and Place.” My current research examines the ways that geographically and generationally spread musicians, enthusiasts, and institutional mediators in the present-day orient themselves around, and derive meaning from “old-time”—an array of regionally and ethnically diverse musics often associated with bygone, rural, predominantly and problematically “white” Americana. My work brings together strands from ethnomusicology, heritage and place studies, and Appalachian studies. This multi-sited project materialized from ethnographic work in western North Carolina, southwest Virginia, southern England, and other locations of old-time activity in the Appalachian southeast.


Co-coordinator of EthNoise! The Music, Language and Culture Workshop (2013–2014)
Co-coordinator of Midwest Graduate Music Consortium (2013–2016)

Teaching Experience

Introduction to World Music (Lecturer: Autumn 2018, Winter 2018, Autumn 2016, Autumn 2014)
Intro to Music Analysis and Criticism (Course Assistant: Spring 2018)
A Global Sonic History in 30 Objects (Winter 2017)
Music in Western Civilization I and II (Winter–Spring 2015)
American Musics (Spring 2014)
Introduction to World Music (Winter 2014)