Professor of Musicology
Frank Gunderson

Contact Information

Office Location
LON 410

Frank Gunderson is Professor of Musicology at Florida State University. He received the BA degree from Evergreen State College (WA), and the MA in World Music and PhD in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University (CT). He has held previous appointments at Ohio University, University of Michigan, and the University of Oklahoma, and once taught for two years in a village Harambee secondary school in Kenya. His research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright-Hays, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. His research interests include African and African diasporan history, musical labor, sonic repatriation, veterans issues, biographical approaches, world guitar music, refugee communities, and documentary film. He is an active member of the African Studies Association (ASA), the American Anthropological Association (AAA), and the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), and he is former president of SEMSEC (SEM Southeast and Caribbean chapter). He is currently general editor (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 The 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 that culminated in several high profile indie 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 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 recently completed the dual biography, The Legacy of Tanzanian Musicians Muhidin Gurumo and Hassan Bitchuka - Rhumba Kiserebuka! (2018, Lexington Books/Rowman and Littlefield), which received Honorable Mentions from both the Alan Meriam prize committee (SEM) and the Best Book Prize committee of the International Council for Traditional Music. His recent film Ng’oma: The Work of Our Clan (Alexander Street / Ethnographic Video Online, 2020) is playing in film festivals worldwide, and he is currently finishing a film entitled “Stories about Mlimani Park Orchestra” – about a rhumba band in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.