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Jennifer Walker

Assistant Professor of Musicology

Jennifer Walker (Ph.D., Musicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is an assistant professor of musicology in the School of Music at West Virginia University. A scholar of French music during the late nineteenth century, her research reevaluates music’s role in the relationship between the French state and the Catholic church at the end of the nineteenth century by offering an alternative to the prevailing epistemological emphasis on divisions between the church and the secular Third Republic. More broadly, her research focuses on the intersections of music, politics, and religion in secular societies. Her dissertation, “Sounding the Ralliement: Republican Reconfigurations of Catholicism in the Music of Third Republic Paris, 1880–1905,” was awarded the Glen Haydon Award for an Outstanding Dissertation in Musicology. Her doctoral research was funded by the prestigious Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2018–19) and the M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet grant from the American Musicological Society. Alongside Annegret Fauser, Dr. Walker was awarded the inaugural Harold J. Glass USAF Faculty Mentor/Graduate Student Fellowship from UNC (2017–18).


She is the author of numerous essays and articles, including Sacred Sounds, Secular Spaces: Transformations of Catholicism in the Music of Third Republic Paris (AMS Studies in Music/ Oxford University Press, 2021), “Church, State, and an Operatic Outlaw: Jules Massenet’s Hérodiade” (Cambridge Opera Journal, 2019) and “Les grands oratorios à l’église Saint-Eustache” (Journal of Music Criticism, 2019). Recent book chapters include “Les Drames sacrés and Sacred Drama: Armand Silvestre, Eugène Morand, and Charles Gounod on the Neo-Christian Stage” (La musique religieuse en France au XIXe siècle, ed. Nicolas Dufetel, Brepols, 2021) and “Biblical Boulevards: Sounding the Ralliement on Parisian Popular Stages (Sacred and Secular Intersections in the Long Nineteenth Century, ed. Markus Rathey and Eftychia Papanikolaou, Lexington Books, forthcoming 2022). She has reviewed the volumes Musical Theater in Europe 1830–1945 (ed. Michela Niccolai and Clair Rowden; Brepols: 2017), The Many Faces of Camille Saint-Saëns (ed. Michael Stegemann, Brepols: 2018), and Saint-Saëns and the Stage (Hugh Macdonald, Cambridge, 2019). Dr. Walker has written essays for the BBC Proms and the Bard Music Festival and is currently preparing a monograph on Hector Berlioz’s Requiem.


In addition to pursuing an active research program, Dr. Walker is a former Editorial Assistant for the Journal of the American Musicological Society. She serves on numerous committees of the AMS, on the Editorial Board for the Music Criticism Network, and is an honorary member of the Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini (Lucca, Italy). Walker is also an active member of the France: Musiques, Cultures, 1789–1914 network and is the Program Chair and President-Elect of the Allegheny Chapter of the American Musicological Society. Prior to coming to WVU, Walker was a Visiting Professor at North Carolina Central University and was an adjunct professor at East Tennessee State University and Hopkinsville Community College.