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Ruth Opara

Assistant Professor of Music and Cultures, Department of Art and Music Histories, Syracuse University

Fellow, Society of Fellows, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2020–2021)

email address [email protected] website Faculty Webpage
Headshot of Ruth Opara

Ruth Opara is a Nigerian ethnomusicologist specializing in Black women’s music—traditional, art, and popular music—both in the African continent and the diaspora. Her research is grounded in ethnographic methods and explores the intersections of music and gender, motherhood, solidarity, agency, class, and resistance. Ruth received her Bachelor of Education in Music Education from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Alvan Campus), Masters from the University of Louisville, Kentucky in Pan African Studies, and PhD from the University of Colorado Boulder in Musicology (Ethnomusicology). Ruth has published some peer-reviewed journal articles and has presented in many academic conferences, both local and international. She is currently working on her book, "African Women in Music: Motherhood, Agency, and Resistance in Southeastern Nigeria." She has taught classes on Music in Africa, Global Women’s Music, Black Atlantic Music, and Pan African Studies, in Nigeria and the US.

Dr. Opara, a Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of Music at Columbia University, is excited to share that she has accepted a tenure track position in the Department of Arts and Music Histories at Syracuse University. Dr. Opara will join the Syracuse University community in the Fall of 2021, where she will be teaching Music of the people of African Descent both on the content and in the diaspora. Dr. Opara is grateful for her time at Columbia University and appreciates the collegiality and support of her senior colleagues, colleagues, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students. She was also awarded a Summer 2022 Faculty Fellowship at Syracuse University Art Museum - College of Arts & Sciences at Syracuse University.