Suzanne Thorpe

Lecturer, Department of Music, Columbia University

Fellow, Society of Fellows, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2020–2022)

Suzanne Thorpe is an artist-scholar whose creative research intersects electronic music, feminist and ecological theory. Thorpe holds a PhD in Integrative Studies from the University of California, San Diego, an MFA in Electronic Music & Media from Mills College, and is a Deep Listening instructor, having studied in depth with American composer and Deep Listening founder Pauline Oliveros. Weaving together traditional and creative research methods she studies past and present music-making sites as critical frameworks that animate social and political concerns. Her current research project, ‘Kitchen Table Praxis: Strategies for Belonging in Technical Learning Environment’ builds on her previous work, which highlighted critical tactics that early women electronic music composers engaged to resist hierarchal social organization, normative identity articulation and material separation. With ‘Kitchen Table Praxis’ Dr. Thorpe correlates techniques from contemporary music practice with a broader intersectional critical feminist movement to study strategies of belonging and inclusion in technical fields.

While at Columbia Dr. Thorpe is also composing a series of works that explore sensibilities of sound, water and deep time. Combining her skills in electronic music and listening she creates instances that encourage listeners to tune into nonanthropocentric time scales and events. In addition, Thorpe continues her work as cofounder and director of TECHNE, a nonprofit arts-education organization dedicated to supporting young women in their ability to dismantle social and cultural barriers in technical learning environments.

Suzanne joins the Society of Fellows as a Mellon Fellow in Music Humanities.