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SAM Invites Applications for the Robert Walser and Susan McClary Fellowship

Wednesday, September 6, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rosalind V. Rini Larson
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The Society for American Music (SAM) is delighted to announce the establishment of the Robert Walser and Susan McClary Fellowship, an annual award for Ph.D. candidates that seeks to diversify the field of scholars working in American music. The couple has endowed the fellowship with a $1.2 million gift that is partly a bequest and partly an outright contribution. SAM will begin naming Walser-McClary Fellows in 2018.

Applications for the inaugural award are due on Nov. 1, 2017, and information can be found at

“The Society for American Music is profoundly grateful to Robert Walser and Susan McClary for this extraordinary gift, which is the largest the Society has ever received,” said Sandra Graham, SAM President. “It couldn’t be more timely – now more than ever we need diverse voices in our work. The Walser-McClary fellowship will have a deep impact on American music scholarship and on SAM beyond our lifetimes.”

Recognizing academic achievement and future promise in the study of American music, the Walser-McClary fellowship is awarded to an outstanding Ph.D. candidate at a U.S. or Canadian university who is a member of a historically underrepresented group in the field. Applications are especially welcome from African Americans, Native Americans, Native Pacific Islanders, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans, and, from Canada, aboriginal peoples and visible minorities (as defined by Canadian legislation). The Society embraces and promotes diversity of race, ethnicity, class, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, and religion, among other expressions, among our membership and throughout all Society activities. Understanding that the definition of diversity within the field of American music studies may change over time, the SAM Board will periodically revisit the fellowship guidelines to ensure an appropriate pool of students from underrepresented groups. The fellowship, granted annually, provides a six-month stipend of $11,000.  Upon completion of the endowment, the fellowship program will be expanded to support two full-year fellowships.

Professors McClary and Walser are both distinguished musicologists on the faculty at Case Western Reserve University. Robert Walser has published extensively on jazz and other popular musics, including his books Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music, and Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History. He has twice won the SAM Irving Lowens Award for Distinguished Scholarship in American Music. A MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient, Susan McClary focuses on the cultural criticism of music. Exploring the European canon and contemporary popular genres, her distinguished publications range from Conventional Wisdom: The Content of Musical Form to the award-winning Modal Subjectivities: Renaissance Self-Fashioning in the Italian Madrigal. She is best known for her book Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality.  

Please direct questions to:

Sandra Graham
President, Society for American Music
Faculty Director, Sorenson Center for the Arts
Associate Professor of Music
Division of Arts & Humanities, Hollister 317
Babson College
231 Forest St.
Babson Park, MA 02457
office phone: 781-239-5609

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