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Lei X. Ouyang

Associate Professor of Music


On leave Fall 2020 and Spring 2021

Music & Dance

Asian Studies


  2. Phone: (610) 690-2020
  3. Lang Music Building 412


Lei X. Ouyang (formerly Bryant) is an Associate Professor of Music at Swarthmore College. Her scholarly interests are in music, culture, and performance in East Asia (primarily China, Japan, and Taiwan) and Asian America. Her research examines issues of music and memory, identity, politics, race and ethnicity, popular culture, and social justice. Research projects include music and memory in the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Race and Performance in Asian American musical theatre, and social justice and taiko drumming in the American Midwest. Lei X. Ouyang taught at Skidmore College (2006-2017) as Associate Professor of Music and at Macalester College (2004-2006) as a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow before joining the faculty at Swarthmore College. You can find her CV and published work at


Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2004 (Dissertation: 'New Songs of the Battlefield': Songs and Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution)

M.A. in Ethnomusicology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2001 (Thesis: A Musical Metaphor for Nation Building: The Folk Song "Esashi Oiwake" in Early Twentieth Century Japan)

Advanced Certificate in Asian Studies, Language concentration: Chinese, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2001

B.A. in East Asian Studies, Language concentration: Japanese, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1997 (Thesis: Popular Music of Taiwan and Japan)


Chinese Cultural Revolution, Taiko drumming, music and intersections with topics including memory, politics, race/ethnicity, identity and social justice.


Music & Dance Cultures of the World
Music and Culture in East Asia
Music, Race, and Class
Music & Chairman Mao: Music & Politics in Communist China
Music & the Battle between Good & Evil
Ethnomusicology (Seminar)
Chinese Cultural Revolution Culture
Taiko & Asian American Experiences



2018. “Teaching Mao through Music: Pedagogy and Practice in the Liberal Arts Classroom.” Journal of Music History Pedagogy 8(2): 30-61.

2018: “‘Itsy Bitsy Screw Cap’: Children’s Songs from the Chinese Cultural Revolution.” Journal of Music & Politics 12(1).

2009. “Performing Race and Place in Asian America.” Asian Music 40(1): 4-30.

2007. “Flowers on the Battlefield are More Fragrant.” Asian Music 38(1): 88-121.

2005. “Music, Memory, and Nostalgia: Collective Memories of Cultural Revolution Songs in Contemporary China.” The China Review 5(2): 151-175.


2018. Review of Chinatown Opera Theater in North America by Nancy Yunhwa Rao. MUSICultures 45(1-2): 274-276.

2009. Review of Lives in Chinese Music, edited by Helen Rees. The World of Music 52(1): 174- 176.

2012. Review of Angry Drummers, A Taiko Group from Osaka, Japan [DVD], directed by Yoshitaka Terada. Ethnomusicology 56(3): 569-571.



Deborah Wong Research & Publication Award, Society for Ethnomusicology (2018)

President’s Award, Skidmore College (2015)


Association for Asian Studies China and Inner Asia Council Small Grant (2010-2011)

Andrew Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (2002-2004)

Dissertation Research Fellowship, Asian Cultural Council (2002)

Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship [Japanese] (2000)

Research Grant, Japan American Society of Pittsburgh (2000)

Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship [Chinese] (1999-2000)


Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM)

2018-2020      Second Vice-President

2016-2017       2017 SEM Program Committee Chair

2012-2014       Council Member

2013-2014       Council Secretary (& Council Nominating Committee Chair)

Association for Chinese Music Research (ACMR)

2012-2015       President

2007-2010       Publications Editor

2005-2010       Member-at-large & Newsletter Editor

Society for Asian Music

2011-2016       Editorial Advisory Board (East Asia)

Crossroads Project on Diversity, Difference, and Under-representation (SEM Standing Committee)

2008-2010      Co-Chair

Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology (MACSEM)

2019                  Local Arrangements Committee Chair, Annual Meeting

1999-2001      Secretary