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Siel Agugliaro

Visiting Assistant Professor

Music History


  2. Phone: (610) 957-6213

Siel Agugliaro is a musicologist and cultural historian who specializes in the role of music in processes of identity construction and in the production of historical narratives. His research primarily focuses on music in the United States and Italy from the late nineteenth century to this day. His doctoral dissertation, “Imagining Italy, Surviving America: Opera, Italian Immigrants, and Identity in Philadelphia, 1870-1924,” which he defended at the University of Pennsylvania in 2021, investigates the cultural role of opera among Italian immigrants in Philadelphia and the use of this genre on the part of Italian Americans to counter practices of social and racial discrimination.

Dr. Agugliaro’s additional interests include Italian opera, music and race, material culture studies, transnationalism, the history of recording technology, music in the Cold War years, the intellectual history of ethnomusicology, the cultural policy of musical institutions, and contemporary popular and avant-garde electronic music. He has extensively published on these topics and regularly presented his research at national and international conferences. His first monograph, Teatro alla Scala e promozione culturale nel lungo Sessantotto milanese (‘La Scala, Milan, and Cultural Promotion in the Long 1968’) (2015) considers the cultural policy promoted by La Scala in the politically challenged years between 1968 and the late 1970s. He has recently published with Music & Letters an article on the Italian reception of Porgy and Bess during the Cold War years. He has also contributed to edited collections and academic journals and other scholarly publications including Grove Music Online, Notes, Rivista Italiana di Musicologia, and JSTOR Daily.

When he is not busy teaching, writing, or devising yet another research project, Dr. Agugliaro can be found playing with his son, cooking, running, making sounds on his keyboard (and, more recently, the banjo), or eagerly listening to some obscure electronic music.

Ph.D., Music History, University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D., Comparative Humanities, University of Siena (Italy)
M.A., Musicology, University of Milan (Italy)
B.A. Cinema, Music, and Theater (Music major), University of Pisa (Italy)