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Cynthia J. Cyrus

Professor of Musicology; Affiliated Faculty in Women's and Gender Studies

Cynthia Cyrus, Professor of Musicology and Affiliated Faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies, has been a member of the Blair faculty since 1994, where she won the Blair Faculty Excellence Award in 2009.

Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, Cyrus taught at University of Rochester (1991/92) and at SUNY at Stony Brook (1992–94). She earned a doctorate in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1990, held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Ohio State University in 1990/91, and was an NEH Summer Institute Participant in "A Literature of Their Own? Women Writing (Venice, London, Paris, 1550-1700)," July 2003.

Cyrus’s interest in historical musical literacy led her to undertake projects on scribes and libraries in women’s convents of late medieval Germany and Austria. Her recent scholarly work includes The Scribes for Women’s Convents in Late Medieval Germany (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009) and articles on Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg and on women’s monastic libraries of late medieval Vienna. She has recently completed a book on the historiography of women’s monasticism in Vienna (Received Medievalisms: A Cognitive Geography of Viennese Women’s Convents) that examines post-medieval plans and panoramas, travelers’ reports and topographies, foundation stories and folk tale collections for their clues to assumptions about the place of women monastics within the broader urban community. She has also collaborated on two collections of essays: Music Education in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, co-edited with Susan Forscher Weiss and Russell E. Murray (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2010), and Music, Dance, and Society: Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Memory of Ingrid G. Brainard, co-edited with Ann Buckley (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2011).