Parkorn Wangpaiboonkit

Assistant Professor of Musicology
On leave Spring/Fall '24
PhD, University of California, Berkeley
MA, University of California, Berkeley
BA, Oberlin College

research interests:
  • global music history
  • music and colonialism
  • opera
  • Siam/Thailand
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    contact info:

    mailing address:

    • Washington University
    • CB 1030
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    (On leave for the 24-25 Academic Year)

    Parkorn’s research focuses on music, race, and imperialism in nineteenth-century Siam. He is interested in issues of aesthetic commensurability in colonial encounter, comparativism and the production of knowledge about non-European musics, and opera as a racializing global-colonial form. His book project, Race and Sovereignty in the Imperial Music of Siam, examines the localization of European music and sound practices at the Siamese court as a means of negotiating new conceptions of sovereign personhood in colonial survival.

    Parkorn’s work has been generously recognized by the American Musicological Society with the Alfred Einstein Award (2023), the Paul A. Pisk Prize (2021), and the Harold Powers Award (2021). He has also received all three fellowships offered by the AMS: the Holmes / D’Accone Fellowship (2022), the Alvin Johnson AMS50 Fellowship (2021), and the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship (2020).

    As a recipient of the ACLS Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, Parkorn is spending the 2024-25 academic year as an ACLS-CHCI Visiting Scholar at the Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University.

    Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, Parkorn received his B.A. in Comparative Literature from Oberlin College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of California, Berkeley, before joining the Department of Music at Washington University in St. Louis in 2023.

    Published Articles:
    “On Offering Oneself to Music History: Positionalities and Perspectives from Colonial Siam” Journal of Musicology 40/3 (2023)

    “Voice, Race, and Imperial Ethnology in Colonial Siam: Madama Butterfly at the Court of Chulalongkorn,” Opera Quarterly 36/3-4 (2021)

    “Rethinking Operatic Masculinity: Nicola Tacchinardi and the Heroic Archetype in Early Nineteenth-Century Italy,” Cambridge Opera Journal 32/1 (2020)