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Anna Nekola

Assistant Professor of Music

Anna Nekola





204.487.3300 x681



As a musicologist, I'm endlessly fascinated by ways that people across times and cultures have created and engaged with sound. Most of us encounter and use music on a daily basis. I explore how the ways we understand and value music shape how we interact with it, including how we use music to shape our experiences and give voice to our identities. Music can offer a window into larger ideological and political currents in a group or society, so the times when people disagree over music are just as interesting to me as when we might all be on the same page.

My research has looked at music's role in Christian worship, analyzing how ideas about musical style both create and reflect particular theological, ideological, and cultural currents. Recently, I've been giving a lot of thought to the role of listening technology, sensation, and experience, exploring that how we listen can be as important as what it is we are listening to. I also love working in archives, putting together larger stories from small pieces of evidence. My recent work on the U.S. television show Omnibus expands our understanding of international musical flows in the twentieth century, while also calling attention to the role of private non-governmental foundations in shaping global politics.


Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2009; M.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2000; M.M. Wichita State University, 1998; B.A. St. Olaf College 1996

Work in Detail


Music History I and II

History of Rock

Music and Locality

Studies in 19th c. Music


Nekola, Anna, and Tom Wagner, eds. Congregational Music Making and Community in a Mediated Age. Congregational Music Studies Series. Farnham, Surrey, U.K.: Ashgate, 2015.

Nekola, Anna. "Teaching Americans to be International Citizens: World Music and Dance on Television's Omnibus"; Journal of the Society for American Music (forthcoming in 2019).

Nekola, Anna. "Mediating Religious Experience: Congregational Music and the Digital Music Interface." Studying Congregational Music: Key Issues, Methods, and Theoretical Perspectives. Ed. Andrew Mall, Jeffers Engelhardt, and Monique Ingalls.  In process. (Invited submission)

Nekola, Anna. "Negotiating the Tensions of U.S. Worship Music in the Marketplace." The Oxford Handbook of Music and World Christianities. Ed. Suzel Reily and Jonathan Dueck. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.  (Invited submission)

Nekola, Anna. "Introduction: Worship Music as Media Form and Mediated Practice: Theorizing the Intersections of Music, Media, and Lived Religion." Congregational Music Making and Community in a Mediated Age. Ed. Anna Nekola and Tom Wagner. Farnham, Surrey, U.K.: Ashgate, 2015.

Nekola, Anna. "'More Than Just a Music': Conservative Christian Anti-Rock Discourse and the U.S. Culture Wars."  Popular Music 32:3 (October 2013): 407-426.

Nekola, Anna. "'I'll Take You There': The Promise of Transformation in the Marketing of Worship Media," Christian Congregational Music: Performance, Identity and Experience.  Ed. Monique Ingalls, Carolyn Landau, and Thomas Wagner.  Farnham, Surrey, U.K.: Ashgate, 2013.  (Invited submission)

Nekola, Anna. "U.S. Evangelicals and the Redefinition of Worship Music." Mediating Faiths: Religion, Media and Popular Culture.  Ed. Michael Bailey and Guy Redden.  Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2011.

Nekola, Anna, and Bill Kirkpatrick.  "Cultural Policy in American Music History: Sammy Davis, Jr. vs. Juvenile Delinquency." Journal of the Society for American Music 4:1 (February 2010): 33-58.

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