Assistant Professor of Music

Department: Music


Office: Bixler 166
Phone: 207-859-5684
Fax: 207-859-5635
Email: natalie.zelensky@colby.edu

Mailing Address

5674 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, Maine 04901-8856

Areas of Expertise:

  • Music and Migration
  • Diaspora Studies
  • Russian music
  • American Popular Music and Culture
  • Music and Cold War Studies

Professional Information

Natalie Zelensky graduated with honors from Northwestern University with a Ph.D. in Music Studies. Fusing ethnomusicology, historical musicology, and critical studies, Natalie’s research focuses on Russian music, diasporas, nostalgia, American popular music and culture, and Cold War politics. She has published articles and presented conference papers on Russian popular and sacred music in New York City, Russian-American summer camps, underground sacred music in the Soviet Union, Franco-American music culture in Maine, and racial representation, gender, and marketing in the Classic Blues. Her work has been published in Ethnomusicology Forum, The Oxford Handbook of Music and World Christianities, and Russia Abroad: Music and Orthodoxy. Her book, Performing Tsarist Russia in New York: Music, Emigres, and the American Imagination, examines the intersection of politics and performance in the aesthetic, commercial, and diasporic space of Russian music as it emerged in New York’s nightclubs, concert stages, radio waves, and sheet music (Indiana University Press, 2019). She co-authored the instructor’s manual for Rock and Roll: Its History and Stylistic Development (Prentice-Hall 2008, 2012) and helped translate and write the footnotes for W.W. Norton’s 2011 edition of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. In 2013, she won a fellowship with the National Endowment for the Humanities to participate in the Columbia University Harriman Institute’s “America’s Russian-Speaking Immigrants and Refugees: 20th-Century Migration and Memory.”

Courses Currently Teaching 2018-2019

MU120 A Exploring Music and Gender
MU234 A From Rockabilly Kings to Lady Gaga: A History of Rock ‘n’ Roll
MU252 A Introduction to World Music
MU262 A Music in Life, Music as Culture: Introduction to Ethnomusicology
MU493 A Seminar: Sounds of Maine