Associate Professor of Music

Department: Music


Bixler 166
Phone: 207-859-5684
Fax: 207-859-5635

Mailing Address


B.M., Northwestern University, 2000
M.M., Northwestern University, 2002
Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2009

Areas of Expertise

  • Russian music
  • Diasporas
  • Cultural Studies
  • American popular music

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, and racial representation, gender, and marketing in the Classic Blues.  Her work on Russian sacred music in New York is published in The Oxford Handbook of Music and World Christianities (Oxford 2012) and in conference proceedings (Russkii Put’ 2011).  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.  Currently, she is working on a monograph that looks at the intersection of politics and performance in the aesthetic, commercial, and diasporic space of Russian music as it emerged in New York’s nightclubs, ethnic concerts, radio waves, and sheet music.

Natalie teaches courses in ethnomusicology, American popular music, and offers a specialized course on Eastern European music that combines a sociocultural study of music with its performance.

Courses Currently Teaching 2013-2014

MU172 A Music and Gender
MU234 A From Rockabilly Kings to Lady Gaga: A History of Rock and Roll 
MU252 A

Introduction to World Music