Alonso-Minutti Joins Department of Music

November 4, 2013

In Fall 2013, Dr. Ana Alonso-Minutti joined the University of New Mexico as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Music. The LAII is pleased to welcome Alonso-Minutti to campus and to recognize her as a new faculty affiliate. Affiliated faculty of the LAII engage in research and teaching that is key to UNM's overall dedication to Latin American studies.

Alonso-Minutti was born in Puebla, México, where she completed a BA in music from the Universidad de las Américas. She continued her studies at the University of California, Davis, receiving MA and PhD degrees in musicology. Her dissertation "Resonances of Sound, Text, and Image in the Music of Mario Lavista" focused on the work of Mexican composer Mario Lavista (b. 1943), addressing issues of tradition, avant-garde, text-music relationships and collaboration.

Currently Alonso-Minutti is writing a book tentatively entitled Mario Lavista and Musical Cosmopolitanism in Late Twentieth-Century Mexico, which builds on and extends her doctoral work. While centering on the work of Lavista, this study is the first to focus solely on the panorama of Mexico's concert music scene at the end of the twentieth-century. Groundwork for this project was completed during the period 2011-2012, thanks to a UC MEXUS-CONACYT Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her research has been published in academic publications both in Mexico and in the U.S., where she regularly presents her work in academic conferences and invited lectures.

Working in conjunction with writer and poet Juan Manuel Portillo, Alonso-Minutti is also preparing a collection of essays centered on twentieth and twenty-first century Mexican musical works that contain texts by Mexican poets. This long-term project combines music and poetic analysis in order to discuss a largely unstudied repertory-an enterprise that encompasses novel multidisciplinary theoretical and methodological lines of inquiry. Two essays have already appeared in Mexican academic publications.

Prior to joining the University of New Mexico, Alonso-Minutti served as an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of North Texas, where she taught large undergraduate non-music major courses, upper-division music major courses, courses within the Honors College, and master's and doctoral-level music history seminars.

This semester at UNM, Alonso-Minutti offers a graduate seminar titled "American Experientialism: Sounds of Resistance," which explores twentieth-century musical practices that resisted the institutionalized conventions of composition and performance. The class explores American experimentalism not only through its discussion of techniques and methods constitutive of the style but also by addressing the cultural and philosophical formation of experimental music in the Americas through the examination of scholarly perspectives from various theoretical frames and disciplines. While currently this course is limited to music majors, Alonso-Minutti's intention is to open her future courses to all students interested in Latin American arts and culture. Interdisciplinarity is a central aspect of her research and teaching, as illustrated by this intention. She further demonstrates this commitment by looking ahead to the prospect of co-designing and co-teaching courses with other UNM faculty which would incorporate varied perspectives and engender a nuanced understanding of Latin American arts and society.

In collaboration with other Latin Americanist faculty in the Department of Music, Alonso-Minutti intends to aid in the development of a Latin American emphasis for the Masters of Music offered by the department. Lastly, she is also involved in the UNM Latin American Music Center (LAMC), a newly-formed campus resource which aims to bridge university, local, and regional arts initiatives in order to reach a broader public. According to Alonso-Minutti, "One of the greatest strengths of the University of New Mexico is its increasing Hispanic emphasis. Hence, the Latin American Music Center was created as a platform to deepen that emphasis through the performance and research of the rich variety of musical practices of Latin America."