Allison Brooks-Conrad

Graduate Student in Musicology

Bachelor of Arts, history, Lawrence University, 2018
Bachelor of Music, cello performance, Lawrence University, 2018

Allison Brooks-Conrad is a PhD candidate in historical musicology in the department of music at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research examines the intersection of gender, labor, and socialist policy in different scenes of musical production in the Soviet Union. More specifically, she asks how women living in the Soviet cities of Tallinn, Estonia; Tbilisi, Georgia; and Riga, Latvia, used music and sound in their attempts to conform to and diverge from Soviet state policy, social expectations, and gender roles during the late Socialist era. Using archival research, musical analysis, and oral history, she studies how women relied on music to perform a version of Soviet femininity and to create space for self-expression beyond the state’s view. Conducting research in Tallinn, Tbilisi, and Riga, she examines how women’s musical experiences were inflected by questions of ethnicity, nationality, and language in the Soviet Union, accelerating the Soviet system’s slow erosion. She also analyzes recent musical compositions by contemporary female musicians and composers living in the former Soviet Union to study how their experiences have been informed by the legacy of Soviet womanhood and how that legacy is expressed musically. Her research has been supported by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Stephen F. Cohen-Robert C. Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship.


Research Interests

musical inscription and circulation; musical genre; music and state socialism; feminist musicology; sound studies; Baltic music and history; Caucasian music and history; Soviet family and gender policies; Soviet urban planning; Alexandra Kollontai