Professor of English and Religious Studies, Michigan State University

David W. Stowe teaches English and Religious Studies at Michigan State University, where he recently completed a term as chair of the English Department. His most recent book is Song of Exile, released in May 2016. Before that he published No Sympathy for the Devil: Christian Pop Music and the Transformation of American Evangelicalism (UNC Press 2011, pbk. 2013). His previous book, How Sweet the Sound: Music in the Spiritual Lives of Americans (Harvard, 2004), won the Deems Taylor Award from ASCAP. Stowe’s first book, Swing Changes: Big Band Jazz in New Deal America (Harvard, 1994), was published in Japanese translation by Hosei University Press.

He has been interviewed about his work on NPR, consulted for PBS, and lectured on the subject of religion and music in America life for a variety of national organizations. Stowe has published a study of New York cabaret culture and politics in the 1930s and 1940s in the Journal of American History, where he regularly reviews books. He has also written articles on Japanese jazz artist Toshiko Akiyoshi, the musical history of Psalm 137 in the U.S. and Caribbean, whiteness studies, copyright and fair use for academic authors, and church conflict during the Great Awakening.

During the 2012-13 academic year, Stowe held a research fellowship at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music, where he researched and wrote a book manuscript on the cultural history of Psalm 137. While on leave from Michigan State University, Stowe taught at Doshisha University’s Graduate School of American Studies in Kyoto, Japan, where he also served as Associate Dean. There he taught American Civilization, American Thought, History of American Religious Music, and workshops on research in American Studies. As part of his interest in the globalization of American Studies, Stowe has participated in international conferences of American Studies scholars in Japan, Korea, and Singapore. He is a founding member of the Institute for the Study of Christianity and Culture, a Michigan-based research institute that sponsors lectures and symposia by leading scholars from around the country.

See his webpage at academia.edu.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Religious Studies, Michigan State University