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Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Musicology, University of Oregon

Loren Kajikawa has served on the faculty at the University of Oregon’s School of Music and Dance since 2009. His main area of research and teaching is American music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and he offers a variety of courses in music history, ethnomusicology, and musicology. Among the classes that he teaches regularly are Introduction to Musicology, Music in the Twentieth Century, Music of the Americas, American Ethnic and Protest Music, and Hip-Hop Music.

Kajikawa’s writings have appeared in American Music, Black Music Research Journal, ECHO: a music-centered journal, Journal of the Society for American Music, and Popular Music and Society, among others. In addition to his publications, Kajikawa served as contributing editor for the Grove Dictionary of American Music, Second Edition (Oxford 2013), soliciting and editing all hip-hop and rap music related entries. His book _Sounding Race in Rap Songs_ (University of California, 2015) explores the relationship between rap music’s backing tracks and racial representation.

In September of 2013, Kajikawa was invited to deliver a lecture entitled “Before Rap: DJs, MCs, and Pre-1979 Hip-Hop Performances” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. He also regularly presents his work at annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, Experience Music Project, International Association for the Study of Popular Music, and Society for Ethnomusicology, among others. As a graduate student, he received the 2008 Mark Tucker Award for the best paper presented at the Society for American Music conference in San Antonio, Texas.

At the University of Oregon, Kajikawa has been the recipient of numerous grants, including research support from the Oregon Humanities Center, SONY Scholars program, and Global Scholars Institute. Working with faculty from multiple departments across campus, he successfully applied to the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity (now the Office of Inclusion and Equity) in order to fund the Music & Politics Speaker Series. Guests in this series have included the legendary musician, scholar, and activist Bernice Johnson Reagon as well as the renowned Reggae music and culture archivist Roger Steffens.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology, University of Oregon