Harris M. Berger


Harris BergerCanada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology
Director of the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place (MMaP)
Professor of Music and Folklore

B.A. (Wesleyan University)
M.A. (Indiana University)
Ph.D. (Indiana University)

Room: Arts and Culture Centre 149

Harris M. Berger is a scholar working in the fields of ethnomusicology, folklore studies, and popular music studies. His work focuses on theoretical issues in the study of music and folklore, the phenomenology of expressive culture, applied ethnomusicology, popular music studies, and heavy metal music. His books include Metal, Rock, and Jazz: Perception and the Phenomenology of Musical Experience (Wesleyan University Press, 1999), Global Pop, Local Language (Berger and Michael T. Carroll, eds., University Press of Mississippi, 2003), Identity and Everyday Life: Essays in the Study of Folklore, Music, and Popular Culture (Berger and Giovanna P. Del Negro, Wesleyan University Press, 2004), Stance: Ideas about Emotion, Style, and Meaning for the Study of Expressive Culture (Wesleyan University Press, 2010), Metal Rules the Globe: Heavy Metal Music around the World (Jeremy Wallach, Berger, and Paul D. Greene, eds., Duke University Press, 2011), and Theory for Ethnomusicology: Histories, Conversations, Insights (Harris M. Berger and Ruth M. Stone, eds., Routledge, 2019).  He, Friedlind Riedel, and David VanderHamm are the editors of The Oxford Handbook of the Phenomenology of Music Cultures (Oxford University Press, 2021–2023).

Berger has served as co-editor of the Journal of American Folklore and co-editor of the Music/Culture book series at Wesleyan University Press. He and Jocelyne Guilbault are the founders and co-editors of Music Research Annual, the first peer-reviewed, open-access journal devoted to critical review essays on key topics from the full range of academic disciplines that study music. In 1996, Berger founded the Popular Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology, which he chaired until 2004. He has served as president of the US Branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music and as president of the Society for Ethnomusicology. In 2016, he was appointed Tier One Canada Research Chair in Ethnomusicology, Director of the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place (MMaP), and Professor of Music and Folklore at Memorial University. As MMaP’s director, Berger has produced many live events and also served as the producer of the MMaP’s Back on Track Audio Publication Series, which was begun by MMaP’s founder, Beverley Diamond and makes one-of-a-kind collections of archival recordings and new music available to the public. The series publishes CDs, websites, and other media that showcase the diverse musics of Newfoundland and Labrador and the surrounding region.