[ Musicology and Theory ]
Christy Thomas is a visiting assistant professor of music at the Yale School of Music and has previously held faculty positions at Bowdoin College and Bates College. She received her Ph.D. with distinction in music history from Yale University. Originally from Baltimore, she also holds undergraduate degrees in music, art history, and history. In her research, she considers the evolving responses of the Italian opera industry to the emerging cinematic medium in the early decades of the twentieth century, focusing particularly on Casa Ricordi, the foremost Italian music publisher of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her broad research interests include the history and theory of opera, reception studies, cultural history, the history of media technologies, and the theoretical and conceptual issues of performance and mediation.
In both her research and her teaching, Dr. Thomas incorporates interdisciplinary materials and approaches. As a music historian with a background in both art history and history, she incorporates interdisciplinary materials and approaches in her classes to complement the study of notated and recorded music with a myriad of sources that contribute to the broader networks in which music exists. In her undergraduate music history courses, she seeks to challenge her students’ conception of history as a rigid, impartial collection of marginally relevant facts, advocating instead a view of histories as subjectively presented narrative arguments incorporating a variety of assumptions and biases. In addition, as a former fellow at the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning, she is dedicated to graduate and postdoctoral professional development and to pedagogical training.
Aside from her primary research focus, Dr. Thomas has given talks on Debussy, Beethoven, Wagner, verismo, opera staging, and the intersection of opera and multimedia, and has lectured on Puccini’s operas in both English and Italian. She has also written an article on women in jazz.