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Awards and Recognition: Distinguished Faculty Award 2009

Portia K. Maultsby

Portia K. MaultsbyPortia K. Maultsby is Professor in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and Director of the Archives of African American Music and Culture at Indiana University. She also is adjunct professor of African American and Africa Diaspora, American and African Studies.  She received the B.M. degree in piano and theory/composition from Benedictine College in Kansas, and both the M.M. degree in musicology and the Ph.D. degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Maultsby teaches historical and theoretical courses on African American music and in ethnomusicology. Her research topics have centered on Black religious and popular music and she has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the United States, in England, The Netherlands, Russia, Cuba, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.  She is co-editor of African American Music: An Introduction Routledge Press (2006).  Her other writings on African American popular and religious music appear in American and European journals and edited volumes, including Ethnomusicology, The Black Perspective in Music, Journal of Popular Culture, The Western Journal of Black Studies, Bulgarian Musicology, The Harvard Guide to African-American History, and Encyclopedia of World Music. Currently she is completing a book titled From the Margins to the Mainstream: Black Popular Music (1945-2000), and is conducting research on the globalization of African American music in the Netherlands.. She also has served as consulting scholar for PBS, BBC and NPR productions on African American music.  In addition to her scholarly work, Professor Maultsby is a keyboard player and  founding director of the IU Soul Revue, a touring ensemble specializing in the performance of African American popular music.

Dr. Maultsby served as general consultant, artistic advisor, and editorial assistant for a two week festival Honor! Festival Celebrating American’s African American Roots that celebrated African American music and culture, curated by soprano Jessye Norman and organized by Carnegie Hall in March 2009. She  developed and wrote the text for an historical, interactive timeline on African American music  permanently featured on Carnegie Hall’s  web site.  She also has been involved in multimedia productions for museums as well as film and radio productions, including on-camera interviews in the PBS documentary Record Row: The Cradle of Rhythm & Blues and  the BCC documentary, Soul Deep: The Story of Black Popular Music.  Dr. Maultsby also selected and edited music for the Black history documentary, Eyes on the Prize II produced by Blackside Productions for PBS.  Her work in radio includes consultant for the 13-part series on Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was produced by Jacquie Webb for Radio Smithsonian and the 26-part series on gospel music, Wade in the Water conceived and hosted by Bernice Johnson Reagon for National Public Radio. Her most recent project was music consult for the exhibition “America I Am: The African American Imprint” which  opened  in January,  2009 at Philadelphia’s Constitution Hall. 

Her many honors include the Belle van Zuylen Professor of African American Music in the Department of Musicology at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands (1998), a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, CA. (1999-2000;); Senior Scholar in Residence at the Smithsonian Institution, Museum of American History (1986), and recipient of fellowships from the Indiana Committee for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation.