Whitman, Kevin



Other Information

Research Areas: Musicology

Kevin is a PhD student in Musicology whose most recent interests include the histories, rhetorical strategies, and consumer experiences of funk and hip hop, the iconography of Afrofuturist musicians, and music/dance of West Africa and its diaspora. His M.A. thesis, completed at the University of Oregon under the advisement of Loren Kajikawa, is entitled “Reconstructing the Mothership: History and Meaning in the Music of P-Funk.” In it, he unpacks the interpretive communities, musical context, and historiography surrounding Parliament- Funkadelic from the 1960s to the present. During the research phase of this project in March 2016, Kevin received a grant from the Center for Popular Music Studies at Case Western Reserve University to study the group in the Library & Archives at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Kevin is trained as an orchestral percussionist and marimbist. He studied under Bill Trigg at The College of New Jersey, and has performed with numerous ensembles in the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, including the New York City Opera Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. At the University of Oregon, he became immersed in West African dance, performing as a dancer and drummer for the university’s Dema African Ensemble, under the direction of Habib Iddrisu. He has performed with a variety of world music ensembles, including a gamelan and a samba bateria.

His published research and presentations at professional meetings include:
“Mind Over Machine Over Matter: A Study of Electro-Acoustic Performance Practices,” in The College of New Jersey Journal of Student Scholarship (April 2015).
“Repetition and Transformation in Gullah Ring Shouts,” presented at the Society for Ethnomusicology, Pacific Northwest Chapter. University of Oregon, 20 February 2016.
“Role Immersion in the Music History Classroom: A Case Study,” presented at The Arts In Society. University of California, Los Angeles, 12 August 2016. Co-authored with Ashley Merriner and Beverly Taflinger.
“Franz Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année: Italie,” presented at the American Liszt Society. University of Oregon, 19 October 2016.