Georgia Cowart

Professor | Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Musicology

Haydn Hall 314

Other Information

Classes: French Baroque Spectacle, Opera and Its Audiences, Capstone for Music Majors A and B

Specialty: Musicology

Georgia J. Cowart has published three books and a number of articles on music, the arts, and cultural politics in early modern France. Her 2008 book, The Triumph of Pleasure: Louis XIV and the Politics of Spectacle (University of Chicago Press), focuses on the shifting intersections of the arts, ideology, and aesthetics at the court of Louis XIV and in the Parisian public sphere in the late 17th
and early 18th centuries. Her current research looks at the paintings of Watteau as reflections of the plots, visual imagery, and subversive ideology of early 18th-century spectacle.

From 2007-09, Prof. Cowart served as Sylvan C. and Pamela Coleman Memorial Fund Fellow in Art History at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and as guest curator of the Met exhibition “Watteau, Music & Theater” (Fall 2009). From 2011-12 she served as Marta Sutton Weeks Senior Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. She has received fellowship support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2002-03, 2011) and the American Council of Learned Societies (1999-2000), and has presented her work and chaired panels at conferences, symposia, and international seminars in France, England, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, and the U. S. From 2006-09 she served as president of the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music and from 2013-15 as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Musicological Society. At present she is Vice President of the American Musicological Society.

Prof. Cowart has received a number of teaching awards, the latest of which was CWRU’s Jessica Melton Perry Award for Disciplinary and Professional Writing Instruction (2016), for her work with undergraduate Capstone projects and Ph.D. dissertations.


Recent/representative publications include:

“De la fête monarchique à la fête galante: Société et théâtre dans les gravées de Le Pautre et les peintures de Watteau,” Le dix-huitième siècle (2017, special issue on theatricality and society).

“Music in 17th-Century France” (with Peter Bennett). Cambridge Companion to French Music (2015)

“Musical Aesthetics in the French Enlightenment.” Cambridge Companion to French Music (2015)

“Opera Audiences.” Oxford Handbook of Opera, ed. Helen Greenwald. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2014)

“Editorial: Music, Institutions, and the Failure of Nations.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 66/1 (2013)

“Sirènes et Muses: De l’éloge à la satire dans la fête théâtrale, 1654 – 1703.”  Special issue, Le XVIIe siècle, ed. Larry Norman (2012, accompanied by a website



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