Kathryn M. Fenton holds a BMus, Hons from McGill University, an MA from the University of Notre Dame, an Interdisciplinary Certificate in the Rhetorics of Inquiry from the University of Iowa, and a PhD in musicology from The University of Western Ontario. Prior to coming to EIU, Professor Fenton taught at both The University of Western Ontario and The University of Iowa. At Eastern Illinois University she teaches a range of music history courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as an introduction to music research course for graduate students. She sees music history courses as an opportunity to not only give students a sense of how individual works fit into a network of historical and cultural contexts and to expand their musical literacy, but also as a chance to encourage students to develop their critical thinking and writing skills.
Fenton’s own research focuses on the music of the long nineteenth century, particularly French and Italian opera. She also studies musical life and institutions in the United States during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and the development of an American musical identity. Her dissertation explored the intersection of nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and nativism in the early New York City reception of Giacomo Puccini’s opera La fanciulla del West
(1910). She has presented her research at local, national, and international conferences in the fields of Musicology, Literature, and American History, and contributed several articles on opera singers to the 2013Cambridge Verdi Encyclopaedia