AMS Committee on Women and Gender Endowed Lecture

My Life in Music: An Autoethnography of a Curator

Presenter: Dwandalyn R. Reece, Smithsonian Institution
Saturday, 11 November 2023
10:45am-12:15 pm
Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel


“In this lecture, I will use autoethnography to reflect upon my thirty-five years’ worth of experience in the public sector as a curator and scholar of music. It is a story that places my life and career against the social, political, and cultural backdrop of the ensuing decades after the Civil Rights Movement where revolutions of the sixties set the stage for navigating what living in an integrated society that supports the equal rights of all citizens really meant. Reflecting on my lived experiences, I had an epiphany that my personal journey with music is deeply intertwined with my own identity and value formation that has been navigated at the intersections of race, gender, class, and generational and regional divides. By turning a critical lens on to my personal life and career, I hope to situate my creative and professional practices as a museum professional within broader conversations about race, music, identity, scholarship and serving public audiences.”


Dwandalyn R. Reece
Associate Director of the Office for Curatorial Affairs
Curator of Music and Performing Arts
Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History and Culture