Margery Lowens Dissertation Research Fellowship


The Margery Lowens Dissertation Research Fellowship honors Margery Morgan Lowens, a founding member of the Sonneck Society for American Music, who played a pivotal role in its growth through her service, support, commitment, and philanthropy. Margery Lowens served as the society’s first vice-president while her husband, Irving Lowens, also a founder of our society, served as president. The fellowship seeks to address her vision, developed through her career as a scholar and teacher, of supporting student research at the early stages of the Ph.D. dissertation process.  

The fellowship may be used to fund research costs (including but not limited to travel expenses, books, and media resources) conducted or purchased between July 15, 2020 and September 30, 2021

The maximum award amount is $4,000. Applications for smaller amounts are welcome, and the Society may split the award between multiple fellows. The successful applicant/s will also receive one complimentary year of membership in the Society. A one-page budget and final report must be submitted by the recipient to the Executive Director of the Society no more than one year after the award is presented. 



The fellowship is awarded competitively to students at the early stages of their dissertation research on American music and must have advanced to Ph.D./DMA candidacy (or the equivalent) between January 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020. As the Society for American Music is dedicated to the study, teaching, creation, and dissemination of all musics in the Americas, we welcome proposals on all topics related to music in or of the Americas from students in all relevant fields (including, but not limited to, musicology, ethnomusicology, and American studies).


Application Requirements

In addition to the application form, please submit the following material as a single PDF:

  • One-page letter of application with contact information
  • Narrative of no more than eight pages (double-spaced) that that briefly describes the dissertation and outlines the scope of the research to be conducted with the aid of the fellowship
  • One-page budget outlining the expenses for which the fellowship will be used (the committee particularly values budgets that show accurate, realistic, and frugal estimates of expenses that are vital to the research project)
  • Under separate cover, the dissertation adviser should submit a letter of reference to the fellowship committee chair attesting to the project’s importance and the candidate’s ability to complete it; the letter should also indicate the official date when doctoral candidacy (or equivalent benchmark) was achieved.



July 1

Committee Members

Mary Ingraham, Chair, (through 2021); Jesse Karlsberg; James O'Leary

Past Fellows

Year Fellow
 2019 Co-winners:
Velia Ivanova,  “The Musical Heritage of Incarceration: The Dissemination and Management of the Lomax Collection Prison Songs (1933–2018)”

Maria Ryan,  “Hearing Power, Sounding Freedom: Black Practices of Listening and Music-Making in the Nineteenth-Century British Colonial Caribbean”
2018 Co-winners:
Siel Agugliaro, "Imagining Italy, Surviving America: Opera, Italian Immigrants, and Identity in Philadelphia, 1880-1924"

Katie Callam, "Curating Musical America, 1900-1945"

Kathryn Radishofski, "Sound, Memory, and Displacement: Hip-Hop Memorialization and Gentrification in New York City"
2017 Co-winners:
Hye-Jung Park, Cold War Musical Diplomacy between the United States and South Korea (Ohio State University)

Arathi Govind, Locating Mobility: Rethinking U.S. Popular Music through Indian American Practices (University of California, Berkeley)