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Karen Francisco

Karen Francisco Karen Fatima R. Francisco Postdoctoral Studies

Home Institution: Ateneo de Manila University

Host Institution: University of Michigan

Award Name: Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program for Advanced Research

Discipline: Music Performance / Musicology

Award Year: 2023

Karen completed her Ph.D. in Music Performance at the Philippine Women's University in 2021 and is currently a faculty member of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University School of Humanities. Her research involved analyzing selected piano works of Philippine Commonwealth composer Dr. Rodolfo Cornejo and the historical and cultural contexts to understand his expression of musical nationalism. It also illuminated his role as a research assistant of the Commonwealth government-in-exile, allowing him to promote Philippine music in the United States under Commonwealth auspices during World War II.

As a Fulbright scholar, Karen will spend 4 months at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance under the supervision of Dr. Christi-Anne Castro. She is an author, ethnomusicologist, Associate Professor of Musicology, Co-Chair of the Musicology Department, and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Global Engagement. Karen’s research aims to explore context-sensitive meanings of hybridity in Cornejo’s music from 1935-1942 and acknowledge the composer’s contributions to strengthening US-Philippine relations based on a shared history. Upon her return, she will promote Philippine music as a performing artist and lecturer. She will also continue her work as a music educator in the Philippines.

Outside of work, Karen likes to watch movies, read books, learn languages, travel with a little food crawl, and spend time with friends and family.