Erin E. Bauer is an associate professor of musicology and chair of the music department at Muskingum University. Her new book is Flaco’s Legacy: The Globalization of Conjunto. With its publication, Erin says that she’s “wrapping up a long series of projects on Texas-Mexican conjunto music” and looking forward to new “work on roots-rock musician Ry Cooder and the use of the vocal stutter in popular and other musics in the twentieth century.”
How did you get to where you are today, professionally?
I’ve had a bit of a circuitous route to get where I am today (as with many academics!). I started out as a music (piano) and physics double-major at a liberal arts college in Colorado. Wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do after, so I joined Teach For America and spent three years teaching middle-school math on the Texas border of Mexico. When I moved to California to pursue my Ph.D. in Musicology, I transferred my Texas teaching credential to California and taught middle-school and high-school math, physics, and music for an additional seven years while simultaneously completing an MA and Ph.D. at Claremont Graduate University.
I next moved to Wyoming (90 miles or so from where I grew up and where my parents still live in Western Nebraska) to take a community-college position as Instructor and Director of Instrumental Music. I spent three years in Wyoming, where I met my husband, enjoyed time with regional family and friends, and went skiing every weekend that we could. I next moved to Madison, Wisconsin, to take a position as Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. I spent four years there, where I also had a baby and weathered the pandemic. I moved to my current position in the fall of 2022, now as Associate Professor and also Chair of the Music Department at Muskingum University, 70 miles east of Columbus, Ohio (my family lives in the Columbus area).