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Guo, Ke (郭可), a Ph.D. candidate in Music Education with a focus in Ethnomusicology at the UW School of Music

The Stroum Center for Jewish Studies is pleased to announce the 2023-2024 Finish Line Fellow in Jewish Studies: Ke Guo (郭可), a doctoral candidate in music education with a focus in ethnomusicology at the UW School of Music.

The Finish Line Fellowship, established in 2021 thanks to the generosity of a local community member, supports a late-stage doctoral student whose research relates to Jewish Studies via a three-quarter stipend with benefits.

With support from the fellowship, Ke Guo will complete her dissertation in the 2023-2024 academic year. Her Doctor of Music Education dissertation will focus on the intersection between Jewish studies and music education, specifically how the musical cultures of the Sephardic diaspora have grown across the past millennium, illustrating how “folk music is never frozen.”

Through centering her study in the local Sephardic community of Seattle and expanding towards locations worldwide, Guo aims to explore the processes surrounding Sephardic music transmission and the phenomenon of diasporic musical cultures.

Studying the way in which Sephardic musical culture travels and takes root in new contexts — while continuously preserving its core identity — is key to both (1) discussing the best forms of education and the sustainability of musical cultures in diaspora, and (2) to understanding the organic growth of traditional folk music and the complexity of cultural exchanges and musical encounters along routes of migration.

Guo’s doctoral research in world music education and ethnomusicology has covered topics in East Asian music, Sephardic music, and music in the Spanish language. Currently focusing on the topic of worldwide transmission and acquisition of Sephardic music, she has conducted field research in the Iberian Peninsula, Turkey, and Israel with funding support from the University of Washington Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, the American Academy of Jewish Research, and other organizations. In the coming year, Ke Guo will finish up reviewing and synthesizing her ethnographic research, organizing and editing her media recordings, and composing her written thesis.

Guo is simultaneously an academic, a musician, a teacher, and a mother. She previously worked in the tech consulting industry before pivoting into music education. She was born in Wuhan, China, and studied science at UCLA and Stanford University.

Congratulations to Ke (郭可) on receiving the 2023-24 Finish Line Fellowship, and best wishes to her for the writing and research to come! For more info, check out her various articles on our website as well as her personal website.

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⇒ Learn more about the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Washington, our Sephardic Studies Program, or our Israel Studies Program.
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