Popular & World Music
Musicologist Benjamin DuPriest researches, writes, and teaches about music and aural cultures in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the intersection of cultural heritage and race in the American South. As both an ethnographer and a historian, Dr. DuPriest examines the histories of popular music, jazz, and folklore in the deep South and beyond. His current project is a study of the history of blues folklore and tourism in North Mississippi. In it, he examines the widespread and popular celebration of the blues as a form of cultural heritage in the state, focusing on the music of the North Mississippi hill country. Secondary research interests include the circulation of music between West Africa, the Caribbean, and the U.S., as well as the technological histories of musical production, reproduction, and consumption.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. DuPriest earned his Ph.D in ethnomusicology with a graduate certificate in Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He previously earned both his MA in historical musicology and his BA in music at the University of Georgia. His Master’s studies concentrated on the history of hip-hop and second-line music in New Orleans. His work has appeared in the Journal for the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Mississippi Folklife journal, as well as various other public and professional platforms, and has been funded by The Universities of Pennsylvania and Georgia, and the Mississippi Arts Commission. Dr. DuPriest is also a drummer with professional experience across rock, jazz, and hip-hop scenes in Atlanta and Athens.