Mary Simonson

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Mary Simonson

Daniel C. Benton '80 Endowed Chair in Arts, Creativity, and Innovation; Professor of Film & Media Studies and Women's Studies
  • University of Virginia (2006-2007)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (2007-2008)

Film music, American cinema, performance studies, 19th- and 20th-century opera and dance, American popular entertainment


Body Knowledge: Performance, Intermediality, and American Entertainment at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. New York: Oxford University Press, October 2013.  

Articles and Chapters

“Touring the Screen: Cinematic Resonances of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes,” American Music 39, no. 4 (Winter 2021): 468-493.

With Samuel N. Dorf, “The Ballets Russes in America,” American Music 39, no. 4 (Winter 2021): 399-408.

“Finding Meaning in Intermedial Gaps,” in Beyond Media Borders: Intermedial Relations among Multimodal Media, edited by Lars Elleström. Palgrave-Macmillan, 2020.

  ‘Adding to the Pictures’: The American Film Prologue in the 1920s,” American Music 37, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 1-28.

“Visualizing Music in the Silent Era: The Collaborative Experiments of Visual Symphony Productions,” Journal of the Society for American Music 12, no. 1 (February 2018): 2-36.

“Dance Pictures: The Cinematic Experiments of Anna Pavlova and Rita Sacchetto,” Screening the Past 40 (September 2015).

“A Different Kind of Ballet:  Rereading Dorothy Arzner’s Dance, Girl, Dance,” in Mediated Moves: A Popular Screen Dance Reader, edited by Melissa Blanco Borelli.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

“Dancing the Future, Performing the Past: Isadora Duncan and Wagnerism in the American Imagination,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 65, no. 2 (Summer 2012): 511-555.

“Screening the Diva,” in The Arts of the Prima Donna in the Long Nineteenth Century, edited by Hilary Poriss and Rachel Cowgill. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

“Creating Knowledge:  Feminist Scholarship as Activism,” in Leading the Way: Young Women’s Activism for Social Change, edited by Mary K. Trigg.  New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009.

“The Call of Salome:  American Adaptations and Recreations of the Female Body,” Women and Music 11 (2007), 1-16.

Catalog Essays

Ballettens Datter (1913): Rita Sacchetto,” Le Giornate del Cinema Muto Catalogue, Limited 39th Edition, 2020, 41-44.


Review of Marian Wilson Kimber, The Elocutionists: Women, Music, and the Spoken Word (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2017). Journal of the American Musicological Society 72, no. 1 (April 2019): 251-255.

Review of Carrie J. Preston, Modernism’s Mythic Pose: Gender, Genre, Solo Performance (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). Dance Chronicle 36 (2013): 118-122.

Review of Annie J. Randall and Rosalind Grey Davis, Puccini and the Girl:  History and Reception of The Girl of the Golden West (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2004).  Notes (August 2006): 110-112.

Review of Maria Pini, Club Cultures and Female Subjectivity:  The Move from Home to House (New York:  Palgrave, 2001).   Women and Music 8 (2004): 86-92.

  • President, New York State-Saint Lawrence Chapter of the American Musicological Society, 2021-present
  • Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award Committee, Society for American Music, 2023-present
  • Co-convenor, Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor CNY Experimental Media Consortium Working Group, May 2023-present
  • Chair of the  Conference committee (program and local arrangements), New York State-Saint  Lawrence Chapter of the American Musicological Soociety, 2021
  • Virgil Thomson Fellowship Award Committee, Society foor American Music, 2015-2019
  • Convenor, Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor "Performance/History" Working Group, January 2014-present
  • Steering Committee, Women and Film History International, October 2014-June 2017
  • Liaison to the Flaherty Film Seminar, Spring 2014-Spring 2022
  • Principal Organizer, "The Performing Body in the Hollywood Film Musical: An Interdisciplinary Symposium," April 2013
  • Chair, Music, Sound, and Media Interest Group, Society for American Music, 2008-present
  • Member, American Musicological Society; Society for American Music; Dance Studies Association; Society for Cinema  and Media Studies; Women and Film History International
  • New York Public Library Short-Term Research Fellow, 2014-15
  • Finalist, The Society of American Music's H. Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award, 2007
  • University of Virginia Dissertation-Year Fellow
  • University of Virginia Presidential Fellow
  • The American Musicological Society's Lowens' Award for Graduate Student Research, 2003
  • Phi Beta Kappa