Ruth Opara (‘20 - Present)

Lecturer in Music Columbia University

Ruth Opara is a Nigerian ethnomusicologist specializing in Black women’s music—traditional, art, and popular music—both in the African continent and the diaspora. Her research is grounded in ethnographic methods and explores the intersections of music and gender, motherhood, solidarity, agency, class, and resistance. Ruth received her Bachelor of Education in Music Education from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Alvan Campus), Masters from the University of Louisville, Kentucky in Pan African Studies, and PhD from the University of Colorado Boulder in Musicology (Ethnomusicology). Ruth has published some peer-reviewed journal articles and has presented in many academic conferences, both local and international. She is currently working on her book, "African Women in Music: Motherhood, Agency, and Resistance in Southeastern Nigeria." She has taught classes on Music in Africa, Global Women’s Music, Black Atlantic Music, and Pan African Studies, in Nigeria and the US.

Ruth joins us as a Mellon Fellow in Music Humanities.