Music, School of, Margaret Walker

Dr. Margaret Walker has been appointed Director of the School of Music for a six-year term commencing on July 1, 2010.

Dr Walker holds degrees in Music Education (BMus ’97), Musicology (MA ’98) and Ethnomusicology (PhD ’04) from the University of Toronto. She is also a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music Professional School (now the Glenn Gould School) where she completed Licentiate (LPPRCM) and Associate (ARCT) diplomas in piano performance and pedagogy, and additionally holds a Licentiate diploma in piano performance from Trinity College London (LTCL). Before joining the faculty of the Queen’s in 2006, she held post-doctoral fellowships at University of Toronto and York University, and taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music between 1989 and 2000. At the Queen’s, she has taught courses in music history and culture, ethnomusicology, world music, multicultural music education, and piano pedagogy. 

Dr Walker’s research focuses on kathak, the classical dance of North India and she has visited India a number of times conducting fieldwork and taking dance training. Using a highly interdisciplinary blend of research methods, she has examined and deconstructed the received history, and proposed an alternative account of kathak’s origin and social history. This work forms the basis of a forthcoming monograph. Her current projects continue to combine archival, ethnographic, and participant methodologies. These include an ethnographic project investigating the role non-hereditary women played as dancers, teachers, and choreographers in the urbanization and classicisation of kathak dance during the mid-20th century, which is also part of a larger collaborative project on women’s agency in South Asian Performing Arts; an ongoing study of dance in the Indian diaspora focusing on Canadian kathak dancers and combining ethnographic research with diasporic theory; and historical work involving the translation, analysis, and comparison of descriptions of women’s dance in treatises from 19th-century India. She is also part of an international team funded by the European Research Council beginning to research “Musical Transitions to European Colonialism in the Eastern Indian Ocean.”

Dr Walker is a member of the Canadian Society for Traditional Music, Canadian University Music Society, and the Society for Ethnomusicology where she is the founder of the Section for South Asian Performing Arts. She is also currently chair of the India Studies Fellowship Committee of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute.

In making this announcement, Principal Woolf and Dean MacLean wish to thank Dr. Ireneus Zuk for his dedicated service to Queen’s as Director and Acting Director of the School of Music.