Ruby Erickson


Ph.D. Student, Musicology & Ethnomusicology

Brown University

M.A., Musicology & Ethnomusicology, Brown University, received May 2023


Pursuing Graduate Certificate in Africana Studies

Certificate in Reflective Teaching, Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, received Fall 2022

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see my work

About Me

I am Ruby Erickson, a Ph.D. student at Brown University in the Department of Music. My scholarly interests include music, migration, and diaspora; economic ethnomusicology; voice studies; and engaged research methods. I recently completed my M.A. in Musicology and Ethnomusicology at Brown with a paper theorizing new connections between voice and diaspora scholarship, citing case studies from Cabo Verdean American vocalist interlocutors. I have also just released the first season of a collaborative podcasting project, Sounds from the Eleventh Star, elaborated below.

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C.V. (at a glance)


"My Grandparents are Embracing Me:" Transmission, Performance, and Vocal Collaging in Cabo Verdean New England

Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference, October 2023

Organized Panel: "Musical Networks of the Lusophone Black Atlantic," sponsored by the African and African Diasporic Music Section

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"Cape Verdean Feelings" : Vocal Affect and Diasporic Mobility in New England’s Cabo Verdean Musical Communities

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Grants & Awards

IGNITE! Event Series Grant (Fall 2023)

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Engaged Research Mini-Grant (Spring 2023)

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Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan Committee, Brown University Department of Music

    • Committee member, Fall 2022-present
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Sounds from the Eleventh Star

Sounds is a podcast about Cabo Verdean music in the United States diaspora, featuring lively interviews with those who create, perform, and enjoy these musical traditions. In its first season, available now, the podcast covers topics ranging from Cabo Verdean Carnaval processions, to improvisatory batuku philosophers, to guitar virtuosos! This project is a work of collaborative scholarship, co-hosted by myself and Cabo Verdean-American performer and scholar Candida Rose Baptista. The podcast is available via the Orkka International website.

Thank you to Orkka International, the Capeverdean American Community Development Center, the Cape Verdean Museum, and the Swearer Center at Brown University for your support of this project!

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Community Connection

Kriolu Voices Sounding - Jan. 27-Feb. 17, 2024

Voices is a month-long series of events that sparks dialogue between Cabo Verdean and Cabo Verdean American scholars, activists, and sound artists. Each of its four weekly sessions includes a vibrant panel discussion and a participatory creative workshop. Topics include Music as Reparations, Cabo Verdean Kriola Feminism, Revolutionary Soundscapes, and Black Atlantic Musical Resonances. Our guests will include composers, vocalists from many traditions, a DJ, hip-hop artists, scholar-practitioners, and activists. The series was conceived as a collaboration between the Brown Arts Institute and the Capeverdean American Community Development Center, in a beginning gesture towards repair for Brown’s complicity in the gentrification and displacement of the Cabo Verdean Fox Point community. We aim to build mutualistic relationships, to offer rich conversations, and most importantly , to celebrate the vibrancy of the musical, political, and scholarly life of Cabo Verdeans and Cabo Verdean Americans in Rhode Island and surrounding areas.

A special thank you to Allessandra Soares for working with me as a

collaborator to imagine and realize this series; and thank you to the

Brown University Department of Music DIAP for supporting this idea

as it came to fruition!

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Contact Information


Snail Mail

Box 1924, 1 Young Orchard Ave

Providence, RI 02912