2020–2022 Postdoctoral Fellow, Musicology
PhD in Historical Musicology, Harvard University
Diane Oliva received her Ph.D. from Harvard University. As a musicologist, she draws from history of science, sound studies, and Atlantic history to write transatlantic narratives of music and listening in the eighteenth century. Her doctoral dissertation, “Earthquakes in the Eighteenth-Century Musical Imagination,” examines the sonic repercussions of four earthquakes—Lima in 1746, Lisbon and Boston in 1755, and Santiago de Guatemala in 1773. These four earthquakes altered the landscape of musical practices in their respective epicenters in both subtle and profound ways, and she explores how music shaped and was shaped by experiences and knowledge of these events. Her archival work in Guatemala, Peru, Portugal and Spain has been partially funded by a CLIR/Mellon Research Fellowship. As a postdoctoral fellow, she is developing her dissertation into a book manuscript, while also conducting research for a second project tentatively titled, Sonic Mappings: The Nature of Empire in Colonial Guatemala. This project explores the ways music and listening factored into colonial geographical surveys of Guatemala’s diverse landscapes and indigenous populations. Her research and teaching interests include global music history, Central American history, Latin American popular music, eighteenth-century music, and music and nature.