Kathryn Metz

  • Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology

Areas of Study


BM, Bowling Green State University, 2001
MM, University of Texas at Austin, 2005
PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 2010


Prior to arriving at Oberlin, Metz was manager of community and family programs at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, where she fostered sustainable relationships with community organizations and collaborated with community leaders in order to better serve their constituents’ needs in connecting music and social justice. She co-produced public programs and concerts, taught thousands of K-12 students on-site, and designed and developed curricula for digital learning spaces.

Metz was a Music Scholar Resident speaker at the University of Maryland in 2017, and was nominated for a Professor Props Award for Teaching Excellence at Oberlin College while a visiting professor in 2014.

Metz is an active member of the Society for Ethnomusicology, for which she has served as a member of the council and program committee, and as chair of the David Sanjek Lecture in the Popular Music Section. She is also a longtime member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, the Alliance of American Museums, and the Latin American Studies Association.

Metz is a flutist who plays in Chamba Music, a Brazilian music quartet in Cleveland, as well as in Trepanning Trio, an avant chamber ensemble. She participated in Lottery League in 2013 and 2016, playing with northeast Ohio rock musicians.

Metz has presented at professional conferences nationally and internationally, and regularly guest lectures on topics related to Latin American and North American music, museums, community engagement, and pop music pedagogy.

Metz was a SAGES (Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship) Postdoctoral Presidential Fellow, and she was the commencement speaker for the Colleges of Education and Music at Bowling Green State University in 2011.

  • 2015 “¡Cumbia! ¡Chicha! ¡Pandilla! Música pop en la Amazonía urbana.” In Raúl Romero, (ed.) Música popular y sociedad en el Perú contemporáneo. (Lima: Instituto de Etnomusicología Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú)
  • 2015 “Amazon Nights.” In Russell Slater (ed.) Sounds and Colors: Perú. (London: Sounds and Colors)
  • 2013 “Pandillar in the Jungle: Regionalism and Tecno-Cumbia in Amazonian Peru.” In Cumbia! Scenes of a Migrant Latin American Music Genre, edited by Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste and Pablo Vila (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press)


Kathryn Metz is trained as a Latin Americanist, and her research focuses on pop music in the urban Amazon of Peru, where she investigates identity politics in the changing Peruvian economy. She is also interested in popular music pedagogy, community engagement and the arts, rhythm and blues, women in punk, and the history of rock and roll and race in the United States. In addition to her role as assistant professor of ethnomusicology, she coordinates the Musical Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Kathryn Metz Presents at Conference

November 19, 2018

Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology Kathryn Metz presented on a panel discussion titled "Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of Popular Music Scholarship" at the 63rd annual Society for Ethnomusicology conference in Albuquerque, NM.


Postcards from Oberlin

May 8, 2020

“The best thing about my quarantine workday (besides hanging out with my toddler) is seeing my students, even though they are far away. The second best thing is seeing them when it's warm enough to be outside in my backyard in Lakewood. Students + sunshine (+ toddler) = happiness,” writes Kathryn Metz , assistant professor of ethnomusicology.