Shana L. Redmond is an interdisciplinary scholar of music, race, and politics. Prior to receiving her combined Ph.D. in African American Studies and American Studies from Yale University, Redmond studied Music and African American Studies at Macalester College where she trained as a vocalist. Throughout her education and career, music has been at the center of her thinking—as subject, agent, and method—and activates her research and teaching interests in racial formation, political cultures, nationalism, labor, and decolonization. Her focus has been to understand the ways in which music is used as a strategy within the liberation politics and social movements of the African world.
She is the the author of Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora (New York University Press, 2014), which is an interdisciplinary cultural history that tracks the songs that organized the modern Black world. Her most recent book, Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson (Duke University Press, January 2020), develops the theory of “antiphonal life” in order to track Robeson’s sonic travels, form, and animation throughout the twentieth century. Redmond is currently at work on two books: the first, The Song that Saved the World, interrogates aid music and racial benevolence, while the second, The Next Jubilee, tracks the possible impossible in Black music. She is the series co-editor for “Phono: Black Music and the Global Imagination” with the University of California Press and an editorial board member for the “Music and Social Justice” series with the University of Michigan Press. She is also a contributor to and co-editor of Critical Ethnic Studies: A Reader (Duke University Press, 2016).
A committed public intellectual, her work appears in various scholarly publications including Current Musicology, Black Camera, Black Music Research Journal, Race & Class, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Black Sexual Economies, and The Futures of Black Radicalism, as well as popular outlets such as National Public Radio (NPR), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) News Hour, the Huffington Post, Boston Review, Truth-Out, USApp for the London School of Economics, and The Feminist Wire. She is the author of the liner notes for the vinyl release of the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for Jordan Peele’s film, Us (Waxwork Records, 2019) and has co-produced two academic mixtapes: “Anthem: The Mixtape” (2014) and “Pleasure/Liberation: A Mixtape Experience” (2016). She has received fellowships and research prizes from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Social Science Research Council, James Weldon Johnson Institute at Emory University, and American Studies Association. In 2014-2015 she was the inaugural Ella Baker Visiting Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.