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 series co-editor for Music of the African Diaspora with the University of California Press and the author of Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora (NYU Press, 2014) , an interdisciplinary cultural history that tracks the songs that organized the Black world in the twentieth century, thereby producing a robust recording of Black political and performance traditions. She is also a contributor to and co-editor of Critical Ethnic Studies: A Reader (Duke University Press, 2016), which inaugurates a radical response to the appropriations of liberal multiculturalism while building on the possibilities enlivened by the historical work of Ethnic Studies.
Redmond is currently at work on two book length projects. The first, Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson, is an experimental cartography of Paul Robeson’s afterlife that follows the repetition of his reanimation as vibration, hologram, and other metaphysical forms in the late twentieth century. She is additionally writing a book about “first-world” aid musics. Entitled The Song that Saved the World, this project reads songs like “We Are the World” as composing a benevolent regime of failed internationalism.
Her publications appear in Black Camera, Black Music Research Journal, Race & Class, Journal of Popular Music Studies, and African and Black Diaspora as well as popular outlets including NPR, the Huffington Post, Boston Review, Truth-Out, USApp for the London School of Economics, and The Feminist Wire. She also 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.