Dr. Kailan R. Rubinoff
Associate Professor of Musicology, Music Studies
Doctor Faustus : The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkuhn As Told by a Friend
by Thomas Mann, (trans. John E. Woods)
I first read Mann's novel when I was a senior at the University of Pennsylvania; at the time, I was taking an elective English class entitled "Madness and Literature" with the late Dr. Paul Korshin, a quirky and engaging lecturer with a penchant for wearing bow ties. As a music major and psychology minor, I was captivated both by Korshin's teaching, and by Mann's rich depiction of such powerful themes as musical modernism, nationalism and mental illness. While I learned so much from my studies in music history, theory, ethnomusicology and performance, it was particularly courses in literature and language that encouraged me to make connections between musical developments and their broader cultural context--connections I explore in my own research and writing, and also hope to inspire in my students.