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University of Central Oklahoma


David VanderHamm, Ph.D., is an interdisciplinary scholar of music and culture, as well as an active guitarist. He earned his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he completed his dissertation on the social construction of virtuosity in 2017. His current research pursues the theme of virtuosities through both fieldwork and archival methods, exploring how wide-ranging displays and discourses of musical skill carry meaning for audiences in the U.S. during the age of electronic media. He has presented widely at national and international conferences, and his published work appears in the Journal of the Society for American MusicAmerican Music, Oxford Bibliographies, and The Public Historian. He is currently co-editing the Oxford Handbook of the Phenomenology of Music Cultures, to which he has also contributed a chapter. VanderHamm has previously taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of Denver.

Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities

“Virtuosity, Obviously:  Ravi Shankar, Historical Phenomenology, and the Valuation of Skill,” in Oxford Handbook of Phenomenological Ethnomusicology. Edited by Harris M. Berger, Friedlind Riedel, and David VanderHamm. Oxford University Press. Forthcoming.

“‘All those Homes Beyond the Microphone’: Advertising, Domesticity, and Early Country Music Variety Programs in the 1930s,” in Oxford Handbook of Music and Advertising. Edited by James Deaville, Ron Rodman, and Siu-Lan Tan. Oxford University Press, 336–351. (In Production).

“‘I’m Just an Armless Guitarist’: Tony Melendez, Disability, and the Social Construction of Virtuosity.” Journal of the Society for American Music 14, no. 3 (August 2020): 280­–307. 

“Simple Shaker Folk: Appropriation, American Identity, and Appalachian Spring,” American Music 36, no. 4 (Winter 2018): 507-526.

“Virtuosity/Virtuoso.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Music. Ed. Bruce Gustafson. New York: Oxford University Press, January 2018.

“Preserving Heritage, Fostering Change: Accidental Archives in Country Music and Hip-Hop,” co-authored with Mark Katz, Public Historian 37, no. 4 (November 2015): 32–46.

Education and Certifications

Ph.D. Musicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2017

M.A. Musicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013

M.M. Guitar Performance, University of Denver, 2011

Office Hours

T/Th: 12:30-3:00 p.m.

The views expressed by UCO faculty and staff on their personal websites and social media pages do not necessarily reflect the positions of the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO faculty and staff are advised to follow the university’s social media guidelines and are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with policies outlined in UCO’s Employee Handbook and/or Faculty Handbook.