Meghan Hynson, PhD
Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, Monmouth University
Dr. Hynson is an Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology in the Department of Music and Theatre Arts at Monmouth University. She received a B.M. in Music Education from Boston University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA.
Dr. Hynson has spent over a decade living and studying in Southeast Asia, where she has conducted extensive research on religious and gender politics in the performing arts of Bali and West Java, Indonesia. Her 2015 dissertation, “From Tradisi to Inovasi: Authority, Music, and Change in Balinese Shadow Theater,” examines ideological, political, and economic trends in post-independence Indonesia to reveal how they have affected female participation, ritual efficacy, and musical development in Balinese shadow theater. She actively teaches and leads Indonesian world music ensembles as a means of fostering global engagement. Her 2016 Smithsonian Institution article, “Indonesian Angklung: Intersections of Music Education and Cultural Diplomacy,” demonstrates how the West Javanese bamboo angklung rattle is being promoted as a national instrument and used in cultural diplomacy efforts. Her most recent publication with Smithsonian Folklife theorizes a sounding of religious nationalism in Indonesia by exploring the ways in which Muslims, Christians, and Balinese Hindus assert both local identity and national solidarity through daily broadcasts of their religion.
Dr. Hynson comes to the IGU Faculty Advisory Council with a passion for facilitating global understanding through music and arts programming, scholarship, and education. In her teaching at Monmouth, and as a former faculty member at Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Hynson has offered globally-minded courses such as World Music, Global Popular Music, Music and Gender, and Music and Religion. From 2016-2019, she was the director of the University of Pittsburgh Gamelan Ensemble (an Indonesian orchestra of knobbed pots and gongs) and in 2019, toured internationally as a vocalist for the Indonesian pop band the Dangdut Cowboys under the invitation of the U.S. State Department. She is a recipient of the Fulbright COTI and numerous Foreign Language and Area Studies grants awarded by the U.S. State Department. Throughout her career, she has developed world music curricula and outreach programs for K-12 schools, worked with major museums and international world music festivals, and been the voice for global diversity through music via various campus and community activities. Now at Monmouth, Dr. Hynson performs and engages in outreach with the NYC-based group Gamelan Dharmaswara and is the faculty mentor for the Monmouth University Gamelan student organization. She currently serves on the council for the Society for Ethnomusicology and as a reviewer for the International Council for Traditional Music Journal.