Education: Brown University, A.B. Literature and Society, University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. in Music.
Research interests: Early Modern Italy, Gender and Sexuality, History of Science, Monteverdi, Castrati.
Bonnie Gordon's primary interests center on the experiences of sound in Early Modern music making and the affective potential of the human voice. Her first book, Monteverdi's Unruly Women (Cambridge University Press, 2004) frames the composer's madrigals and music dramas written between 1600 and 1640 as windows into contemporary notions of sound, body, voice, and sense. She uses vocal music written for sixteenth and seventeenth century Italian singers to illuminate our understanding of the music, science, and culture of that period. She has explored similar issues in articles about contemporary singer-songwriters Kate Bush and Tori Amos. She co-edited an interdisciplinary and cross cultural volume of essays about courtesans entitled The Courtesans Arts, (Oxford University Press, 2006). Her newest project, Voice Machines: The Castrato, the Cat Piano, and Other Strange Sounds, places the castrato alongside other animate and inanimate phenomena that impinged on received categories of the organic and the material, of human and machine. Dr. Gordon is the recipient of two grants from the Folger Shakespeare Library, a dissertation grant from the American Association of University Women, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brandeis University, a Bunting Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. She has also worked as a newspaper journalist, a music teacher and a violist.