Dr. Margaret E. Walker is a graduate of the University of Toronto (Musicology/Ethnomusicology) and the Royal Conservatory of Music Professional School (Piano Performance and Pedagogy) and she joined the School of Music at Queen’s in 2006. Her teaching and research cross disciplinary boundaries, and include ethnomusicology, historical musicology, historiography, music teaching and learning, and dance studies.
Involved in the profession of teaching since 1984, Dr Walker currently teaches courses at the Dan School of Drama and Music in ethnomusicology, musicology, world music, and music education, and is cross appointed to the graduate program in Cultural Studies. She won the School of Music Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015, and has mentored many undergraduate students in Directed Study, Thesis, and USSRF research projects. She has recently initiated revisions to the music history and culture core courses, and continues to lead curriculum development in that area.
Dr. Walker’s research has largely focused on the North Indian classical dance called kathak, and her monograph, India’s Kathak Dance in Historical Perspective (SOAS Series in Musicology, Ashgate, 2014), examines and deconstructs the dance’s accepted history and proposes an alternate reading. She has visited India many times conducting fieldwork, and studied kathak dance with a number of eminent teachers in both Canada and India between 1996 and 2006. She is a regular presenter at international scholarly conferences, and has book chapters in the collections Dance Matters: A Reader on South Asian Dance (Routledge, 2010), Music, Dance, and the Art of Seduction (Eburon Academic Press, 2013), The Oxford Handbook of Music Revivals (Oxford University Press, 2014), and Music in Canada: Contemporary Expressions and Cultural Resonances (McGill-Queen’s Press forthcoming). Her articles on topics ranging from Indian folk traditions to music cognition can be found in The Journal of the Indian Musicological Society, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, MUSICultures, CRME Bulletin and Canadian Music Educators’ Journal. Between 2011 and 2015, Dr Walker was a member of the ERC-funded “Musical Transitions to European Colonialism in the Eastern Indian Ocean” research team and in winter 2016 she participated in a Visitorship to King’s College University of London as part of the Balzan Research in Musicology Project “Towards a Global History of Music.” Publications are forthcoming from both projects. Other areas of Dr Walker’s research include musical and cultural exchange, Indo-Canadian dance, and a collaborative project on music in Kingston. She is currently co-editing a special theme issue of MUSICultures with Dr Kaley Mason on “Generational Frictions in Musical Ethnography of South Asia.”
Dr. Walker served as the Director of the School of Music between 2010 and 2015, and was instrumental in the creation of the new School of Drama and Music. She is a member of the Kingston Symphony Association Board of Directors, Secretary of the Canadian University Music Society Executive Board, and regularly serves as a peer reviewer and conference program committee member.