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Kyle Kaplan


BA University of California, Los Angeles
MA McGill University
PhD Northwestern University​


Kyle Kaplan received his PhD in music studies from Northwestern University, where he was a Mellon Interdisciplinary Cluster Fellow with the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. Before coming to Chicago, he earned a BA from UCLA in Music History and an MA from McGill University in Musicology with an emphasis in Gender and Women's Studies.

Kaplan specializes in queer and feminist perspectives in art music and popular repertoires after 1900, with additional expertise in critical theory, film and dance music, and historiography. He is currently working on a book project, "Intimate Critique: Henze, Adorno, and the Aesthetics of Commitment," detailing Hans Werner Henze's work with an international roster of artists between 1955 and 1961. Emphasizing how these collaborative ventures staged the postwar crisis of artistic intelligibility within the domain of interpersonal attachment, this project places Henze's music into conversation with Theodor W. Adorno's contemporaneous writings on ethics and aesthetics to develop a practice of intimate critique—a method that recognizes how intimate relations both offer creative inspiration as well as forms of social exclusion.
Kaplan has also published on the use of James Brown's music in interracial gay pornography for Women & Music's Special Issue on "Race-ing Queer Music Scholarship," and has authored an article on Sontag, Adorno, and queer feminist ethics as part of a PMLA roundtable on "Cultures of Argumentation." He has taught music and gender and sexuality studies courses and enjoys developing curricula that weave together multiple critical and disciplinary perspectives.