In brief

Kendra Preston Leonard is a musicologist and music theorist whose work focuses on women and music in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; and music and screen history, particularly music and adaptations of Shakespeare; and a librettist and poet.

Recent and Upcoming Scholarly Publications, Presentations, and Projects

“White Supremacy in Music for the Silent Cinema,” Society for American Music annual meeting, March 2021.

“Cultural Diversity and the Musical Representation of California in Regional 1970s Television,” with Melinda K. Levy, AMS national meeting, 5-8 November 2020.

“Musical Tropes, Transactions, and Dominance in Film Adaptations of The Merchant of Venice,” Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association, September 2020.

“‘Girls’ Hammering the Ivory: Women Composers in the Silent Cinema,” Hidden Figures of Screen Music and Sound,” Royal Holloway University, 23-24 June, 2020.

Music for the Kingdom of Shadows: Cinema Accompaniment in the Age of Spiritualism, Humanities Commons ebook (2019). (PDF)

Women at the Pedals: Female Cinema Musicians During the Great War,” Over Here, Over There: Transatlantic Conversations on the Music of World War I, ed. William Brooks, Christina Bashford, and Gayle Magee, University of Illinois Press (2019).

Recent and Forthcoming Creative Works

Par for the Course, a micro-opera with music by Lisa Neher for Rhymes with Opera, July 2020.

Rewriting King Lear in a Time of Pandemic,” Tejascovido, 2020.

“Spirochete,” Yersinia pestis, 2020.

Making Mythology (chapbook), Louisiana Literature Press, 2020.

“Frost Ascending,” Climbing Lightly Through Forests, ed. Rose Lemberg, Aqueduct Press, 2020. Volume in memory and honor of Ursula K. LeGuin.

Sense of Self, a chamber opera with music by composer Lisa Neher.
Composed for two high voices, Sense of Self explores an athlete’s relationship with her body, her ambitions, and her plans after receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer. To be premiered in the fall of 2020 by Opera Elect.

Protectress (novella in verse), Unsolicited Press, forthcoming January 2021.
From the publisher:
Protectress is a hybrid poetry-prose novella offering a risky take on the legend of Medusa. With stunning economy of words and a delicate hand, Protectress provokes us to think about the feminist identity and the power of compassions. Readers who fell deeply for Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey, Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, Madeleine Miller’s Circe, Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, Seamus Haney’s or Maria Dahvana Headley’s translations of Beowulf, and Toby Barlow’s Sharp Teeth will find themselves enamoured with Protectress.

Works in Progress

Projection, Erasure, and Recovery: Women in Silent Film Music (digital history project)

“Nostalgia and Cultural Memory in Scoring for The General (1927)” 

“Jewishness between Performance and Appropriation: Music for The Merchant of Venice on Film”

Leonard’s ORCID is 0000-0003-3005-4344, and you can also follow and engage with her work at Humanities Commons CORE. 

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