Felicia Youngblood, PhD

Associate Professor of Musicology/Ethnomusicology, Musicology Area Coordinator


Dr. Felicia K. Youngblood received her PhD in Musicology from Florida State University in 2019, where she was a member of the Fellows Society, a Krebs Scholar, and a graduate assistant with the Program for Instructional Excellence. Her current work evaluates how music sustainability efforts can be used to reclaim traditionally underrepresented voices, for which she received a Presser Foundation Graduate Music Research Award in 2017. In particular, she collaborates with the Club per l’UNESCO di Galatina to analyze how the contributions of women to a centuries-old Southern Italian ritual, known as tarantism. Dr. Youngblood’s research explores how the Club’s tarantism festival and reenactments highlight the voices and essential roles of these women as cornerstones of Apulian identity. An article on this topic, “On Un-Silencing Voices: Tarantismo and the Gendered Heritage of Apulia,” was published in the journal Folk Life in March 2019. 

In light of travel restrictions due to the pandemic, Dr. Youngblood's research has both expanded and returned to its roots in 2020-2021. This work focuses on the effects of COVID-19 on music and musicians in the United States, especially in relation to community musicking. Her forthcoming article, "How Can I Keep from Singing?: The effects of COVID-19 on the emotional well-being of community singers during the early stage lockdown in the United States," will be published with the International Journal of Community Music. Dr. Youngblood has also led several workshops for community ensembles on deep listening and creative approaches to musicking in digital spaces. 

Dr. Youngblood is a the lead co-chair of the Society for Ethnomusicology's Section on the Status of Women, co-founder and former chair for the Society's Disability and Deaf Studies Group, and an active member of the Applied Ethnomusicology section and the Gender and Sexualities Taskforce. She helped found the WWU Music Department's Restructure and Transform Task Force (RTTF), which is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and currently serves as the chair of RTTF's Dialogue & Communications Subcommittee. Her other departmental initiatives include work with the Auditions Committee, the Music Library Committee, and current co-chair of the Curriculum Committee. At the university level, Dr. Youngblood is in her second year of service with the Research and Sponsored Program's Graduate Student Grant Committee. 

As a performer, Dr. Youngblood identifies primarily as a vocalist and dancer. Her experience is in diverse genres such as musical theatre, rock and roll, West African drum and dance, Italian folk, Middle Eastern belly dance, eighteenth-century Western art song, traditional Irish singing and step, and Caribbean salsa. Some of her more notable performances have been with funk artist George Clinton, composer and conductor Eric Whitacre, and with multiple award-winning world music artists, such as Haiqiong Deng (Chinese guzheng) and Diadie Bathily (West African dance). In her spare time, Dr. Youngblood enjoys singing and dancing, yoga, reading fantasy novels, playing board games, and organizing social events. She looks forward to continuing her work as an instructor, researcher, and vocalist in the coming years.


  • PhD, Musicology - Florida State University
  • MM, Ethnomusicology - Florida State University
  • BA, Music Education - Catawba College

Courses Taught

  • MUS 550-552/541-543/442: Seminar in Musicology - Topics Include:
    • 19th-21st Century Tarantism
    • Decolonizing Musicology
    • Designing Musicology Curriculum
    • Indigenous North American Soundscapes 
    • Introduction to Ethnomusicology
    • Intro to Musicology
    • Music, Gender, & Sexuality
    • Tarantism, Origins to Present
  • MUS 303: Deep Listening & Improv Ensemble
  • MUS 302: Music & Social Justice
  • MUS 301: Music & Sustainability
  • MUS 342: History of Music 1600-1830
  • MUS 341: History of Music to 1600
  • MUS 205: Survey of World Music Cultures
  • MUS 104: The Art of Listening to Music