Parkorn Wangpaiboonkit received his B.A. in Comparative Literature from Oberlin College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of California, Berkeley, before joining the Department of Music at Washington University in St. Louis in 2023.
Parkorn’s research focuses on music, race, and imperialism in nineteenth-century Siam. He is interested in issues of aesthetic commensurability in colonial encounter, comparativism and the production of knowledge about non-European musics, and opera as a racializing global-colonial form. His book project, Sounding Civilization: Race and Sovereignty in the Imperial Music of Siam examines the localization of European music and sound practices at the Siamese court as a means of negotiating new conceptions of sovereign personhood in colonial survival.
His work has been supported by the Paul A. Pisk Prize, the Harold Powers Grant, the Alvin Johnson AMS50 Fellowship, the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship, and the Holmes/D’Accone Fellowship of the American Musicological Society. He has also received the Historical Ethnomusicology Paper Prize of the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the Transnational Opera Studies Conference (Tosc@) Junior Scholar Award.
“On Offering Oneself to Music History: Positionalities and Perspectives from Colonial Siam” Journal of Musicology 40/3 (2023)
“Voice, Race, and Imperial Ethnology in Colonial Siam: Madama Butterfly at the Court of Chulalongkorn,” Opera Quarterly 36/3-4 (2021)
“Rethinking Operatic Masculinity: Nicola Tacchinardi and the Heroic Archetype in Early Nineteenth-Century Italy,” Cambridge Opera Journal 32/1 (2020)