Donna Lee Kwon

Associate Professor


  • PhD  University of California, Berkeley
  • MA Wesleyan University
  • BA/BM Oberlin College and Conservatory

Research Areas:

  • Music of Korea
  • East Asian and Asian-American popular musics

At UK since 2008

Donna Lee Kwon earned a double-degree (BA/BM) in piano performance and women’s studies from Oberlin College and Conservatory, an MA in world music/ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University and a PhD in musicology/ ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley. Dedicated to service and community engagement, Dr. Kwon is an elected member of the Society for Ethnomusicology Council and also serves as Member-at-Large for the Association for Korean Music Research. In addition, Dr. Kwon has worked extensively with community arts organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and continues to perform in various venues including the Asian American Jazz, Other Minds and San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festivals.

Dr. Kwon taught previously at Lawrence University and Grinnell College, and served as the William Randolph Hearst Fellow at Rhodes College, offering courses on Asian music, global and American popular musics, world music, Korean percussion and musical places, spaces and scenes. She is the recipient of a Fulbright IIE fellowship, two grants from the Korea Foundation, the Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award, and the Marnie Dilling Prize. Dr. Kwon presents papers regularly at the Society for Ethnomusicology conference and her research interests include Korean music, East Asian and Asian American popular and creative musics, issues of music and embodiment, gender and the body, space and place, musical scenes and the workings of cultural politics. She is the author of the book, Music in Korea: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture, that was published as part of the Global Music Series of Oxford University Press (2011).