Congratulations to Professor Ellie Hisama for accepting an offer to be the Dean of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. Professor Hisama joined the Department in 2006 in the Theory and Historical Musicology areas. She has shown a strong commitment to guiding students and junior faculty throughout her time at Columbia. She has been nominated twice for the Mark Van Doren Teaching Award: Columbia students grant this award to a single professor each year for excellence in teaching. She is one of the five inaugural recipients of the 2020 Faculty Mentoring Award, recognizing her work guiding junior and tenure-track faculty. Of Professor Hisama, the review committee noted her "extraordinary record as a mentor and the moving testimony of mentees, past and present, to the influence [she had] on their lives."
Professor Hisama has focused her research and teaching on interdisciplinary studies, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and the social and political dimensions of music. She has written at length on composers whom the canon has ignored such as Ruth Crawford Seeger and Julius Eastman, while also calling for a new direction for the field of music theory toward equity, toward an intersection of gender and sexuality. Professor Hisama is a humanities representative on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences' committee on equity and diversity; she is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality and has served as its Director of Graduate Studies. These achievements do not make up even half of what she has accomplished as an educator, a mentor, and an academic.
Ellie Hisama has been an extraordinary force in the Department for years. We thank her for her commitment to her students and fellow faculty, for her key insights in developing faculty governance, for her contributions in music theory and musicology, for her role in transforming issues of diversity and equity in the department and the university at large, and so much more. We wish her the best in her new job; the University of Toronto is gaining an inimitable scholar and leader.