Visiting Assistant Professor Rebecca Mitchell
- Ph.D., University of Illinois,
- Urbana-Champaign, 2011.
- M.A., Carleton University, 2004.
- M.Mus., Southern Methodist University, 2001.
- B.Mus., University of Saskatchewan, 1998.
Rebecca Mitchell is currently completing her book manuscript “Nietzsche’s Orphans: Music, Metaphysics and the Twilight of the Russian Empire,” which examines the interrelationship between imperial identity, nationalist tensions, philosophical ideals and musical life in the final years of the Russian Empire (1905-1917). In the midst of the revolutionary upheavals of 1905, music was widely conceived as a unifying force, possessing a unique ability to forge a shared, imperial identity for people from all social and ethnic groups. This philosophical worldview was constructed through selective interpretation of the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, in combination with the tradition of Russian religious philosophy. Despite this shared emphasis on unity, this imperial identity failed to address mounting ethnic and social tension in the final years of the empire. Instead, music took on an increasingly nationalistic meaning in the cataclysm of the Great War, undermining the very unity that had earlier been sought. Her broader research interests include Russian and European cultural/intellectual history, empire and identity, and the historic interconnections between music, social and political power structures.
In 2013-14, Ms. Mitchell will teach survey courses in Imperial Russian and Soviet history, as well as the upper-year courses “Russia’s Imperial Borderlands”, “Europe’s Crisis of Modernity, 1880-1914” and the first-year seminar “Music and the Search for Unity in Russian History”. As Havighurst Postdoctoral Fellow at Miami University (2011-13), she also offered advanced history courses on “Music and Power in World History”, and “Communism in Idea and Practice”. In addition to her scholarly work, Ms. Mitchell loves hiking, bicycling and playing piano.