Russian and East European Studies
Department Chair:
Stephen Crowley

Administrative Assistant:
Polly Bratton

Department Email:

Phone: 440 7758650
Fax: 440 7756355

Peters Hall 222
50 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Ian MacMillen

Ian MacMillen

Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor
The Oberlin Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies (OCREECAS)

Contact Information


King 305A
Personal Office Hours:
Tuesdays, 4:15 to 5:15 pm, and Wednesdays, 3:00 to 5:00 pm

Ian MacMillen

Educational Background

  • B.A. in Music Theory - Pomona College (2005)
  • Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology - The University of Pennsylvania (2012)

Ian MacMillen teaches music courses as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Russian and East European Studies Program and works as a postdoctoral fellow at the Oberlin Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies (OCREECAS). His responsibilities include providing administrative support with the center’s event programming, website, and newsletter. His current and planned courses at Oberlin are cross-referenced with the College Music Program and include:

- Rockin' the Bloc: From Doo-Wop to Punk Rock in Communist Eastern Europe (Fall 2012)

- Music and Revolution in Postsocialist Eurasia (Spring 2013)

- Balkan Ensemble (in the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Spring 2013)

- Roma and "Gypsies" in the Musical Imagination

- Musical Roots and Routes

He also teaches a weekly Balkan dance class open to students, staff, and faculty and an informal class in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language as part of the new initiative to offer rarely taught languages at Oberlin College.

MacMillen earned a BA in music with a concentration in music theory at Pomona College, and went on to earn a PhD in ethnomusicology/the anthropology of music at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was named a 2012 Dean's Scholar. His primary research, which has been funded by an ACLS Dissertation Research Fellowship in East European Studies and a Research Grant from the Asociation for Recorded Sound Collections, focuses on interethnic and transnational connections through music - particularly popular and traditional tambura chordophone music in multiethnic communities of post-conflict Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia. Secondary interests include musical connections and contact between Africa and the African Diaspora (e.g. an exhibition on ritual and performance in the broader Yoruba world and a film project on North African Qur'anic recitation practices in an African American/African immigrant mosque in Philadelphia); musical fascination and tourism in Bulgaria; intersections of theories of light with conceptions of "local color" in 19th-century German and Croatian national musics; and the use of American jazz and rock in Soviet political animated film, a project for which he and his research partner (art historian Masha Kowell) received Penn's Provost Award for Interdisciplinary Innovation. His work appears in the peer-reviewed journals Current Musicology, Yearbook for Traditional MusicBulgarian Musicology (forthcoming 2013), and Balkanistica (forthcoming 2014) and in the Hrvatski Tamburaški Brevijar (Croatian Tambura Breviary). He also is a founding editor of the East European Folklife Center's online journal Forum Folkloristika.

MacMillen lives near campus and in his spare time enjoys fly fishing and playing East European folk instruments.