Kevin Karnes

Kevin C. Karnes is a musicologist who studies sounding expressions of identity, difference, and belonging in eastern and central Europe from the nineteenth century to the present. His work combines archival research and ethnography, engaging projects in such domains as sound studies, anthropology, philosophy, art history, Jewish studies, and Baltic studies. He is the author of four books, most recently Sounds Beyond: Arvo Pärt and the 1970s Soviet Underground (University of Chicago Press, 2021); the editor of seven volumes, including Korngold and His World (Princeton UP, 2019), and Jewish Folk Songs from the Baltics (A-R Editions, 2014); and, through December 2022, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Musicological Society. His research has been funded by grants, fellowships, and awards from the ACLS, the NEH, and the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies. He is a Senior Faculty Fellow at the Emory Center for Ethics and holds affiliated or associate faculty appointments with the Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture, and the departments of History and German Studies.

As Associate Dean for the Arts in Emory College of Arts & Sciences and director of Emory Arts, Kevin works across the campus and the region to connect individuals and groups through artistic work and the conversations it sparks, focusing intently on issues of social justice, civil and human rights, and buried or forgotten histories. He is co-director of the Emory Arts & Social Justice Fellows program and, in fall 2022, interim director of the Integrated Visual Arts Co-Major. His work in these areas has been supported by grants from the NEA, the Arison Arts Foundation, the lululemon Centre for Social Impact, and the Simons Foundation. For more on these projects, please visit

Kevin Karnes is smiling in front of a white background wearing a suit.