Jennie Gubner is a socially engaged interdisciplinary scholar, violinist, and visual ethnographer. She holds a PhD from the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology, and is a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health. Her research interests include applied approaches to the study of music and dementia and creative aging, intergenerational tango bars as spaces of urban belonging in Buenos Aires, participatory music scenes as vehicles for social activism in South America and Southern Italy, and ethnomusicological filmmaking. She joined the University of Arizona in January 2020 as Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology in the Fred Fox School of Music, and Chair of the Applied Intercultural Arts Research Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. Through her research, teaching, and mentorship, she looks forward to buildling creative arts-based pathways and collaborations across diverse fields at the University of Arizona and between the university and local communities.
Gubner has held research and teaching positions at the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology, Indiana University Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, and Colby College. At Indiana University Bloomington, Gubner designed and taught an innovative applied ethnomusicology and filmmaking course and research project about music and dementia. In 2018 she was recruited to San Francisco to help lead a clinical study about music in dementia caregiving relationships in the UCSF Division of Geriatrics. In 2019, she became an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute at the UCSF Department of Neurology, where she has been training alongside an international cohort of scholars, clinicians, artists and activists interested in dementia leadership. She is also a founding partner/faculty member of an Erasmus+ European Union funded multi-year summer program (2020-2023) in innovative approaches to arts-based research called “Encounters between Arts, Ethnography, and Pedagogy” based in Lesvos, Greece. This project emerged from a pilot summer course in "Arts-Based Ethnography" that she helped design and teach from 2018-2019 in Lesvos in partnership with the Univesrity of Agder (Norway), and the University of the Aegean (Greece).
She has published her research and films in premier research journals, organized multiple international conferences and collaborations around audiovisual ethnomusicology, and presented her research at major music, humanities, and medical conferences. In May 2019 she received the Best Education Paper Award at the American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting. In November, she co-organized the Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting Pre-conference entitled "Film as Ethnography, Activism, and Public Work in Ethnomusicology" with Rebecca Dirksen. More information about Gubner's research, performance background, and films and photography can be found on her website. As a violinist, Gubner plays Argentine tango and folk music, bluegrass & old-time fiddle, and Sicilian popular music.