Inna Naroditskaya, professor of musicology in the Bienen School of Music, was named a 2019-2020 Faculty Fellow of the Kaplan Humanities Institute at Northwestern University.

This competitive residency—juried by eminent humanities faculty members outside of Northwestern—offers faculty course reductions so that they can develop research projects within an interdisciplinary community. Kaplan Institute Fellows serve as the core members of Northwestern’s humanities community. They present work at weekly lunchtime colloquia, participate in Kaplan Humanities Institute events, and develop a course to offer in the Institute in the year after their fellowship.

Naroditskaya’s project is titled “Operas and Politics of Catherine the Great Empress/ario.” She is preparing the first annotated English translation of Catherine II’s operas.

“Catherine II’s venture into opera was akin to her military and political campaigns. During five years, the Russian empress created five operas which, embodying the empress’ political ambitions, were published and staged in imperial, public, and private theaters. Tropes forged in these operas underlined nineteenth-century Russian nationalistic lore and, as I argue, pervade Russia’s state performances today," Naroditskaya said.

Music and gender is a major theme of Naroditskaya’s research. She is the author of Song from the Land of Fire: Azerbaijani Mugham in the Soviet and Post-Soviet Periods (2006) and Bewitching Russian Opera: The Empress from State to Stage (2012, 2018). She edited Music in the American Diasporic Wedding (October, 2019) and co-edited Manifold Identities (2004) and Music of the Sirens (2006). She is published in several languages and presented her work in over 30 countries in public and academic lectures. Along with scholarly articles, she has published editorials in The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, and Pacific Standard. She has been awarded a Rockefeller Bellagio Residency Award, Harvard Davis Center Senior Fellowship, IREX short-term travel grant, and Brandeis Schusterman Fellowship. Read her full bio online.


  • Inna Naroditskaya
  • musicology