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Jennie Gubner, PhD

Atlantic Fellow at GBHI
UCsf Memory and aging center
Professional Profile
Home Country: USA
Profession: Ethnomusicologist

As an ethnomusicologist, Jennie Gubner’s goal is to become a leader in designing and implementing interdisciplinary models for creative and applied dementia education in university arts and humanities departments.

I believe that it is at the intersection of our disciplinary lenses that the most innovative and productive conversations about brain health and aging occur.

Prior to moving to San Francisco in 2018, Gubner designed and taught an undergraduate course about music and dementia in the Folklore and Ethnomusicology Department at Indiana University Bloomington. In this course, students built personalized iPod playlists for people living with dementia while learning about dementia and creative aging through the lens of person-centered ethnography, ethnomusicology, and digital public storytelling. Since 2018, she has been working in the Division of Geriatrics at UCSF as a clinical researcher on a study of music in dementia caregiving relationships with Dr. Theresa Allison.

As one of the few ethnomusicologists invested in research on music and aging, dementia and neurodiversity, Gubner is acutely aware of the need for increased collaboration and dialogue across disciplinary divides. As an Atlantic Fellow with research specializations in intergenerational participatory music scenes, filmmaking, and applied ethnomusicology, she is excited to join the diverse GBHI community to gain new skills and perspectives that will assist in building creative bridges between the humanities and health sciences, and between academic and the public spheres. Gubner’s long-term goal is to become a leader in designing and implementing sustainable interdisciplinary models for applied dementia education in university arts and humanities departments. In her spare time, Gubner enjoys traveling, playing violin, photography and filmmaking, being outside, and listening to live music.

Bio: Jennie Gubner is a ethnomusicologist, violinist, and visual ethnographer with a PhD from the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology. Her research interests include Latin American popular music, studies of music and dementia and creative aging, intergenerational participatory music scenes, and ethnomusicological filmmaking. She has published her research and films in leading international ethnomusicology journals, as well as humanities and health sciences conferences. After designing and teaching an ethnomusicology and filmmaking course about music and dementia at Indiana University, she came to San Francisco in Fall 2018 to work as a clinical researcher at UCSF in the Division of Geriatrics on a study about music in dementia caregiving relationships. After the Atlantic Fellowship at GBHI, she will be join the faculty of the University of Arizona, Tucson as Assistant Professor of Music and Chair of a new graduate interdisciplinary program in Applied Intercultural Arts Research.