Jayme Kurland

Jayme Kurland

Jayme Kurland

Graduate Research Assistant

Musical Instrument History (organology), Women and Labor History, Cultural History

Jayme Kurland is a fourth year Ph.D. student in History at George Mason University. Her research interests include U.S. history with concentrations in cultural history and digital public history. Her current research investigates the roles women have played in the early history of the Fender Musical Instruments in California. Prior to embarking on her Ph.D., Jayme was an adjunct professor of ethnomusicology at GMU.  

Jayme has spent the last decade working as a music historian in museums and libraries.  From 2018-2019, she was the inaugural Robbin Collection Music Cataloger at Georgetown University Libraries, working with a collection of over 900 music manuscripts and letters. From 2013 to 2017, Jayme was the Curatorial Research Fellow in Musical Instruments at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. From 2009 to 2011, Jayme worked at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ as a curatorial assistant.

Jayme is currently a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) at the Center for Mason Legacies.  During the 2021-2022 academic year, she worked as a GRA at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, working on the digital history project Hearing the Americas, which aims to contextualize the transnational roots of early recorded music in the Americas.

Jayme is an elected board member of the American Musical Instrument Society (AMIS). As a member of the Society for Ethnomusicology, she founded and co-chairs the Organology Special Interest Group, and serves as the official AMIS liaison to SEM. She is also a member of the International Council Of Museums.

Selected Publications

Musical Instrument Museums and Issues of Provenance Research.” In CIMCIM Bulletin, ICOM, December 2022,  24-27.

"Streamlined and Sonic: Harmonicas and Accordions Designed by John Vassos," Archives of American Art Blog, Smithsonian, April 30, 2019.

Courses Taught

MUSI 103: Musics of the World


Master of Arts in Music History and Literature, Arizona State University, 2015

Bachelor of Arts in Music History and Literature, University of Oregon, 2009


Recent Presentations

2024     “Beyond Nimble Fingers: Using Spatial History to Explore the Lives of Fender’s Female Workers,” Panel: 25 Years of Dancing in the Street, Society for American Music conference, Detroit, MI (Forthcoming).

2023     “Instrumental Women: Using Digital History to Tell Untold Stories about Women Instrument Makers,” International Council of Museums: CIMCIM Committee for Collections of Instruments and Music, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2023     “Mapping Slave Auction Sites within Fairfax County,” Panel: Using Digital Public History to Uncover Black Lives Next Door, Keystone Digital History conference, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

2023     “Hearing the Americas: Exploring the History of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era through Sound,” Poster, American Historical Society annual conference, Philadelphia, PA

2022     Chair, “Making, Remaking, and Unmaking Musical Instruments,” Society for Ethnomusicology annual meeting, New Orleans, LA.

2022     “Instrumental Women: Representing Women Makers in Musical Instrument Collections,” International Council of Museums: CIMCIM Committee for Collections of Instruments and Music, Prague, Czech Republic.

2022     “Instrumental Women of Fender,” American Musical Instrument Society annual conference, Calgary, Ontario.

2021     “The Erasure of Women in the History of Lutherie” Inaugural Women in Lutherie Conference, Virtual.

2019     “Streamlined and Sonic: Industrial Design and the Musical Instruments of John Vassos,” Society for American Music annual conference, New Orleans, LA.