Postdoctoral Scholar of Musicology, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)

Jessica A. Holmes

Jessica Holmes is a Postdoctoral Fellow of Musicology in the Herb Alpert School of Music at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Dr. Holmes’s research centers on music, disability, and embodiment in contemporary performance. Her published articles on music and deafness appear in consecutive volumes of the Journal of the American Musicological Society (2016; 2017). Her book project, Music at the Margins of Sense, enacts a mediation between certain enduring misconceptions associated with deaf sensory experience and the first-hand accounts of d/Deaf musicians and listeners as a means of pluralizing existing definitions of music, listening, and musical ability. She is currently co-editing a special issue of the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies on music, voice, and disability with Dr. Nina Eidsheim.


Dr. Holmes has organized panels for and presented her work at the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, and the Society for Disability Studies. She currently serves as the co-chair of the American Musicological Society’s Music & Disability Special Interest Group, and is an appointed member of the American Musicological Society’s Committee on Cultural Diversity. 


She completed her PhD in Musicology at McGill University where she won the Schulich School of Music’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 2017. From 2012-2015, her dissertation research was supported by the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship program, the most prestigious Canada-wide doctoral award recognizing the leadership qualities and research potential of academics in the early stages of their PhDs. Prior to her studies at McGill, Dr. Holmes completed an MA in Musicology and a Bachelor of Music at Western University (2010).