Headshot of Dr.Jessie   Fillerup

Dr. Jessie Fillerup

Associate Professor of Musicology
  • Profile

    Professor Fillerup’s research centers on the French composer Maurice Ravel, opera, musical temporality, and music in theatrical magic shows. Her first monograph, Magician of Sound: Ravel and the Aesthetics of Illusion (University of California Press, 2020), examines Ravel’s music through the lens of illusory perception, considering how timbre, orchestral effects, figure/ground relationships, and impressions of motion and stasis might be experienced as if they were conjuring tricks. She is contributing co-editor of the essay collection Sonic Identity at the Margins (Bloomsbury, 2021), which brings together scholars, composers, and performers to explore relationships between sound and various markers of identity, including race, gender, ability, and nationality. Her current book project, Enchanted: Music and Conjuring in the Long Nineteenth Century, examines how music and musical performers shaped stage magic, focusing on themes of virtuosity, exoticism, and gender. Her work has been supported by numerous grants, including a two-year research fellowship at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (Denmark), the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and the Associated Colleges of the South. 

    As a teacher, Professor Fillerup’s courses focus on opera, piano music, research methods, temporality, and illusion in the fine arts. She enjoys introducing students to new musical experiences and teaching methods for analyzing historical sources.

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    • Grants and Fellowships

      External awards

      Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University (Denmark), two-year research fellowship, 2018–2020

      Associated Colleges of the South, Faculty Advancement Grant ($10,000), with Sewanee University, 2013–2014

      Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, 2011

      National Endowment for the Humanities, Enduring Questions grant ($24,978), 2010–2013

      Internal awards

      University of Richmond

      Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, 2019

      Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, 2017

      Faculty Travel Grant, 2017

      Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, 2016

      First-Year Seminar Pilot Program Grant, 2016

      Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, 2015

      PETE Course Transformation Grant, 2015

      Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, 2014

      A&S International Travel Grant, 2013

      PETE Course Transformation Grant, 2013

      Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, 2012

    • Awards

      Ned N. Fleming Excellence in Teaching Award, Washburn University, 2005

      Performance prize, Conservatoire Américain de Fontainebleau, France, 2000

      Fontainebleau Foundation Study Abroad Award, 2000

    • Presentations

  • Publications

    Sonic Identity at the Margins, ed. Jessie Fillerup and Joanna K. Love. New York: Bloomsbury, forthcoming in 2021. 

    Magician of Sound: Ravel and the Aesthetics of Illusion. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, forthcoming in 2020. 

    Journal Articles

    “Marimbo Chimes and the Wizard’s Monster Band: Music in Theatrical Magic Shows,” Music & Letters, forthcoming in 2021. 

    “Musical Form, Literary Form,” in The Routledge Companion to Musical and Literary Modernism, ed. Katharina Clausius, Peter Dayan, Rachel Durkin, and Axel Englund, forthcoming in 2020. 

    “What If? Counterfactual Thinking and Primary Source Study.” In The Norton Guide to Teaching Music History, edited by Matthew Balensuela, 95–106. New York: Norton, 2019. 

    “Lucia’s Ghosts: Sonic, Gothic, and Postmodern.” Cambridge Opera Journal 28 (November 2016): 313–345. 

    “Ravel’s Lost Time.” Journal of the Royal Musical Association 139 (Spring 2014): 205–220. 

    “Ravel and Robert-Houdin, Magicians.” 19th-Century Music 37 (Fall 2013): 130–158. 

    “Eternity in Each Moment: Temporal Strategies in Ravel’s Le Gibet.” Music Theory Online 19 (March 2013). 

    “Professional Development.” In The Music History Classroom, edited by James Davis, 171–185. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2012. 

    “Cage and the Chaotic Classroom: Pedagogy for the Avant-garde.” In Vitalizing Music History Teaching, edited by James R. Briscoe, 177–188. New York: Pendragon, 2010. 

    “Ravel, La Valse, and the Purloined Plot.” College Music Symposium 49/50 (2009–2010): 345–355.