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Denise Gill

Denise Gill photo

Denise Gill

Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor (Ethnomusicology)
Ph.D., Music, University of California - Santa Barbara, 2011
M.A., Music, University of California - Santa Barbara, 2006
B.M., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003


Denise Gill is assistant professor of Ethnomusicology and of Islam & the Arts in the Department of Music and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies. She is an ethnomusicologist and sound studies scholar whose work focuses on sonic, musical, and listening practices in Turkey and former Ottoman territories. Her work is based on archival and oral history methodologies as well as nearly six years of ethnographic fieldwork in Turkish urban centers. In her research, Dr. Gill is primarily concerned with developing new theories and methodologies for critical listening.

Dr. Gill is currently the Chair of the Diversity Action Committee for the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM). She has previously served as the Chair of the Medical Ethnomusicology special interest group and as a SEM Council Member (2013-2016).
As a kanun (Middle Eastern trapezoidal zither) player committed to the study of Ottoman-Turkish classical and Mevlevi music traditions, Dr. Gill has performed on radio and television programs and in concert halls in Turkey, the United States, and in multiple cities in Europe. She continues to perform nationally as a solo recitalist with kanun and voice.
A scholar-teacher deeply invested in critical pedagogies, Dr. Gill was the recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Academic Senate (2010) and an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Graduate Students Association (2007) at UCSB, where she also served as co-coordinator for the transdisciplinary Feminist Pedagogy Series.
Dr. Gill is active in intersectional social justice work, and is certified in washing and shrouding the deceased for Janazah.