Karen R. Francisco completed her Ph.D. in music performance at the Philippine Women's University in 2021 and is currently a faculty member of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University School of Humanities. Her research involved analyzing selected piano works of Philippine Commonwealth composer Rodolfo Cornejo and the historical and cultural contexts to understand his expression of musical nationalism. It also illuminated his role as a research assistant of the Commonwealth government-in-exile, allowing him to promote Philippine music in the United States under Commonwealth auspices during World War II.
As a Fulbright scholar, Francisco will spend four months at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance under the supervision of Christi-Anne Castro, associate professor of musicology, co-chair of the Musicology Department, and associate dean for Faculty Development and Global Engagement.
Francisco’s research aims to explore context-sensitive meanings of hybridity in Cornejo’s music from 1935-1942 and acknowledge the composer’s contributions to strengthening US-Philippine relations based on a shared history. Upon her return, she will promote Philippine music as a performing artist and lecturer. She will also continue her work as a music educator in the Philippines.
For more information on the Fulbright Program, please visit https://us.fulbrightonline.org/