Williams International

W. Anthony Sheppard, Professor of Music

Professor W. Anthony Sheppard

1.) What, specifically, is your field of study? And how does it relate to international issues?

I am a musicologist who studies the history of 20th-century music. Much of my research focuses on topics of cross-cultural influence, Orientalist representation, and globalization and music. Many of my publications are on the influence and representation of Asian music in American music.

2.) What brought you to Williams?

I was offered a job in 1996, that’s why I came! Having gone to Amherst, I was thrilled to be working at a liberal arts college.

4.) Do you believe Williams students are interested and knowledgeable about international issues?

My impression is that students do not take enough courses on the history and culture of areas beyond Europe and the U.S.

5.) If you could travel to one place, right now, where would you go and why?

Well, right now I would not wish to travel anywhere because I have too much work to finish up first. However, given that so much of my research has involved Japan in one way or another, I would like to travel there at some point in the next 5-10 years.

6.) What were your first impressions of Williams when you arrived? Have they changed?

The beautiful natural setting–hasn’t changed.

7.) What are you reading at the moment?

Just trying to catch up on my New York Reviews and New Yorkers. Recently read over 300 abstracts for a conference on American music–I am serving as the program committee chair. There are at least 20 books under my nightstand that I would like to read if I had time. I have been reading The Hobbit to my son and several American Girl doll books to my daughter.

8.) Do you enjoy living in the Berkshires? If so, why?

Yes. I love the land here and the fact that Lincoln Center is exactly 3 hours away.