Ruthie Meadows, Ph.D.

Gender and sexuality studies among musicians, Caribbean
Ruthie Meadows


Ruthie Meadows is an assistant professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research focuses on poetics and aurality in the Hispanophone and circum-Caribbean, including Cuba, the Dominican Republic and New Orleans. Previous studies include an examination of the interplay between new media and queer poetics in Dominican literature and popular music. In 2014, she published an historiography of the audibility and visuality of Afro-Caribbean vernacular practices in New Orleans - including second line parades, social aid and pleasure clubs and the Mardi Gras Indians - as central to the confection of a sense of "uniqueness" and concomitantly, to tourist production, desire and consumption (in Sun, Sea, and Sound: Music and Tourism in the Circum-Caribbean, Oxford University Press).

Currently, Meadows' research examines the predication of Africanity and its relationship to gender, emancipatory desire, state religious policy and belief in the Yorubizing, "African Traditionalist" movement of Regla de Ocha (Santería) and Ifá in Cuba. Ethnographic fieldwork for this project was conducted in conjunction with the Cuban Ministry of Culture's Juan Marinello Cuban Institute for Cultural Research (Centro de Investigación de la Cultura Cubana Juan Marinello, ICIC), where Meadows served as an affiliated foreign researcher for 32 months between 2014-2016. Meadows received her Ph.D., with a dissertation on this topic, from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017.

Between 2012 and 2015, Meadows served as the resident director for the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Abroad program at the University of Havana, Cuba (falls 2012-2015), where she coordinated all on-site academic and administrative matters for students enrolled at the University of Havana (UH) and the Fundación del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano (FNCL). Meadows is a guitarist, bassist, violinist and percussionist.


  • Ph.D., ethnomusicology, University of Pennsylvania, 2017
  • B.A., Latin American studies and Spanish, Tulane University, 2005