Jessica Peritz

Jessica Peritz's picture
Assistant Professor
+1 (203) 4322996


Western music of the seventeenth through early nineteenth centuries, especially opera and vocal music; Italian cultural history; literature and philosophy of the long eighteenth century; voice studies; gender and sexuality studies; disability studies.


Jessica Gabriel Peritz received her Ph.D. in music history from The University of Chicago in 2019, and joined the Yale Department of Music in fall 2019. She holds an A.B. in early modern history and literature from Harvard and an M.Mus. in vocal performance from Mannes College The New School for Music. Her research focuses on stagings of voices, bodies, and politics, with an emphasis on the musical and intellectual cultures of the Enlightenment. Her current scholarship brings philosophical voice studies into dialogue with historical musicology by situating culturally-contingent ideologies of voice amid a network of eighteenth-century musical practices.

Her article “Orpheus’s Civilizing Song, or, The Politics of Voice in Late Enlightenment Italy” (Cambridge Opera Journal, [2020]) explores the conflicting narratives through which musicians and writers attributed to voice the power to reform Italian culture. Her book project, On the Subject of Voice (under contract, University of California Press), reads musical and literary representations of voice through Enlightenment ideologies of political subjectivity and the poetics of feeling. 

Peritz’s research and writing have been supported by the Alvin H. Johnson-American Musicological Society 50 fellowship (2018), two Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation research grants (2016, 2019), and the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, where she was the Marian and Andrew Heiskell Pre-Doctoral Fellow in Modern Italian Studies in 2017–18. In 2018–19, she was a (non-resident) Dissertation Fellow at the Andrew W. Mellon-Council for European Studies at Columbia University, and an Affiliated Fellow at the Franke Institute for the Humanities at The University of Chicago. Among other awards, Peritz has received the Paul A. Pisk Prize (2018) from the American Musicological Society and the Indiana University Press Prize from the American Musicological Society Midwest Chapter (2014).


“The Female Sublime: Domesticating Luigia Todi’s Voice.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 74, no. 2 (forthcoming 2021)

“Orpheus’s Civilising Song, or, The Politics of Voice in Late Enlightenment Italy.” Cambridge Opera Journal 31, nos. 2–3 (2019 [2020]): 129–152. 

Music History
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