Dr. Jessica WiskusAssociate Professor of Music and Chair of Musicianship
Mary Pappert School of Music
School of Music 105
Education:D.M.A., Yale University, 2006
M.M.A., Yale University, 2001
M.M., Yale University, 2000
B.M., University of Iowa, 1998
Dr. Jessica Wiskus teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music theory and history as well as the philosophy of music, including courses cross-listed with the Department of Philosophy.
Drawing upon 20th century continental philosophy, her research is interdisciplinary in nature and seeks to elucidate musical expression as a form of philosophical thinking. She writes on musical style, form, and performance within the context of close readings of particular philosophers, articulating the musicality beneath their thought. Her book, The Rhythm of Thought: Art, Literature and Music after Merleau-Ponty (University of Chicago Press, 2013), interprets the work of French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty, developing "rhythm" as a philosophical notion through the analysis of works by Mallarmé, Cézanne, Proust, and Debussy. In addition to writing several book chapters on Merleau-Ponty and music for collections ranging from general music aesthetics (Perspectives de l'esthétique musicale, entre théorie et histoire) to specialized volumes in contemporary philosophy (Chiasmatic Encounters), she has published articles in The Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy, Philosophy Today, Chiasmi International: Trilingual Studies Concerning the Thought of Merleau-Ponty, and Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, among others. She is a frequent presenter in the United States and Europe, having delivered papers, for example, at conferences of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, American Philosophical Association, International Merleau-Ponty Circle, Society for 17th-Century Music and the British Society for Phenomenology, Nordic Society for Phenomenology, and Dublin International Conference on Music Analysis. In recognition of her work, she received the Rockefeller Prize from the American Philosophical Association in 2006, a Camargo Foundation Fellowship (Cassis, France) in 2008, and several grants from Duquesne University (most recently in 2012).
She received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University. As a horn player, she has received prizes from the Coleman Chamber Music Competition, the International Horn Society, and Artists International, whose organization sponsored her chamber program in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Her current academic research program draws upon this professional experience, focusing upon the phenomenology of music as a means of exploring the intersection between music performance and the philosophical tradition.
Selected Book Chapters & Articles
Research Awards / Grants / Fellowships
Courses Taught at Duquesne University