Professor of Music
University of Pennsylvania
Carol Muller is a South African born professor of music studies with research and teaching tied to the music of contemporary Africa, to South African jazz, women’s performance, social justice, and ritual practice. She is the 2021 winner of the Provost-Netter Center Faculty-Community Engagement award, having worked with faith-based communities in West Philly (Christian and Muslim) for two decades. She is currently engaged with a project that addresses student trauma through music and poetry in Philadelphia public schools. Her family is a racially blended family through adoption from South Africa. As such, she sees diversity and inclusion issues as an integral aspect of everyday life. She vividly remembers the One Nation, Many Cultures celebration of the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as South Africa’s first black and democratically-elected president. This was the first moment when the full spectrum of South Africa’s cultural and historical diversity was represented on a national and global stage. It was a turning point for many South Africans who had traditionally thought of South Africa in less inclusive ways.