Loren Kajikawa has served on the faculty at the University of Oregon’s School of Music and Dance since 2009. His main area of research and teaching is American music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and he offers a variety of courses in music history, ethnomusicology, and musicology. Among the classes that he teaches regularly are Introduction to Musicology, Music in the Twentieth Century, Popular Music Studies, Hip-Hop Music, and Music, Politics, and Race (co-taught with Daniel HoSang in Ethnic Studies).
Kajikawa’s writings have appeared in American Music, Black Music Research Journal, ECHO: a music-centered journal, Journal of the Society for American Music, and Popular Music and Society, among others. His book Sounding Race in Rap Songs (University of California Press, 2015) explores the relationship between rap music’s backing tracks and racial representation. In addition to his publications, Kajikawa served as contributing editor for the Grove Dictionary of American Music, Second Edition (Oxford 2013), soliciting and editing all hip-hop and rap music related entries. He currently serves as co-editor of “Tracking Pop,” the University of Michigan Press’s series of books about popular music, and as a senior editor for Oxford Handbooks Online. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Society for American Music (Vol. 12-14) published by Cambridge University Press.
Kajikawa has been invited to give the AMS/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Lecture in Cleveland, Ohio, and he regularly presents his work at annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, Experience Music Project, International Association for the Study of Popular Music, and Society for Ethnomusicology, and Society for American Music, among others. As a graduate student, he received the 2008 Mark Tucker Award for the best paper presented at the Society for American Music conference in San Antonio, Texas.
At the University of Oregon, Kajikawa is a participating member of the Department of Ethnic Studies and a core member of the Folklore Program. Working with faculty from these departments, he organizes performances and lectures in the Music & Politics Series. Guests in this series have included the legendary musician, scholar, and activist Bernice Johnson Reagon, renowned Reggae music and culture archivist Roger Steffens, award-winning pianist and composer Jon Jang, and L.A.-based Chicano rock band Quetzal.
- Sounding Race in Rap Songs (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015)
- “The Sound of Struggle: Black Nationalism and Asian American Jazz in the 1980s,” Jazz/Not Jazz: The Music and its Boundaries, edited by David Ake, Charles Hiroshi Garrett, and Daniel Goldmark (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012)
- “D’Angelo’s Voodoo Technology: African Cultural Memory and the Ritual of Popular Music Consumption,” Black Music Research Journal 32, no. 1 (Spring 2012)
- “Eminem’s ‘My Name Is’: Signifying Whiteness, Rearticulating Race,” Journal of the Society for American Music 3, no. 3 (Fall 2009): 341-364