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David Chavannes
Assistant Professor of Instruction
Radio/Television/Film; Theatre

David Chavannes

David Chavannes researches anti-colonial teaching methods and uses storytelling and sound performance to reflect on gender, sexuality, and immigration among Caribbean peoples. In the School of Communication, he teaches courses in sound studies and music theatre. He is committed to helping his communities become more equitable and empathic.

David is developing two collaborative projects: a resource to help undergraduate and graduate music studies teachers practice anti-colonial pedagogies; and a podcast that historicizes contemporary debates in Jamaican politics, popular musics, and media.

David’s dissertation narrates a speculative world through fragments of sound and text. From these fragments, listener-readers assemble a fictional future that illuminates colonial legacies in the contemporary Caribbean. David is expanding the project into a series of short stories accompanied by recorded performances. To encounter David’s work, please visit


PhD, Africana studies and ethnomusicology, University of Pennsylvania
MM, Collaborative piano, University of Maryland
MM, Choral conducting and piano performance, University of Kansas

Awards and Honors

Graduate Artist in Residence, Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality, and Women, University of Pennsylvania, 2020–21

Student Arts Innovation Grant, The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation, University of Pennsylvania, 2020