Patrick Nickleson

Visiting assistant professor

Patrick Nickleson

Contact Information

(506) 364-2391
MC 211
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Patrick Nickleson’s work prioritizes interdisciplinary approaches to the politics of authorship, historiography, genre, and settler-colonialism in experimental musics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. His book project, The Names of Minimalism: Authorship and the Historiography of Dispute (University of Michigan), focuses on the role of collaboration and collectivism in the early development of musical minimalism, examining on the one hand the renunciations of those ideals by prominent participants, and on the other tracking the functional afterlife of their critiques of authorship. His work has appeared in Twentieth Century Music, Intersections, the University of Toronto Quarterly, the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Performance Research, the AMS “Musicology Now” blog, and New Music Box. He has been invited to edit for publication What Music Did, a music history text left unfinished by the violinist and filmmaker Tony Conrad at the time of his death in 2016.

Nickleson’s work also engages closely with contemporary philosophy and critical theory, and in particular the work of Jacques Rancière. He is co-editor, with Chris Stover and João Pedro Cachopo, of Rancière and Music, forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press, and his translation of Rancière’s “Autonomy or Historicism: The False Alternative” is forthcoming in a special issue of Perspectives of New Music. This interdisciplinarity is also on display in his teaching. Recent upper-level classes have included Music in Canada, where indigenous musics and the theory of settler-colonialism led students to close considerations of the role of music in the construction Canadian colonialism, and Music and Noise, where students engage in extensive readings in literature and philosophy to consider how noise has long been used as an ideological and often racist tool to mark the limits of music. Dr. Nickleson’s research has been supported by the scholarships and grants by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and has been presented at meetings of the American Musicological Society, the American Comparative Literature Association, the Society for Minimalist Music, the Royal Musical Association, and others.


PhD, University of Toronto

MA, University of Toronto

BA, University of Windsor


MUSC 1201 — Introduction to Music History and Literature

MUSC 1211 — Music History and Literature I

MUSC 2201 — Music History and Literature II

MUSC 2211 — Music History and Literature III

MUSC 3001 — Introduction to Music in Canada

MUSC 3991 — Music and Noise