You are here

Juan Carlos Melendez-Torres


Juan Carlos is a second-year PhD student in the Musicology program, specializing in ethnomusicology.  His current research interests include sound studies and carceral studies, with past and continued interests in intellectual property law, cultural industries, hip hop, and African studies.  He has presented work at the annual meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology, African Studies Association, and International Association for the Study of Popular Music.

Before coming to Cornell, he worked as a public defense investigator in the Bronx.  Juan Carlos studied as an undergraduate in the University of Pennsylvania’s Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, from which he received a BA in International Studies and a BS in Economics from the Wharton School.  At Penn, he wrote an undergraduate honors thesis, Claiming Creation: Hip Hop Aesthetics, Authorship, and Copyright Reform in Dakar, Senegal, informed by 15 months of ethnographic fieldwork in West Africa.


  • Music