Sarah C Town

Sarah C Town

Lecturing Fellow of Thompson Writing Program


I am an interdisciplinary music/ dance scholar with a research focus on the histories, aesthetics, and circulation of Cuban popular dance culture. My Writing 101 courses at Duke include La gozadera: Music/Dance/Emotion and Writing Through Dialogue and Improvisation. My current writing projects address dialogue and interaction in contemporary Cuban jazz; music, dance, and social spaces in the circulation of timba culture; and the aesthetics and possibilities of Afro-Cuban dance techniques. Alongside my scholarship, I teach and perform Cuban popular music and social dance and Brazilian capoeira. Both inside and outside the academy, I'm interested in the potential of community-based arts practices for facilitating individual and community self-expression and empowerment and generating inclusive spaces where tough conversations can be had and new kinds of relationships can be forged.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Princeton University 2017

Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants

Curriculum Enrichment Award awarded by Duke Performances (2020)

Travel Grant awarded by Florida International University Díaz-Ayala Cuban and Latin American Popular Music Collection (2012)

Town, Sarah. “"Timbeando en Nueva York": Cuban Timba Takes Root Abroad.” Ethnomusicology, vol. 63, no. 1, University of Illinois Press, 2019, pp. 105–105. Manual, doi:10.5406/ethnomusicology.63.1.0105. Full Text

Town, Sarah. “Cuba dances: Popular dance, documentary film and the construction of the revolutionary state.” Studies in Spanish & Latin American Cinemas, vol. 14, no. 2, Intellect, June 2017, pp. 171–91. Crossref, doi:10.1386/slac.14.2.171_1. Full Text

Town, Sarah. "Any Lady Need a Man?" Gendering and Ungendering Transnational Cuban Social Dance. Society for American Music, 25 June 2020.

Town, Sarah. Timbeando en Nueva York: Cuban Dance Culture in New York City. American Musicological Society, 14 July 2017.