Orange Alert

Cary Peñate

Cary Peñate

Cary Peñate

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Assistant Professor


Art and Music Histories
308 I Bowne Hall
Office: 315.443.3007


Music History and Cultures BA

Biographic Overview

Cary Peñate (she/her/hers) joined the Department of Art and Music Histories in the College of Arts and Sciences in Fall 2023 as an assistant professor of music history and cultures. She will teach classes in film and Latin American music.

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Peñate was an assistant teaching professor at Ball State University (2021-2022) where she taught courses in popular music and the Western art music canon. Prior to Ball State University, she served as visiting assistant professor at the University of California, Davis (2021-22) where she taught courses in world music and Latin American music.

Peñate’s research focuses on film depictions of Afro-Cuban dance music in cinema from Latin America and the United States, and particularly considers intersections between popular culture, politics, and commerce. Recent publications include a book chapter in Bits, Cámaras, Música…¡Acción!, which compares Wagner’s theatrical and musical treatment of women in Tannhäuser and Parsifal with the Cuban mulata in the Mexican-Cuban film Maria la O (1948). She has presented her work at the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for Ethnomusicology, Music and the Moving Image, Music and Audio-Visual Culture MUCA, and other conferences.

Her research was supported by an ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowship (2020–2021), which granted her a visiting position at the University of California, Davis and allowed her to conduct research at various archives around the country. In the summer of 2019, she earned the Goizueta Graduate Research Fellowship to work in the Cuban Heritage Collection of the University of Miami.

Professor Peñate served on the Inclusive Excellence Committee CAP at Ball State University. She also worked as an assistant editor to the Latin American Music Review journal from 2015-2016.

Peñate earned a Ph.D. in 2021 from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in 2015 from the University of Miami, and a B.M. in 2012 also from the University of Miami.