Research/Areas of Interest:

Popular Music and Jazz of the United States/Europe, African American Music, Transgender Vocality, Issues of Appropriation, and the Performance of Musical Identity with special attention to race, class, gender, and sexuality.


  • PhD, University of California at Los Angeles, United States, 2010
  • MA, University of California at Los Angeles, United States, 2003
  • BA, Mills College, United States, 2001


Professor Pennington is a critical musicologist focusing on popular music and cultural studies. He is also affiliated with the Africana Studies Program, the American Studies Program, the Films Studies Program, and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. He teaches courses such as: History of African-American Music, Queer Pop, The History of Rock'n'Roll, Black Divas, Music of the International Jazz Age, and American Music. He is currently on the editorial board for the journals Women & Music and American Music. He has been awarded the Faculty Multicultural Service Award (2015) and the Gerald R. Gill Distinguished Service Award (2014). Appointed 2009.