Associate Professor, Director of African Studies Program
Professor Brennan is a cultural anthropologist and ethnomusicologist who teaches in the religion department at UVM. She is currently working on three research projects, but her main project focuses on how sound structures and shapes culture in the context of the gospel music industry in Nigeria. She primarily uses participatory observation among other methods to explore the ways in which gospel music as a form of popular culture moves religion into the public sphere. Aside from participatory observation, her methods include soundscapes, journals, interviews, and ethnographic research methods.
“There’s something really important about both the kinds of details and qualities you capture with qualitative research… You can’t just put another human being’s experiences under a microscope or observe it in the lab…If you didn’t pay attention to the stories, you wouldn’t understand how the problems are being reproduced”