About Laura Dolp

Laura Dolp portrait

Welcome / VÄLKOMNA / Benvenuti / السلام عليكم

I am a writer, illustrator, scholar, and the founder of Stenen Press.

My recent book, Book of Hours, is a pocket-sized volume of original collages and poems that explores the mythology of place. Modelled loosely on the richly-illustrated devotional texts of early modern Europe, its images draw widely on sources from Italian, German, Swedish and Arabic literature, as well as music, photographs, architectural blueprints, and geological maps from Europe, Australia and the Americas. In a sequence of five chapters entitled Calendar, Hours of the Buddha, Psalms, Office of the Dead, and Praise, the book re-imagines its medieval Christian model as a cosmopolitan instrument of modern ritual.

My questions about the historical agency of music as a site of human transformation have threaded through my life’s work. This has been accompanied by an abiding curiosity regarding the link between music and spirituality, the interrelation of music and social spaces, the modes of mapping and musical practices, and the poetics of the natural world.

In a research context, I have examined how these questions relate to the creative use and reception of the music of the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. This work appears in Arvo Pärt's White Light: Media, Culture, Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2017), the Cambridge Companion to Arvo Pärt (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Artistic Citizenship: Artistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis (Oxford University Press, 2016), The Oxford Companion to Music and Medievalism (Oxford University Press, 2020), and the journals 19th-Century Music, Journal of Musicological Research, and altrelettere.

My wide-ranging editorial endeavors include serving on the Editorial Board for the journal Elements of Music Since 1945, to editing an epistolary account of American experience in Nasser’s Egypt in Letters from Cairo (2021).

As the Director of Stenen Press, I oversee the acquisition, translation, and illustration of a variety of global literatures for English-speaking audiences. By leveraging acts of translation and the visual arts to tell stories, Stenen Press provides new avenues of cultural engagement for its readers. Our bilingual editions – which privilege both their original language and English translations – capitalize on the idea of the border region as a space of extraordinary creative capacity and provide opportunities to reinvent geo-political and temporal spaces.

I am currently Associate Professor of Musicology and Coordinator of General Education and History at the John J. Cali School of Music, Montclair State University, where I teach undergraduate history and graduate seminar special topics. Before joining the MSU faculty I was a visiting faculty member at Wellesley College.

Some of my other interests include languages (Swedish, Italian and Arabic), playing my cello, and flying. I call New York City, home.

Laura Dolp holds a B.A. from Mills College, a M.A. in Music History and Literature from Boston University and a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from Columbia University.