About the author

Sydney Boyd is a writer, teacher, scholar, and critic in Washington, D.C. 

She is the project manager of the “Humanities in American Life” initiative for the Federation of State Humanities Councils (the opinions expressed here are her own and not representative of the Federation). As a scholar, she studies how music shapes narrative temporalities in twentieth-century literature stretching from E. M. Forster’s 1907 The Longest Journey to Robert Ashley’s 2011 opera-novel Quicksand. One of her essays, “The Color of Sound: Hearing Timbre in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man,” is published in Arizona Quarterly. As a post-doctoral fellow at Rice University in 2019, she organized the first performance of John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit, an environmental work scored for between 9 and 99 percussionists, to feature a landscape installation created specifically for the piece. 

As an arts critic, she has published articles on opera, Classical music, dance, visual art, and film for Houstonia MagazineHouston ChronicleBachtrackArtsJournalArts + Culture Texas Magazine, and the Washington Classical Review. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in English from Rice University and degrees in music and English from the University of Idaho.