Jolanta Pekacz

Associate Professor


Related information

Phone: 902-494-3698
Fax: 902-494-3349
Mailing Address: 
Room 3174, Marion McCain Building, 6135 University Ave
PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • 18th and 19th-century European history
  • History and memory
  • History of sociability
  • Social history of music
  • Musical biography
  • Frederic Chopin


  • MA, Ethnomusicology (Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland)
  • PhD Musicology (Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw)
  • PhD History (Alberta)

Selected publications


  • Musical Biography:  Towards New Paradigms. Edited by Jolanta T. Pekacz, Aldershot, U.K.:  Ashgate 2006; 2nd ed. in paperback Routledge, 2017  
  • Music in the Culture of Polish Galicia, 1772-1914. Rochester Studies in Central Europe. Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press, 2002.
  • Conservative Tradition in Pre-Revolutionary France: Parisian Salon Women. The Age of Revolution and Romanticism: Interdisciplinary Studies. Gita May, General Editor. New York: Peter Lang, 1999.
  • Polonia in Alberta, 1895-1995.  The Polish Centennial in Alberta.  Edited by Andrzej M. Kobos and Jolanta T. Pekacz.  Edmontn:  Polish Centennial Society, Canadian Polish Congress, Alberta Branch, 1995.

Data Base

World Maps 1200–1700: A Bibliography of Scholarship on Mappaemundi and Early World Maps, 1997–. Jolanta T. Pekacz and Andrew C. Gow. Available at

Selected Articles & Books Chapters

  • “Chopin and the Discourse on the Old Regime under the July Monarchy,” Chopin 1810–2010: Ideas–Interpretations–Influence (Warsaw: National Frederic Chopin Institute, 2017), 111-118.
  • Les Amies des philosophes: The Making of Enlightenment Salon in Nineteenth-century France,” French History and Civilization. Papers from the George Rudé Seminar, vol. 5 (2014), 53–61.
  • Foreword to Franz Liszt, F. Chopin in The Collected Writings of Franz Liszt, 9 vols., ed. and trans. by Janita R. Hall-Swadley, vol. I (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2011–), ix–xii.
  • “Chopin as a National Composer: A Story of an Appropriation,” in Foramu porando kaigiroku 2009 [Forum “Polska” 2009/Forum “Poland” 2009], ed. by Tokimasa Sekiguchi and Masachiro Taguchi (Tokyo, 2010), 12–25 (Japanese version) and 87–98 (English version).
  • Chopin and the Discourse on Salons,” in Chopin in Paris: The 1830s (Warsaw: National Frederic Chopin Institute, 2009), 297–312.
  • “Music, Identity and Gender in France in the Age of Sensibility,” in French History and Civilization. Papers from the George Rudé Seminar, vol. 3 (2009), 44–55.
  • “Musical Biography—Further Thoughts” in Music’s Intellectual History, ed. by Zdravko Blažeković and Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie (New York: Répertoire International de la Littérature Musicale, 2009), 843–852.
  • “Chopin and the Parisian Salons,” in Chopin’s Musical Worlds: The 1840s (Warsaw: National Frederic Chopin Institute, 2007 [sic for 2008]), 39–53.
  • Editor’s Introduction to Musical Biography: Towards New Paradigms, ed. by Jolanta T. Pekacz (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 1–16.
  • “The Nation’s Property: Chopin’s Biography as a Cultural Discourse,” in Musical Biography: Towards New Paradigms, ed. by Jolanta T. Pekacz (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 43–68.
  • “Memory, History, and Meaning: Musical Biography and Its Discontents,” Journal of Musicological Research 23 (2004): 39–80.
  • “The French Salon of the Old Regime as a Spectacle,” Lumen. Selected Proceedings from the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies/Travaux choisis de la Société canadienne d’étude du dix-huitième siècle 22 (2003): 83–102.
  • “On the Fiction of Ancients and Moderns, the Public Sphere, and Women as Agents of Corruption in Pre-Revolutionary France,” in Proceedings of the Western Society for French History. Selected Papers of the 2000 Annual Meeting, vol. 28, ed. by Barry Rothaus (Greeley, Colorado: University Press of Colorado, 2002): 157–167.
  • “Gendered Discourse as a Political Option in pre-Revolutionary France,” in Progrès et violence au XVIIIe siècle, ed. by Valérie Cossy and Deidre Dawson. Etudes Internationales sur le dix-huitième siècle /International Eighteenth-Century Studies (Paris: Honoré Champion, 2001), 331–346.
  • “Deconstructing a ‘National Composer’: Chopin and Polish Exiles in Paris, 1831–1849,” 19th-Century Music 24/2 (2000): 161–172. Reprinted in Music and Ideology, ed. By Mark Carroll (Ashgate, 2012).
  • “The Salonnières and the Philosophes in Old-Regime France: Authority of Aesthetic Judgement,” Journal of the History of Ideas 60/2 (1999): 277–297.

Selected Review Awards

  • Jann Pasler’s Composing the Citizen: Music and Public Utility in Third Republic France (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009) for H-France Forum (a quarterly publication, with a forum on a recently published book of note), H-France Forum, Volume 5, Issue 2, No. 3 (Spring 2010), 33–39. Available at
  • “On the Enlightenment.” Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment (New York: Continuum, 1999); Julie Candler Hayes, Reading the French Enlightenment: System and Subversion (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and Vincenzo Ferrone and Daniel Roche (eds.), Le monde des Lumières (Paris: Fayard, 1999); in The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms 8/3 (2003), 353–355.
  • Arno J. Meyer, The Furies. Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000); Patrice Gueniffey, La politique de la Terreur. Essai sur la violence révolutionnaire 1789–1794 (Paris: Fayard, 2000); Antoine Agostini, La pensée politique de Jacques-René Hébert (1790–1794) (Aix-en-Provence: Presses Universitaires d’Aix-Marseille, 1999); Michael L. Kennedy, The Jacobin Clubs in the French Revolution 1793–1795 (New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2000); and Rodney Allen, Threshold of Terror. The Last Hours of the Monarchy in the French Revolution (Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 1999); in Canadian Journal of History/Annales Canadiennes d'Histoire 37/1 (April 2002), 120–126.
  • “Twentieth-Century Communism—The Rise and Fall of an Illusion.” François Furet, The Passing of an Illusion. The Idea of Communism in the Twentieth Century (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1999); The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999) and Vladimir Tismaneanu (ed.), The Revolutions of 1989 (London and New York: Routledge, 1999); in Canadian Journal of History/Annales Canadiennes d'Histoire 36/2 (August 2001), 311–315.

Selected Keynote Addresses and Invited Lectures

  • “Visual Representations of Musical Salon as a Cultural Discourse,” keynote address at the 16th conference of Association RIdIM (Répertoire International d’Iconographie Musicale) on “Musical Salon in Visual Culture, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2016.
  • “Inventing Chopin in Nineteenth-Century France,” in David Schroeder Music Lecture Series, Department of Music, Dalhousie University, 2011.
  • “Chopin as a National Composer: A Story of an Appropriation,” keynote address at the conference “New Images of Frederic Chopin,” organized by FORUM POLAND, Polish Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, 2009.
  • “Music and Modernity: The Case of Nineteenth-century Polish Galicia,” seminar for the research group “Modernism in Central Europe” and the Western Branch of the Japanese Society of Musicologists, University of Osaka, Japan, 2009.
  • “Music and Modernity: The Case of Nineteenth-century Polish Galicia,” seminar for the Japan Association of Occidental-Slavic Studies, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, 2009.
  • Invited to give a keynote address at the Ninth International Conference “(Auto)Biography as a Musicological Discourse,” organized by the Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology, University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia, 2008. Declined due to the political situation in Serbia (the Kosovo conflict).
  • “Chopin and the Discourse on Salons,” keynote address at the 6th International Conference “Chopin in Paris: The 1830s” organized by the Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina (National Frederic Chopin Institute), Warsaw, Poland, 2006.
  • “Inventing Europe: Myths, Conflicts, Reality,” public lecture, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 2005.
  • “Memory and the Production of Historical Knowledge: The Case of French Enlightenment,” public lecture, Department of History & Classics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 2005.
  • “Memory, Identity and Gender in Nineteenth-Century France,” lecture at the Colloquium Series, Department of History & Classics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 2004.
  • “The Relevance of Musicology for the Twenty First Century,” Department of Music and Theatre, University of Oslo, Norway, invited lecture 2002.
  • “Parisian Salons as Sponsors of Music: Strategies of Empowerment,” Doctoral Colloquium Guest Lecture, Department of Music, McGill University, Montréal, 2002.
  • “Chopin i polska emigracja w Paryżu po powstaniu listopadowym, 1831–1849” [Chopin and the Polish Exiles in Paris after the November Uprising, 1831–1849], invited lectrure at The Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in Canada and the Polish Library, Montréal, 2002.
  • Guest lecturer in a seminar The Learned Lady (taught by Professor Gina Luria Walker), Department of Social Sciences, The New School University, New York City, 2002.
  • “The Enlightenment as Anti-Feminism,” keynote address at the Interdisciplinary Conference of the Women in Political Studies Group, Graduate Faculty at the New School for Social Research, New York City, 2001.
  • “Writing the Biography of a Composer: Frédéric Chopin,” The 2000/2001 Fine Arts Research Lecture Series, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, 2001.

Selected Awards, Fellowships and Distinctions

  • Canada Research Chair in European Studies (Tier II), 2005–2010.
  • Standard Research Grant, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Principal Investigator: 2005–2008.
  • American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS)/Orbis Books Prize for the best English-language book in any discipline on any aspect of Polish affairs awarded in 2003 for the book Music in the Culture of Polish Galicia, 1772–1914.
  • Rochester Studies in Central Europe. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2002.
  • Standard Research Grant, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Principal Investigator, 2000–2003.

Teaching Winter 2024

  • HIST 2041 - France fr Revol. to Great War
  • HIST 2012 - 18th C. Europ. Pol, Soc.Cult

Office Hours Winter 2024:

  • On Leave