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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Deirdre Lannon

M.A. in History, Texas State University

Graduate Student
Deirdre Lannon


Deirdre E. Lannon was born and raised in San Francisco, California, and relocated to Austin, Texas in 1999. She enjoyed a fifteen-year career as a musician, during which she released  3 full-length CDs, as well as various singles and numerous contibutions to compilation recording projects. She toured Europe, Japan and America, multiple times each, and wrote over 100 songs, including one featured in the Nicolas Cage film "Deadfall." 

When she turned her interest in music to academia, she came to believe that for activism or entertainment, by black people or white, cowboys or communists, American vernacular music is a broad genre, shared by seemingly disparate groups. In her masters’ thesis, “Swingin’ West: How Hollywood Put the ‘Western’ in Texas Swing” she argued that the connection between cowboy imagery and the uniquely Texan musical genre of western swing music was fabricated. This media-fabricated identity was reinforced by a collective memory fully applied to what folklorist William A. Owens called “cowboy fever.” As a result of this research, she determined that western swing, long associated with Anglo-Americans, with western imagery, and with country music, had a significantly culturally diverse foundation. Her goal is to examine the commonality of American vernacular music, to expose more threads of the fabric, and to add to the scholarly dialogue that explores the cultural intermingling revealed by the musical traditions of the US.

While pursuing her BA as a non-traditional student at Texas State University, she began working for the Center for Texas Music History, eventually serving as the Director of Programs. After earning her MA, she received a faculty appointment at Texas State, where she teaches courses in music history, as well as the undergraduate US History survey courses. She also earned a certificate in online teaching, and has developed and taught numerous robust and dynamic online courses.





U.S. cultural, social, and labor history, race and ethnicity, historical musicology, social movements, women’s and gender history, identity and media.
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