Dr. Nielson is a historical musicologist with a specialization in women’s studies. Since 2011, she has had the honor of being the first Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow at Case Western Reserve University. Her classes focus on the mission of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards of fostering cultural tolerance and diversity as well as her own research. They include a class on the courtesan, gender segregation and the harem, comparative slavery, and a class dedicated solely to the Anisfield-Wolf book awards.
While at the university, Dr. Nielson served as the Director of the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women from 2016-2018, and currently is the Administrative Manager for the Cleveland Humanities Collaborative, where she coordinates the CHC Anisfield-Wolf Faculty Seminars. Her awards include the Richard A. Bloom, MD Award for Distinguished Teaching in the SAGES Program (2012 and 2021), the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2014), the J. Bruce Jackson, MD, Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring (2016), the Faculty Prism Award (2017) and the Senior Leadership Diversity Award (2018).
She regularly presents at national and international conferences, and her publictions include an essays in Early Music History, Concubines and Courtesans: Women and Slavery in Islamic History edited by Matthew Gordon and Katherine Hain, The Music Road: Coherence and Diversity in Music from the Mediterranean to India, edited by Reinhard Strohm, and she has contributed reviews and opinion pieces to the Anisfield-Wolf Book awards blog. Her book Music and Musicians in the Medieval Islamic World: A Social History was published in 2021 with Bloomsbury Press. Nielson received her PhD from the University of Maine, holds bachelors and masters degrees in cello performance and pedagogy, and currently plays electric and upright bass with a blues/rock trio.