Kirsten Speyer Carithers specializes in music of the 20th and 21st centuries, informed by interdisciplinary work in critical theory and the arts. Her current research explores the intersections between music and labor across a spectrum of performance practices related to experimentalism from ca. 1960–1980. A frequent participant at national and international conferences, Carithers has presented work at meetings of the American Musicological Society (AMS), the Society for American Music, and the Modernist Studies Association, as well as Perspectives on Musical Improvisation (Oxford, 2014) and Performing Indeterminacy (University of Leeds, 2017).
Research and teaching interests include music and technology, artistic avant-gardism, and the connections between indeterminacy, improvisation and creative labor. She currently teaches music history courses at The Ohio State University and the Capital University Conservatory of Music, and is an active member of the AMS Pedagogy Study Group, serving on its Diversity and Inclusion committee. Before coming to Ohio State, she was a graduate instructor in the Bienen School of Music and the School of Professional Studies at Northwestern University.