Ron Emoff served as professor of Music and Anthropology at OSU Newark. He received the PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also intensively studied anthropology and critical theory. While a graduate student in Austin, he actively performed various musics on, among other things, kora (a West African stringed instrument), accordion, violin, 'ud, and valiha (a stringed instrument from Madagascar).
Emoff performed ethnographic research in Madagascar, Southwest Louisiana, and the French Antilles. His research interests include the evocation, creation, and sustenance of memory through music, spirituality, musical constructions of self and community, colonialism and postcolonialism, and establishing histories through musical production and reception.
Emoff's research and publication activity has been funded by Fulbright and Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Grants, a Wenner Gren Foundation Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship, varied Ohio State University College of the Arts and Humanities Research Grants, several Ohio State University Research and Scholarly Activities Grants, an Ohio State University-Newark Seed Grant, and a grant from the Otto Kinkeldey Publication Endowment Fund of the American Musicological Society.
In 2003, Emoff was recipient of The Ohio State University at Newark Scholarly Achievement Award; he was also recipient of the 2003 OSU Newark Service Award. Emoff received the 2006 OSU Newark Award for Teaching Excellence. In 2009 he was again awarded the OSU Newark annual Scholarly Accomplishment Award, at the tenured professor level. In 2011 Emoff was again awarded the OSU Newark Service Award.