David H. Sparks

Name: David Hatfield Sparks, M.M./ M.L.I.S. I am here for the Learning Revolution
Position: Adjunct Music Instructor
School/Location: Alameda
E-mail: dsparks@peralta.edu
Office/Classroom:  email only


To survive the Borderlands
You must live ‘sin fronteras’
be a crossroads.
–Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands / La Frontera, 1987

David Hatfield Sparks is an ethnomusicologist, college instructor, research librarian, writer, composer, and pianist whose work focuses on multicultural humanities, music/performance and the arts (including documentary film), gender and religion, and library research. His ethnomusicology research is primarily focused on music and religion and gender, including research in Cuba on Afro-Cuban music traditions. He holds a B.A. in Humanities, a Masters of Music (M.M.) in Musicology/Ethnomusicology) from the University of Texas at Austin with graduate studies under ethnomusicologists/anthropologists Dr. Gerald Behague and Dr. Steven Feld, and an Masters in Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.) from San Jose State University.

He is an adjunct instructor of Music at College of Alameda, currently teaching Introduction to World Music (Music 9), and American Popular Music (Music 109) at Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois. He is also a lecturer in and instructor of music and humanities at various community colleges. He also teaches music privately in piano, composition, and voice.

My courses and syllabi

His poems and essays have appeared in feminist and LGBTQ publications, including the anthology She Is Everywhere (vol. 3, 2012), Witches and Pagans magazine (no. 29, 2015), and the forthcoming El Mundo Zurdo V. His poetry book Princes and Pumpkins won 1st Prize in the 2015 Writer’s Digest Poetry e-Book Contest.

He is the author of numerous articles and poems on such topic as the music of GILBERTO GIL published in the Afro-Hispanic Review, an article on gender and religion, “Dancing the River: Fluidity of Eros and Gender in Music and Dance of African Diasporic Spritual Traditions,” in Postscripts: The Journal of Texts & Contemporary Worlds, vol. 4, no. 3 2008, and queer spiritual politics in This Bridge We Call Home (2002), edited by Gloria Anzaldua. He is co-author, with his life companion and husband Randy P. L. Conner, and their daughter Mariya Ayn Sparks of the Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol, and Spirit (Cassell, 1997), and other published articles and conference papers.  He is also co-author of Queering Creole Spiritual Traditions (2004) focusing on Afro Cuban religion, LGBT participants and art/music.

A freelance research librarian, he has also worked in several library systems, including the College of Alameda Library, the University of Texas at Austin as a paraprofessional archivist at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, Rare Book and Manuscripts Library. He has also volunteered as an archivist for the San Francisco Public Library LGBTQ Collection/History Center and the Lesbian and Gay Archives in San Francisco, CA.