BFE Early Career Prize

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology Early Career Prize is awarded biennially for a distinguished article or book chapter solely written by a BFE member in the early stages of their career. Articles/book chapters should be in English and be published in a peer-reviewed academic journal or edited collection between 16th December 2021 and 31st December 2023. Authors must be BFE members at the time of submission. (BFE membership corresponds with the calendar year.) Only one individually authored article OR book chapter can be submitted per nominee.

In terms of eligibility, the BFE has adapted the Arts & Humanities Research Council’s definition of an early career researcher as an individual who is EITHER: within eight years of their PhD viva/defence or completing an equivalent professional training; OR within six years of their first full- or part-time research and/or teaching appointment. The above time restrictions can exclude any period of career break for family care or health reasons.

Self-nominations are encouraged, but others can also nominate an author for the prize. Please ensure however that nominees are fully eligible, both with respect to BFE membership and early career status, and that they have not already nominated themselves.

Nominations should be accompanied by the article/book chapter and an abstract, as well as a CV or other piece of evidence that proves eligibility. These documents must be submitted electronically in pdf format to the Prizes Officer, Amanda Villepastour ( Any queries about the prize can also be sent to this email address.

All submissions must be received by Monday 26th February 2024 and the outcome will be announced in summer 2024. The prize winner will be invited to deliver a keynote lecture at the annual BFE-RMA Research Students’ Conference in January 2025.

2022 BFE Early Career Prizewinner: Dr Tamara Turner

We are delighted to announce the winner and commendation for the 2022 BFE Early Career Prize. This prize is awarded biennially for a distinguished article written by a BFE member who is in the early stages of their career. The recipient of the prize will be invited to deliver a keynote lecture on behalf of the BFE at the annual BFE-RMA Research Students’ Conference.

The first prize is awarded to Dr Tamara Turner (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin) for her 2020 article “Affective Temporalities of Presence and Absence: Musical Haunting and Embodied Political Histories in an Algerian Religious Community,” Culture, Theory and Critique, 61(2–3), 169-86. Turner asks: what does it mean to be musically haunted, reflecting on the interdependency of music, affect and politics in the context of dīwān rituals in Algeria, where participants are haunted by melodies that summon spirits and unspeakable memories of the slave trade and colonial violence. The prize committee agreed that this was a truly outstanding article within a strong field, one that is positioned at the leading edge of ethnomusicology today. The article is beautifully written, encompassing evocative ethnography and clear discussion of its theoretical positioning.

A commendation goes to Dr Juan Diego Díaz (University of California, Davis) for his 2020 article, “The Musical Experience of Diasporas: The Return of a Ghanaian Tabom Master Drummer to Bahia,” Latin American Music Review, 41(2), 131-166. This article reflects on the construction of transatlantic diasporic identities and the ways in which idealized connections are underpinned by deeply felt experiences of musical performance. The committee enjoyed the way that Díaz used a specific case study to elucidate broader ideas, encompassing reflections on groove, spiritual guidance, geopolitics, and personal journeys.

Prize Committee:

Rachel Harris
Lonán Ó Briain
Richard Widdess

2020 BFE Early Career Prizewinner: Dr Lyndsey Copeland