BFE Early Career Prize

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology Early Career 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. Nominations can be made by any member of the BFE and self-nominations are encouraged. Articles should be in English and be published in any peer-reviewed academic journal or edited book, and must have been published between 16th December 2019 and 15th December 2021. Only one nomination per candidate will be accepted in any one year.

In terms of eligibility, the BFE follows an adapted version of the Arts & Humanities Research Council definition of early career researcher as: an individual who is within eight years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training, or an individual who is within four years of their first permanent academic appointment (e.g. lectureship). These durations exclude any period of career break, e.g. for family care or health reasons.

Nominations should be accompanied by the article and abstract, as well as a CV or other piece of evidence that proves eligibility. These documents must be submitted electronically to the chair of the prize committee, Dr Matthew Machin-Autenrieth (matthew.machin-autenriethatabdn.ac.uk), in pdf format. All nominations must be received by the 31st December 2021. Please direct any queries to the Chair.


2020 BFE Early Career Prizewinner: Dr Lyndsey Copeland

We are delighted to announce the winner and commendation for the first 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, to be held at the University of Plymouth in January 2022. 

The first prize is awarded to Dr Lyndsey Copeland (University of Toronto) for her 2019 article ‘The Anxiety of Blowing: Experiences of Breath and Brass instruments in Benin’, Africa, 89(2), 353-377. The prize committee said that Copeland’s innovative and engaging article provides a really thought-provoking exploration of relationships between breath, affect and brass performance in Benin. Copeland introduces new ways of thinking about breath and breathing and about the human body – musical instrument relationship: the article interrogates ‘a common phenomenology of breathing across cultures, and serves to advance breath as an important site of meaning making’. The article is beautifully written and illustrated: a joy to read.

The commendation goes to Dr Phil Alexander (University of Glasgow) for his 2018 article ‘“Our City of Love and of Slaughter”: Berlin Klezmer and the Politics of Place’, Ethnomusicology Forum, 27(1), 25-47. The prize panel found this to be an insightful, complex piece of research exploring how music produces the place. The article explores the distinct backgrounds and performance practices of three Berlin “klezmer” bands focusing on their approaches to both repertoire and to documenting Berlin, past and present.

Congratulations to Lyndsey and Phil, and thanks to everyone who submitted their articles. The prize committee noted an admirably high level of scholarship; a fine generation of scholars is clearly in the making. 

A huge thanks also to Dr Hettie Malcomson, Dr David Hughes and Professor John Baily for serving on the prize committee.