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 in pdf format. The 2022 competition is now closed, with the call for the 2024 competition due to be announced in Autumn 2023.
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.
Lonán Ó Briain