The British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) is pleased to announce the opening of the 2017 Fieldwork Grant scheme.
Please read the following information, then click on the link to the application form at the bottom.
(The link can also be found on the Fieldwork Grants 2017 drop-down option under the Members Section menu).
Purpose of the Grants
The BFE Fieldwork Grants are intended to support doctoral candidates conducting ethnomusicological field research in the UK and abroad through making a contribution towards the costs of travel and subsistence. Up to 3 grants collectively totalling up to £1500 will be awarded for the 2017 scheme.
The BFE Fieldwork Grants scheme is open to all students enrolled on a PhD programme at a university in the UK who are conducting ethnomusicological research. Please note that applicants must have renewed their student membership for 2017 in order to be eligible to apply. If you have not renewed your membership yet then please do so on the bfe join/renew page. Only one application per person is permitted and fieldwork must start during 2017.
The criteria of evaluation are: the quality, originality and significance of the research and its potential contribution to ethnomusicological knowledge, theory and debate; the feasibility and importance of the fieldwork for achieving the stated research aims and outcomes; the need of the applicant, i.e. the likelihood of the applicant being unable to obtain fieldwork funding from other sources. There is no preference for particular geographical areas or topics.
To make an application, the following should be submitted:
- A letter addressing the grant criteria. The letter should also provide a clear indication of: the fieldwork schedule; the expected costs; the amount of funding requested from the BFE scheme; and other sources of research funding received and/or applied for. The letter must not exceed 2 pages in length.
- A short CV, not exceeding 1 page in length.
- A short reference letter, not exceeding 1 page in length, in support of the application from the applicant’s PhD supervisor. Supervisors may wish to send their reference letter by email directly to the Chair (chairbfe.org.uk (chairbfe.org.uk)).
Application Deadline and Decision Notification
Applications must be submitted by email by the end of Friday 18 November 2016. Applications will be evaluated by a BFE panel. The decision of the panel is final, and the BFE regrets that it is unable to provide feedback on applications and decisions made by the panel. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of the awards by Monday 12 December 2016.
Payment of Grants for Successful Applications
Successful applicants must liaise with the Treasurer (treasurerbfe.org.uk (treasurerbfe.org.uk)) before grants are disbursed. Payment will be made via bank transfer.
Successful applicants are requested to submit a short fieldwork report – up to 500 words in length, accompanied by other media materials if appropriate – within 3 months after the completion of the fieldwork. Fieldwork reports are likely to be made public on the BFE website, social media etc. Grant awardees may also be requested to do a short presentation about their fieldwork at BFE meetings such as the AGM. Any publications resulting from the fieldwork should acknowledge receipt of a BFE Fieldwork Grant.
(you must be a logged-in and paid-up student member-in-good-standing to apply)
Following our recent call for applications to the BFE Fieldwork Grant Awards scheme, we are delighted to announce that three fieldwork grants have been awarded for 2017. It was a hotly contested competition this year, with a very high standard of applications; but we offer huge congratulations to Sophia Frankford, Pablo Infante-Amate and Katie Young, who are the 2017 grant recipients. Sophia, Pablo and Katie introduce their research projects below, and we look forward to hearing more from them when they return from the field.
My research focuses on Egyptian sha’bi music, a contemporary urban genre that emerged from working-class neighbourhoods in 1970s Cairo. Sha’bi is at once valourised as an antithesis to cosmopolitan genres of the elite, and criticised as an undesirable and backward genre of the uneducated masses. Through tracing the development of the genre from the 1970s to the present day, I plan to examine its role in shaping a working-class Egyptian identity, exploring how it served as an impetus for a reframing of cultural ideals and class stereotypes, and a vital path through which modern identities have been re-imagined.
My project explores the recent birth of a digital music economy in Equatorial Guinea, and how this has been facilitated and hindered by a combination of two key events: the discovery of large oil reserves in the mid-1990s and the introduction of digital technologies starting from the early 21st century. My research will thus bring together the anthropology of oil and the study of digital media in Africa to analyze changing musical practices, aesthetics, and ontologies. My broader goal is to understand how music is a mediator of musicians’ perceptions, expectations, fears, and hopes relating to oil and the digital and neoliberal world order; and how such an approach can help to theorize capitalism, precarity, and uncertainty in Africa and beyond.
My upcoming fieldwork focuses on the influence of Hindi film songs in the Mawlid festival in northern Ghana. Performed by Tijaniyyan Muslims across Chad, The Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Niger, northern Ghana, northern Nigeria and Senegal, the Mawlid festival throughout West Africa includes drumming, dancing and vocal texts used to praise and celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. In northern Ghana, the majority of the Mawlid repertoire sets Quranic texts to Hindi film song melodies. As Islamic festival performances are strongly influenced by regional musical and linguistic traditions, my fieldwork seeks to explore how Hindi film songs are employed as extra-Islamic music in defining a “localized Islam” in the northern Ghanaian context.
The BFE recently launched a Fieldwork Grants Scheme to support the fieldwork of doctoral researchers in ethnomusicology. We are delighted to announce that three fieldwork grants have been awarded under the 2016 Scheme. Many congratulations to Tamara Turner, Saeid Kordmafi and Maya Youssef, who are the first grant recipients. Tamara, Saeid and Maya introduce their research projects below and we look forward to hearing more when they are back from the field.
My research provides the first ethnomusicological study of Algerian diwan, a music ritual tradition that coalesced out of the trans-Saharan slave trade through the segregation of displaced sub-Saharan populations. These communities were heavily influenced by the local religious practices and socio-political organization of Sufi lineages. Consequently, diwan developed into a syncretic, Afro-Maghrebi ritual practice predicated on saint veneration, trance, and ritual healing. I approach diwan by attending to the "heavy lifting" that music does in ritual and consider the dynamics of music and transe though the agency of public emotionality and the aesthetics of illness and healing.
The project proposes a descriptive theory emerging out of what classical Arab musicians currently do in their metric practice. I plan to carry out ethnomusicological fieldwork in Beirut to examine library-based studies and musicological analyses of metric materials of the classical repertoire. Moreover, working with musicians and scholars, I will be seeking a deeper understanding of their theoretical approaches to the rhythmic-metric system, as well as the ways which metric cycles are perceived by musicians.
In a time of deep suffering for my homeland, Syria, words have fallen short of offering refugee children a way to touch on and come to peace with what they have seen and witnessed. Music stands out amongst all mediums in its ability to go to the heart of human emotion. I will take my kanun, my music and a story on fieldwork trips to the refugee camps in Germany, Lebanon and Denmark, where I will facilitate workshops in the hope of bringing an opportunity for these children to begin a process of healing whilst also contributing to the humanist line in ethnomusicology.