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