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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 16 December 2021 and 31 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 26 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.




Please respond by 1st March 2024

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) invites expressions of interest from institutions interested in hosting either the BFE’s Autumn Conference in 2024 or the Annual Conference in April 2025.

Autumn Conference 2024

The BFE Autumn Conference is usually held on a Saturday in November (although late October and early December are also possibilities). This conference is more narrowly themed than the Annual Conference and focuses on specific, sometimes emerging, areas of ethnomusicologicial enquiry. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.

A summary of past Autumn Conferences can be found at

Annual Conference 2025

The BFE Annual Conference runs for four days (usually from Thursday to Sunday) and is normally held in April during the Easter vacation period. The Annual Conference typically has a theme, although delegates may present research on any subject of interest to ethnomusicologists.

A summary of past Annual Conferences can be found at

BFE conferences will be the financial responsibility of the host institution, but the local arrangements committee will be supported by the BFE’s conference liaison officer(s).

To express interest in hosting either conference, please send no more than one side of paper outlining:

• a proposed theme and description;

• who will be responsible for planning the event;
• the advantages of hosting it at your institution.

Expressions of interest should be sent to the conference liaison officer, Matthew Machin-Autenrieth at If you would like to have an informal conversation about hosting the conference before sending an expression of interest, do please get in touch.



Deadline for Expressions of Interest: 1st March 2024

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology seeks expressions of interest for the election of a conference liaison on the BFE Executive Committee. This is to replace the outgoing conference liaison from April 2024.

It is vital for the future of the BFE that we have a strong Committee so please do consider nominating yourself. We are looking for committed committee members who will make an important contribution to the day-to-day running and future development of the BFE. In line with our equality ambitions as a subject association, we welcome nominations that will help the Committee reflect the diversity of our membership and discipline.

General responsibilities of committee members include:

  • attending 2-3 BFE Committee meetings each year
  • engaging proactively in BFE business
  • contributing creatively to BFE strategies and initiatives
  • engaging in regular email communication with the Committee
  • writing short reports on BFE activities for the annual Chair’s Report
  • participating, when necessary, in working groups on specific BFE tasks

Specific Roles for the Conference Liaison

  • Serving on the local arrangements committees for the BFE’s annual and autumn conferences, as well as other events/study days run by the BFE or in collaboration with other organisations.
  • Being the first point of contact for any matters relating to BFE conferences and events.
  • Representing the BFE at the January BFE–RMA Research Students’ Conference, at meetings of the RMA Flagship Conferences Subcommittee (2 or 3 per year), and through regular correspondence with the RMA and other subject associations (e.g., SEM, Analytical Approaches to World Music, Société Française d’Ethnomusicologie).
  • Providing oral reports on conference activities at BFE committee meetings.

Expressions of interest should include the following:

  • A CV
  • A 300 word statement detailing your relevant experience and skills for the role

Expressions of interest should be sent to Matthew Machin-Autenrieth ( ()) and copied to Morgan Davis ( ()) by 1st March 2024. 

We are thrilled to announce the publication of the book “Drones, Tones, and Timbres: Sounding Place among Nomads of the Inner Asian Mountain-Steppes” (University of Illinois Press) by Carole Pegg, former BFE chairperson and co-founder of the British Journal for Ethnomusicology (now Ethnomusicology Forum).

Carole says: "I’m grateful to the Indigenous Altai-Sayan peoples - including musicians, spiritual specialists (shamans, epic performers, White Way practitioners, Tengrists), instrument makers, herders, hunters and colleagues - in the republics of Altai, Khakassia, and Tyva who participated in my ethnomusicological/ anthropological project. It is available as cloth or ebook from the Press’s website, which also houses supplemental video, audio and illustrative materials, as well as from Amazon and hopefully all good bookshops.."

360 pages, 30 black & white photographs, 1 chart, 4 table.

BFE member Razia Sultanova is delighted to announce the publication of a new book "Afghanistan Dispossessed: Women, Culture and the Taliban" (Pen & Sword History, 2023). This the most recent ethnographic research, coupled with deep fieldwork, extensive eye-witness accounts, and personal conversations with a diverse range of Afghan men and women, tackles fundamental questions of gender, identity, nation, tradition, history, popular culture, and notably, the pivotal role of music—ranging from classical to popular, modern, and contemporary—as a vital element for survival. However, this narrative is overshadowed by the return of the Taliban, with an ongoing threat of terror and repression, especially for women and girls. It unfolds as a classical story of a people's struggle for everyday normality and the preservation of cherished traditions in a war-torn society.

BFE member Stuart Young is working alongside Kate Lock to support the Brass Bands England (BBE) climate working group. Learning from the BBE working group will help inform resources, training and advice that will be available to the BBE membership to support their own work to become increasingly environmentally sustainable organisations.

Kate Lock works professionally as a climate policy communicator based at Leeds University and Stuart’s architectural practice focused on green developments and building resilience for the future as well as developing climate tools and advice as part of the Sheffield Brass Network where he is Secretary.

Jonathan Stock is delighted to announce publication of a new book, The Oxford Handbook of Music in China and the Chinese Diaspora (New York: Oxford, 2023). It’s a set of 24 innovative essays by an international team of contributors, each of which advances new knowledge and understandings on Chinese music studies through new research and by developing fresh theoretical models and perspectives into key musical genres and contexts. The largest single-volume book on Chinese musical cultures in English to date, it was co-edited with Professor Yu Hui (Yunnan University) and represents a unique cooperative approach that strongly features authors from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and diasporic Chinese communities worldwide.

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology invites submissions for the 2024 BFE Book Prize, to recognise outstanding scholarship in ethnomusicology written in English. Monographs and edited volumes published between 16 November 2021 and 15 November 2023 will be eligible for the 2024 prize. The book submission deadline is Thursday 1 February 2024. To find out more, visit the Book Prize page of the BFE website.

We are delighted to announce our 2023 award recipients from the BFE Fieldwork Grants scheme. Warm congratulations to this year’s winners, Javier Rivas, Shreya Ila Anasuya, and Boris Wong. Each of the submitted proposals had impressive strengths, but the difficult task of choosing just three applicants was made on the basis of their well-conceived and clear presentation of the research and proposed fieldwork. We look forward to reading their fieldwork reports on completion. The recipients describe their research projects below. Many thanks to our 2023 Fieldwork Grants Scheme prize panel: Evanthia Patsiaoura, Hettie Malcomson, and Fiorella Montero Diaz (chair).

Javier Rivas (King's College London)

Calls for academic change have been ubiquitous in recent decades, which has given rise to a number of initiatives that aim to address overlooked narratives and open academic spaces to marginalized voices. In institutions of higher music education, reform has often been slow and met with resistance by proponents and upholding structures of the conservatoire system. My doctoral research explores the case of the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (Catalonia School of Music, hereafter “Esmuc”), a music institution created with the specific purpose of providing an alternative model to the conservatoire system—a model that allows for different musical traditions and disciplines to coexist and come together. Drawing on ethnographic and archival research at the Esmuc, my research considers the teaching and managerial strategies deployed to encourage academic change. In particular, I direct attention toward those practices that are not always framed conceptually and linguistically in a music theory corpus, and that often “go without saying”. How willing are individuals to listen to other musical milieus? And to what extent are their listening practices conditioned by the physical and social environment of the school? Indeed, are students and teachers even able to listen? As I explore the everyday life of an institution in flux like the Esmuc, the aural emerges as a key aspect to understand the relationship between the actions of individuals and their social structures.

Shreya Ila Anasuya (King's College London)

Using historiography, this project seeks to examine and understand narratives by and about feminine performers of Hindustani music between 1902 and 1952 in India. The project locates itself in the colonial cities of Calcutta and Bombay, both major centres for the performing arts, and opportunities for performers to participate in new spaces ushered in by technology and changing sociopolitical contexts, including the recording studio, the proscenium theatre, the concert stage, and the film set.

Fieldwork will take place largely in India (Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune), and in the UK (London, Cambridge). 



Boris Wong (SOAS)

My dissertation research addresses the issue of how and why the military and display band practices first developed in European nations have been adapted and localized by postcolonial nations in East and Southeast Asia. Much intertwined with the Western imperial histories, military bands have often been interpreted by Western scholars as symbols of colonial power and authority. This project explores how these dominant ideologies and metaphorical associations attached to the band have been adapted, negotiated, and subverted in postcolonial Asia. I take the wind band music-making scene of Singapore as a case study to look at how this collective musical practice, with its many manifestations including military and police bands, marching bands, and school display bands, has been involved in the social and cultural formations of Singapore’s nation-building. Informed by postcolonial and decolonial theories as well as approaches from performance studies, this project understands the military and display band not only as a strategic site for embodying and manifesting Singapore’s political ideologies and aspirations, but also as a socio-political agent for negotiating and constructing the nation’s postcolonial and cosmopolitan identities.


The British Forum for Ethnomusicology seeks nominations for the position of Student Liaison on the BFE Committee. This is an important position in the organisation, providing a valuable link between the Committee and the student membership and offering significant professional experience to the successful candidate. The term lasts for two years from election.

In order to stand for election, you must be a 2023 BFE member. You must also be nominated by two other BFE members (one nominating and the other seconding the nomination).

Responsibilities include:

  • attending and participating in 2–3 BFE Committee meetings each year;
  • staying in email contact with the BFE Committee and participating in committee discussion and decision-making;
  • helping to organise the annual BFE/RMA Research Students’ Conference (duties include attending 3 conference committee meetings and the conference itself each year in January);
  • helping to organise other events;
  • liaising between the student membership and the BFE committee;

The role involves around two hours of work most weeks, with certain weeks requiring substantially more time. For example, the Research Students’ Conference in January is a three-day event.

All positions on the BFE committee are on a voluntary basis, but related expenses such as travel are paid by the BFE (or the Local Arrangements Committee in the case of the BFE/RMA Research Students’ Conference).

If you wish to stand for election, please submit a proposal of no more than 350 words. This will be forwarded to the BFE membership prior to online voting. The proposal should include:

  • your name;
  • your institution;
  • the names of two BFE members, one who has agreed to nominate you and one who has agreed to second the nomination;
  • a statement outlining why you think you are the right person for the position of Student Liaison.

It is recommended that applicants not be absent from duty for long periods during the time in post. If significant absences due to fieldwork etc. are foreseen, please provide details of how duties will be carried out during this time.

If you are unable to see to responsibilities personally during the term, you will be expected to recruit an appropriate deputy, to be approved by the BFE Committee.

Nominations must be emailed to the BFE Chair, Byron Dueck ( by the end of Friday 5 May 2023.

Should you have any enquiries, please email our administrator Morgan Davies ( regarding the application process.