We are thrilled to announce that the 2020 BFE Book Prize is awarded to Benjamin Tausig for his 2019 book Bangkok is Ringing: Sound, Protest, and Constraint (New York: OUP). The 2020 Book Prize Panel - Ioannis Tsioulakis (Chair), Britta Sweers and Jonathan Stock - noted that Benjamin's book "is superbly written—it turns its own pages—and admirably represents the best new writing in ethnomusicology today". The Commendation for the 2020 competition goes to Angela Impey for her 2018 book Song Walking: Women, Music, and Environmental Justice in an African Borderland (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press). The panel noted that Song Walking is "a beautifully composed book" and stated that it "addresses key issues in today’s world, including women’s rights, environmental access and the inequities of conservation practices and rhetorics." Huge congratulations to Benjamin and Angela! And many thanks to everyone who submitted, and to our 2020 Book Prize Panel for their hard work in judging the many excellent submissions for our 2020 competition. To read more about both winners and their fantastic monographs, visit the BFE Book Prize page on our website.
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19 Mar 2020
Regretfully, owing to the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation, Bath Spa University has been forced to cancel all its events in March and April. The decision has very reluctantly been made, therefore, to postpone the BFE annual conference on ‘Music, Culture and Nature’ to April 2021: same theme, same place. The exact dates will follow soon. All accepted delegates for BFE2020 will be eligible to present in 2021. An extended call for papers for BFE2021 will be announced in the summer.
Are you a student who has been accepted to present a paper at the BFE’s 2020 conference at Bath Spa University and a member of the BFE? If so, you are eligible for one of a limited number of bursaries to help defray the costs of attending, comprising a subsidy of up to £100. If you wish to apply, please send the following information to mm2085cam.ac.uk by the 28th February:
Title of conference paper as accepted
Whether you are a member of the BFE (at the time of applying for the bursary)
Degree programme, institution, and year of study
Place traveling from
Projected costs for travel, accommodation, and registration, with brief details
We will be allocating bursaries on needs basis, depending on location, projected costs etc. We look forward to receiving your applications!
The BFE's academic journal Ethnomusicology Forum is advertising for a new Reviews Editor and a new Co-editor: plese see both calls below and please note that these are separate calls for two distinct positions:
Call for Reviews Editor
Ethnomusicology Forum is advertising for a new Reviews Editor for a three-year term starting in April 2020, with a 5-month handover period until August 2020.
Ethnomusicology Forum is the academic journal of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology published by Taylor & Francis. Each yearly volume has 3 issues, and includes up to 6 reviews covering primarily book publications and secondarily websites, CDs and DVDs.
The reviews editor appointment is normally for a period of at least three years, which may be extended by mutual consent, and is unpaid. The reviews editor will liaise with co-editor Henry Stobart and another incoming editor, and will have support from our editorial assistant, Emma Brinkhurst. The reviews editor is responsible for identifying important ethnomusicological, publications, soliciting and receiving review materials, selecting appropriate reviewers with an international perspective who can contribute insightful, informed and balanced reviews, arranging delivery to reviewers, and ensuring that timetables and deadlines are met. The reviews editor is also responsible for producing fully edited copy according to the designated house style for online submission to T&F.
The typical workload is the equivalent of 2-3 hours per week throughout the year, though the workload can fluctuate. There is some degree of flexibility about the timing of work, but copy and production deadlines need to be met in order to maintain academic credibility. The role will commence from April 2020 and will have a handover period until August as the current reviews editor, Lara Pearson, completes her term of office.
Interested parties please contact lara.pearsonae.mpg.de for more details, and prepare a short 500-word statement in support of the application as well as a two-page CV by Jan 31, 2020.
Call for Co-Editor, Ethnomusicology Forum
Ethnomusicology Forum is advertising for a new Co-Editor for a three-year term starting in April 2020 (with a 3-6 month handover period), working alongside Henry Stobart.
Ethnomusicology Forum is the academic journal of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology published by Taylor & Francis. Each yearly volume has 3 issues, that typically contain an editorial, around 6 articles, and a reviews section.
The co-editor appointment is normally for a period of at least three years, which may be extended by mutual consent, and is unpaid. The co-editor will liaise with co-editor Henry Stobart and our incoming reviews editor, and will have support from our editorial assistant, Emma Brinkhurst. Although it is desirable for applicants to be based in the UK, this is not a requirement.
We are looking for persons versed in the discipline of ethnomusicology with editorial experience, a strong research and publication record and a commitment to serving the sector in engagement with current developments. Responsibilities include editorial work of bringing into publication three issues of the journal each year, including a guest-curated special issue. The Co-editor is also responsible for producing fully edited copy according to the designated house style for online submission to T&F.
The typical workload is the equivalent of 5-8 hours per week throughout the year, though the workload can fluctuate. There is some degree of flexibility about the timing of work, but copy and production deadlines need to be met in order to maintain academic credibility. The role will commence from March 2020 and will have a handover period until September 2020 as the current Co-editor, Shzr Ee Tan, completes her term of office.
Interested parties please contact shzree.tanrhul.ac.uk (shzree.tanrhul.ac.uk) or henry.stobartrhul.ac.uk (henry.stobartrhul.ac.uk) for more details, and prepare a short 500-word statement in support of the application as well as a two-page CV by January 31 2020.
Legacies of Resistance, Responding to Oppression: Changing
Dynamics in LGBTQ+ Music Activism and Scholarship
3rd Symposium of the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group
26th-27th April 2019
University of Southampton
Symposium Report by Thomas R. Hilder
The University of Southampton hosted the 3rd symposium of the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group on 26 th and 27 th April 2019. Entitled “Legacies of Resistance, Responding to Oppression: Changing Dynamics in LGBTQ+ Music Activism and Scholarship”, the event brought together an international community of scholars of different disciplinary and sub-disciplinary backgrounds to share work and network. It was hosted and organized by David Bretherton and Amy Williamson with support from the wider Study Group committee. Through arresting presentational formats, careful listening, generous sharing, and supportive critique, the event offered a safe forum for rich learning and showcased the vitality of contemporary scholarship on music, gender and sexuality.
Many presenters at the symposium drew on the initial impulses of a queer musicology to unearth LGBTQ music histories, nurture queer narratives, as well as support queer musical readings. Brian Inglis explored the often-neglected gay identity of the British composer Kaikhosru Sorabji and his queer relationship with Philip Heseltine/Peter Warlock. Tracing aspects of intimacy and celibacy in Francesco Cavalli’s 17th century opera La Calisto, Cathal Twomey argued for a queer asexual reading of the relationship between the work’s protagonists, Diana and Endimione. Meanwhile, a provocation was offered by Jam Orrell, who proposed drawing on notions of “trans-ness” to increase the audibility and visibility of trans and gender non-conforming musicians in Western classical music. For several scholars, analytical work required applying intersectional perspectives to challenge accepted narratives. In her account of the black trans R&B artist Jackie Shane, Gayle Murchison pointed to the overlooked presence of black queer voices during the Civil Rights era. Similarly, other scholars unearthed the ethics and fraught politics of constructing queer histories. Anna-Elena Pääkkölä analysed the musical Tom of Finland which attempted to celebrate LGBTQ histories in Finland during its centenary celebrations of nationhood in 2017. The nature of historical narrative, memory and trauma was furthermore explored in transnational contexts through a moving panel entitled “Musical Responses to HIV/AIDS”.
Numerous participants drew on their own embodied experiences to explore contemporary musical life. In his auto-ethnographic study, Michael Betteridge presented on his role as musical director for the recently formed LGBT+ low voices choir The Sunday Boys and their performances of commissioned new music. Likewise, a panel organized by members of the Queer Percussion Research Group drew on the queer aspects of percussion performance to work against new forms of “homonormativity” and the co-option of queer culture by mainstream neoliberal society. Indeed, a strong component of the symposium was queer musical performance. Anthony R. Green recounted the aesthetic, political and ethical issues of his own compositional practice, and treated symposium participants to a performance of his work His Mind & What He Heard in Central Park in the Late 90s for unaccompanied voice, which included stark political commentary on racism and social media among gay men. On the Friday evening, a lecture-recital session in the Turner Sims Concert Hall included a poignant performance by the male soprano and musicologist Robert Crowe and accompanied harpsichordist Jane Chapman of Barbara Strozzi’s Oleum Effesum Est. Long misattributed to Giacomo Carissimi, the work has been championed this year by Crowe in order to mark the 400th year since the birth of the prolific Venetian composer Strozzi. The symposium ended with an inspiring keynote lecture by the Canadian scholar Lloyd Whitesell entitled “Queer Aesthetics”. Drawing on a plethora of case studies and literature since the beginnings of queer musicology, Whitesell probed at the motivations of queer scholars, the ethics of queer readings, and the potentials of queer theory to do important intellectual and political work for the 21st Century.
The symposium also continued the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group’s mission to think through issues of care and inclusion in academic contexts. Study Group committee members curated a closed and confidential space on the Saturday morning where participants could share stories and offer mutual support in dealing with academic and institutional challenges relating to queer research and embodied queer identities. Led by Thomas Hilder, this workshop was intended to form a foundation for a forthcoming mentorship programme run by the Study Group. Offering a supportive and welcoming space for queer scholars and scholarship, the symposium was another success for the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group. It brought together scholars from numerous countries – including Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway, the UK and the US – thus further expanding the network of the Study Group. And it nurtured more reflection at the crossroads of artistic practice, academic scholarship, and activism. The Study Group committee would like to thank all the student helpers who assisted, and the institutions and organisations that provided financial support for the event, including the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK, the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, the Royal Musical Association, the Society for Music Analysis, the Society for Musicology in Ireland, Turner Sims Southampton, and the University of Southampton.
19 Dec 2019
We are delighted to announce that BFE member and former BFE Chair Prof Laudan Nooshin has been awarded the SEM 2019 Helen Roberts prize, which recognizes the most significant article in ethnomusicology written by members of the Society for Ethnomusicology after the first 10 years of their scholarly career. Laudan has been awarded the prize for her 2018 article “Our Angel of Salvation”: Toward an Understanding of Iranian Cyberspace as an Alternative Sphere of Musical Sociality”, published in Ethnomusicology Vol. 62, No. 3. The prize committee issued the following statement in appreciation of Laudan's timely and important article:
The committee was particularly impressed by the article’s innovative subject and the substantial argumentation build around it, offering both theoretical apparatus and a set of provocative questions that are relevant to all ethnomusicologists as we confront online listening and performance practices. While seeking to understand ways in which new media technologies open spaces for new musical socialities and accordingly shift conceptual boundaries between public and private, the engagement with critical issues in Iran and the Middle East confronts more specifically what happens when the internet becomes the primary arena of musical engagement, at times replacing its physical public presence entirely. The article is politically astute and ethnographically rich; its delivery elegant, well-paced and judiciously organised.
We are thrilled to announce that BFE's Outreach Officer Dr Lea Hagman is co-organising an international conference with the theme "Narrating Musicologies: Reviewing the History/Histories of Musicology". This four-day interdisciplinary conference will take place from October 1st-4th 2020 at the University of Bern, which will be celebrating the centenary of its distinguished Institute of Musicology. BFE member Prof. Dr. Britta Sweers is also a member of the conference organising committee, and BFE Chair Dr Simon McKerrell will be the keynote speaker.
The conference will take in Bern, the beautiful and historic federal city and de facto capital of Switzerland, which overlooks both the Swiss Alps and the river Aare and whose historic old town became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. For further information, including details of the now-active Call For Papers (deadline for submissions 1st February 2020), please click on this link to the conference website.