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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 (chairatbfe.org.uk) by the end of Friday 5 May 2023.

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

 

 

Ethnomusicology Forum seeks a new Book Reviews Editor. The position has a three-year term that begins in September 2023. There will be a five-month handover period (until January 2024) during which the incoming Book Reviews Editor can draw on the expertise of the outgoing one.

Ethnomusicology Forum is the academic journal of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology and is published by Taylor & Francis (T&F). Each yearly volume has three issues and each issue includes four or five book reviews.

The Book Reviews Editor appointment is normally for a period of three years, which may be extended by mutual consent, and is unpaid. The Book Reviews Editor will liaise with the journal Co-editors and have support from the Editorial Assistant. The Book 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 Book 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 amounts to 2–3 hours per week throughout the year, although the workload fluctuates. There is some flexibility about the timing of the work, but copy and production deadlines need to be met in order to maintain academic credibility.

To submit an expression of interest, please send a two-page CV and a short statement (maximum 500 words) explaining your suitability for the position to frances.wilkinsatabdn.ac.uk. The deadline for applications is 31 May 2023. Please feel free to contact Frances Wilkins, the current Book Reviews Editor, with questions about the position.

Ethnomusicology Forum seeks a new Media Reviews Editor. The position has a three-year term that begins in September 2023. There will be a five-month handover period (until January 2024) during which the incoming Media Reviews Editor can draw on the expertise of the outgoing one.

Ethnomusicology Forum is the academic journal of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology and is published by Taylor & Francis (T&F). Each yearly volume has three issues and each issue includes one or two reviews that are the responsibility of the Media Reviews Editor.

The Media Reviews Editor appointment is normally for a period of three years, which may be extended by mutual consent, and is unpaid. The Media Reviews Editor will liaise with the journal Co-editors and have support from the Editorial Assistant. The Media Reviews Editor is responsible for identifying important ethnomusicological publications (websites and audio and video 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 Media 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 amounts to 2–3 hours per week throughout the year, although the workload fluctuates. There is some flexibility about the timing of the work, but copy and production deadlines need to be met in order to maintain academic credibility.

To submit an expression of interest, please send a two-page CV and a short statement (maximum 500 words) explaining your suitability for the position to phil.alexanderated.ac.uk. The deadline for applications is 31 May 2023. Please feel free to contact Phil Alexander, the current Media Reviews Editor, with questions about the position.

We are thrilled to welcome Thomas Graves as our new BFE Podcast Manager! Thomas holds a degree in Popular Music from the University of Kent and a master’s degree in Ethnomusicology from SOAS, University of London. He is currently a PhD candidate at Durham University studying musical emotion and qawwālī. His primary research interests lie in musical emotion, particularly in relation to lyrics, social context, and religion. His approach is multidisciplinary, with the aim of using ethnographic knowledge to inform psychological research in musical emotion, as well as adapting quantitative methods from music psychology to the ethnographic field.

Thomas joins the podcast team to help develop our expanding range of BFE podcasts, which now encompasses regular podcasts, student podcasts, and a Special Edition podcast series that focuses on the personal stories of individual people and calls for a rapid response from our discipline in relation to issues raised by BFE members.. To find out more about submitting a podcast, please visit the BFE Podcast Project webpage.

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