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BFE Member Evanthia Patsiaoura has been awarded a two-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). In addition, Evanthia has been awarded a grant by the same institution for an eight-month research internship with the University of Manchester. Both grants are awarded for her multi-sited research project, entitled 'Musicking in the Spirit: worship, community and the making of locality among Nigerian Pentecostals in the diaspora'. We offer huge congratulations to Evanthia for her success!

This project employs multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork across Nigerian Pentecostal communities in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, and social media platforms to understand ways in which local musicking informs the global circulation of popular religious movements. The research focuses on practices, experiences and perceptions of religious music-making to address broader issues of translocality, evangelism, identity and home-making in contemporary diasporas. Evanthia's research project is part of the FAPESP-funded Thematic Project 'Local musicking: new pathways for ethnomusicology', with Suzel Ana Reily as PI and Flávia Camargo Toni and Rose Satiko Hikiji as Co-PIs. A link to the Thematic Project description can be found on the FAPESP website

We are delighted to announce that a total of four fieldwork grants have been awarded for the 2019 BFE Fieldwork Grant Awards scheme. We offer huge congratulations to Graihagh Cordwell, Alice Rose, Chrysi Kyratsou and Jaana Serres, who are the 2019 grant recipients. The winners introduce their exciting and diverse research projects below, and we look forward to hearing more about their work when they return from the field.

Graihagh Cordwell (St John's College Oxford)

My project focuses on the role of musical activities of Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, a camp established in 2012 as an emergency response to those fleeing the Syrian civil war, but now home to over 80,000 Syrian refugees. Notwithstanding difficult in-camp conditions, musical activities abound, ranging from private music making in the home to the digital download of music on mobile devices, and myriad music projects implemented by humanitarian organisations. My research will examine the multiple uses and functions of these musical practices and their significance for refugees in Zaatari. I also explore the place of humanitarianism and music in the camp, the advantages and implications of music projects implemented by humanitarian actors, and how those actors might provide effective and sensitive in-camp musical opportunities. More broadly, I aim to understand what music can reveal about the Syrian refugee experience and the protracted socio-cultural effects of the Syrian conflict.


Alice Rose (St Hilda's College Oxford)

My project focuses on the relationship between digital technologies and the production and consumption of Japanese Idol Pop, or JPop. My fieldwork will take me to the Kansai region of Japan, where I will research the online and offline practises of fans of two specific Japanese bands: NMB48 (the Namba-based sister group of the internationally famous AKB48) and Sekai No Owari, a more ‘alternative’ contemporary idol group. From online chatrooms and subscription mailing services to wotagei (ritualised chanting and dancing) and mimetic amateur performances, JPop fans exist in a hyper-technological consumer society, and yet place immense value on experiencing this music locally, tangibly and co-presently. Through this project, I hope to explore the overlap between the offline & the online, the material & the digital, and the local & the global. 



Chrysi Kyratsou (Queen's University Belfast)

My project explores the musicking that takes places in refugee reception centres in Athens, Greece. Refugee reception centres are liminal places: placed on the ground of the potentially host society, yet their residents excluded from it. They are places contested, highly informed not only by the politics implemented, but by their residents’ cultures that are brought to coexist in precariousness, and the opposing poles of stability (due to the protracted stay) and mobility.

I’m interested in understanding the meanings embedded in certain musical practices, as well as the various encounters that may take place within this context. Focusing on musicking I look at the ways refugees’ aesthetic agencies are informed by their shifting backgrounds in which they live, and how they shape their sociality. I wish to provide insights in the refugees’ interactions and shaping relationships around various forms of musicking with refugees of different cultural background, or between them and people from the host society (present and active in reception centres, as volunteers, teachers, etc.), as they are waiting for their possible relocation. I’m particularly interested in figuring out the potential for multiple inclusions that participation in musicking may entail.




Jaana Serres (St Anne's College Oxford)

My research looks at the Nigerian music boom that has created a new wave of positive identification with Nigeria, and the African continent generally, in the past decade. The Nigerian music industry has benefitted from the development of digital technology and the expression of corporate interest by telecom companies, retail brands, and investment funds, thus making it an exemplary manifestation of a new pan-Africanism founded on private investment, or ‘Africapitalism’. Music entrepreneurship is flourishing in Lagos, embedded in a neoliberal discourse that postulates the branded self as a force that can performatively transform its circumstances and contribute to changing Africa’s place-in-the-world. My research will examine the interplay of individual, corporate, and collective aspirations in this attempt to overcome victimising narratives via commercial artistic practices. It will hopefully expand the discussion of the commodification of African culture from the issue of authenticity and reification to questions of agency, hope, and performativity.

If you are a student or unwaged scholar who has been accepted to present a paper at the BFE's 2019 Annual Conference at the University of Aberdeen, and a member of the BFE, 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 by 8th March.

- Name
- Title of conference paper as accepted
- Degree programme, institution, and year of study (where appropriate)
- Details of existing funding (eg. scholarships)
- Place travelling 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.

Best wishes,

Matthew Machin-Autenrieth
BFE Conference Liaison Co-Officer

Dear colleagues,

The Royal Musical Association invites expressions of interest from UK universities and conservatoires in hosting the following future conferences:

BFE/RMA Research Students' Conference January 2022

For further details and application form please see

Updated hosting forms could be found here:


RMA Annual Conference September 2022

For further details please see

Updated hosting forms could be found here:

The Association values its conference partnerships with host universities and conservatoires across the country and wishes to work closely with each institution to ensure these ventures are mutually beneficial. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any point, should you require further information. Please feel free to circulate this notice to all who may be interested.


We look forward to receiving your expressions of interest.

With all good wishes, and many thanks,

Michelle Assay
Conferences Coordinator for the Royal Musical Association


We are thrilled to share the news that this year's winner of the Rob Schultz Junior Scholar Award is BFE Member and previous BFE Fieldwork Award winner Saeid Kord Mafi (SOAS, University of London). Tabrik migam Saeid!

Saeid has won this prestigious award for his paper "Īqā‘: a Canon to Respect or Break? Rhythm-Making Strategies in Composition and Improvisation in Classical Music of the Arab Mashriq". The winning article was delivered at the AAWM 2018 conference in Thessaloniki, Greece, and will be published in a forthcoming issue of the AAWM journal, with the author also receiving a modest cash award from a memorial fund in Rob's name. 

The Rob Schultz Junior Scholar Award is open to presenters at the biennial AAWM conference who are graduate students, or young scholars (within five years post-graduation). The award was established by the editors and organizers of the AAWM journal and conference series, together with Rob's family, to honour our dear friend and colleague's sudden passing in May 2016.  

We are pleased to announce the films shortlisted for the first Ethnomusicology Film Award, sponsored by the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, as part of the RAI Film Festival 2019.

Ethnomusicology Film Award 2019 shortlist
selected by judges Barley Norton and Felicia Hughes-Freeland

Ballad for Syria (dir. Eda Elif Tibet & Maisa Al Hafez)
Ballad on the Shore (dir. Chi-hang Ma)
Be’Jam Be, the Never Ending Song (dir. Cyprien Ponson & Caroline Parietti)
Cantadoras. Musical Memories of Life and Death in Colombia (dir. María Fernanda Carrillo Sánchez)
La Forma del Mundo (dir. David Delgado San Ginés)
Up Down & Sideways (dir. Anushka Meenakshi & Iswar Srikuma)

The winner of the Ethnomusicology Film Award will be announced in two weeks and will be screened at the RAI Film Festival 2019.
anthropology / ethnography / archaeology
27-30 March 2019
Watershed (Bristol, UK)
(until 31 January 2019)

Please respond by 1 July 2019 

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) invites expressions of interest from institutions interested in hosting the BFE Annual and One-Day Conferences in 2020 and 2021.

Annual Conferences 2021

BFE Annual Conferences run for four days (from Thursday to Sunday) and are usually held in April during the Easter vacation period. Annual Conferences typically have a theme, although delegates may present research on any subject of interest to ethnomusicologists.

A summary of past Annual Conferences can be found at The Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen will host the 2019 gathering on ‘Collaborative Ethnomusicology’; and Bath Spa University will host the 2020 gathering.

One-Day Conferences 2020

BFE One-Day Conferences are usually held on Saturdays in November (although late October and early December are also possibilities). They are more narrowly themed than Annual Conferences and focus on specific, sometimes emerging, areas of ethnomusicologicial enquiry. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.

A summary of past One-Day Conferences can be found at The 2019 conference is hoped to be a collaboration between the BFE and SFE, to be held at City, University of London.

Expressing Interest

For further information or informal conversations about the possibility of hosting these conferences, please contact Matthew Machin-Autenrieth at (in relation to the annual conference) and Stephen Wilford at (in relation to the one-day conference). We would be happy to meet to discuss hosting during the forthcoming Annual Conference at the University of Aberdeen.

To express interest, please send no more than one side of paper outlining

• a proposed theme (in the case of the One-Day Conference);

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


Registration has now opened for the upcoming BFE/RMA Research Students' Conference, which will be held at the University of Sheffield from 10-12 January 2019. The Conference Programme has also been published online, with both programme and registration details now being available via the conference website:

We look forward to seeing many of you there!

We are delighted to share the news that BFE Member Dr. Moshe Morad and Dr. Amalia Ran’s edited volume “Mazal Tov Amigos! Jews and Popular Music in the Americas”, has won at SEM this year’s inaugural Jewish Music Special Interest Group Paper Prize. Addressing the winners, Prof. Michael Figueroa, Associate Director, Carolina Center for Jewish Studies University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has announced:

“The award committee felt that your work deserved the prize for a number of reasons, not least because of the many ways it pushes the field of Jewish music studies to engage with the conceptual frameworks offered by hemispheric studies. The diversity of case studies and scholarly voices included in the book are especially notable. We are grateful for your contribution to Jewish music studies. Thank you for sharing your intellectual and your label with the Jewish music studies community.”

Dr. Michael Figouera presenting the Jewish Music Studies SIG award to Dr. Moshe Morad at SEM 2018 in Albuquerque.

Following an Open Call for applications, the BFE is delighted to announce that Dr Henry Stobart will become the new co-editor for our flagship academic journal Ethnomusicology Forum (EF), which is published by Taylor & Francis. Henry will work alongside co-editor Dr Shzr Ee Tan, and he has released the following statement about his incoming editorship:

“I will be delighted to replace Abigail Wood in 2019 as co-editor, together with Shzr Ee Tan, of Ethnomusicology Forum. My connection with this very fine journal goes back a long way. It was in 1994 that my first ever journal article was published in the third issue of the British Journal of Ethnomusicology. In those days, only a single issue of the journal was published each year. In 2004 the journal was renamed Ethnomusicology Forum, and two issues began to be published annually (rising to three in 2008). This reflected the journal’s increasing global reach, alongside the dramatic expansion of ethnomusicology in the UK.  Such growth in the journal’s frequency is, admittedly, daunting from an incoming editor’s perspective, as is the long line of excellent and often very innovative former editors. But the progressive and interdisciplinary approach of the journal is also inspiring, and a tradition to which I look forward to contributing. The ‘ethnomusicology’ in its title (despite, or maybe because of, all the problems surrounding this term) continues to challenge us and make this an ongoing project. This is an area of scholarship in which we cannot possibly sit back smugly and feel we have constructed a safe and secure disciplinary citadel, or have the possibility of some kind of analytical closure. Looked at another way, maybe we are just engaging with what goes on in the broader world around us, and inevitably this will continue to keep us on our toes…

“My former editing and co-editing experience is mainly with books. This includes the interdisciplinary volume Sound (Cambridge University Press, 2000) edited with Patricia Kruth, and the collection Knowledge and Learning in the Andes: ethnographic perspectives (Liverpool University Press, 2002) with Rosaleen Howard. More familiar to ethnomusicologists are probably my edited volume The New (Ethno)musicologies (Scarecrow, 2008), and the recent volume Music, Indigeneity, Digital Media (University of Rochester Press, 2017), edited with Thomas Hilder and Shzr Ee Tan. I’m also currently guest editor, together with Michelle Bigenho and Richard Mújica, of a special issue of the online journal Transcultural Music Review, focused on heritage making in Latin America. This journal, which includes articles in English, Spanish and Portuguese, which has covered many very interesting and critically engaged themes is often surprising unfamiliar in Anglophone circles.”

Henry will take up the editorial post in January 2019 when the current co-editor, Dr Abigail Wood, completes her term of office. The BFE would like to publicly thank Abigail for her tremendous work on the journal over the past three years, and we send her our very best wishes in all future endeavours. Article submissions to Ethnomusicology Forum can be made via the journal website: