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Congratulations to BFE member Frances Wilkins, who has released a new book publication in the SOAS Musicology Series called Singing The Gospel Along Scotland's North-East Coast, 1859-2009 (Routledge 2018). This volume will be of interest to anyone with an interest in various aspects of ethnomusicology, including sacred singing traditions, congregational singing, Scottish ethnology, hymnody, group singing. music and revival, history of Scottish music in worship. 

Frances will be officially launching the book during the BFE annual conference in Newcastle in April 2018, and further details about the book (including a link to purchase the volume in both Hardback and eBook formats) follow below. Well done Frances!

Frances Wilkins, Singing The Gospel Along Scotland's North-East Coast, 1859-2009, Routledge, SOAS Musicology Series, 2018

Following three years of ethnomusicological fieldwork on the sacred singing traditions of evangelical Christians in North-East Scotland and Northern Isles coastal communities, Frances Wilkins documents and analyses current singing practices in this book by placing them historically and contemporaneously within their respective faith communities. In ascertaining who the singers were and why, when, where, how and what they chose to sing, the study explores a number of related questions. How has sacred singing contributed to the establishment and reinforcement of individual and group identities both in the church and wider community? What is the process by which specific regional repertoires and styles develop? Which organisations and venues have been particularly conducive to the development of sacred singing in the community? How does the subject matter of songs relate to the immediate environment of coastal inhabitants? How and why has gospel singing in coastal communities changed? 

These questions are answered with comprehensive reference to interview material, fieldnotes, videography and audio field recordings. As one of the first pieces of ethnomusicological research into sacred music performance in Scotland, this ethnography draws important parallels between practices in the North East and elsewhere in the British Isles and across the globe.

https://www.routledge.com/Singing-the-Gospel-along-Scotlands-North-East-Coast-18592009/Wilkins/p/book/9780415788021

 

Following the call for applications for the 2018 BFE Fieldwork Grant Awards scheme, the BFE is delighted to announce that a total of four fieldwork grants have been awarded for 2018. Once again, the standard of applications was extremely high. We offer our congratulations to Sara Selleri, Georgette Nummelin, Gabrielle Messeder and Soosan Lolavar, who are the 2018 grant recipients. For further information about their fieldwork research projects see: https://bfe.org.uk/news/bfe-fieldwork-award-winners-2018

Barley Norton
Chair, British Forum for Ethnomusicology
chairatbfe.org.uk

Following last year's call for applications to the BFE Fieldwork Grant Awards scheme, we are delighted to announce that a total of four fieldwork grants have been awarded for 2018. Once again, the standard of applications was extremely high. We offer huge congratulations to Sara Selleri, Georgette Nummelin, Gabrielle Messeder and Soosan Lolavar, who are the 2018 grant recipients. The winners introduce their exciting research projects below, and we look forward to hearing more about their work when they return from the field.

Sara Selleri (SOAS, University of London)

My research explores dynamics of inclusion, representation and discrimination in society at large and within higher education music institutions and curricula in Puerto Rico. I look at how music transmission practices and academic institutions can be a product of the socio-cultural background they operate in, and how historically constructed and culturally inherited factors such as internalized colonization, gender discrimination etc. play an important part in determining “which music” or “whose music” is taught and recognized a higher status in academia and society. I’m interested in uncovering where there are correspondences or differentiations in such interrelationships, questioning the repercussions one has on the other in (re)constructing and perpetrating present discriminations of historically excluded groups, both in society and in music.

 

Gabrielle Messeder (City, University of London)

I'm researching contemporary practices of Brazilian music and dance in Lebanon. Focussing primarily on the genres of samba, bossa nova and música popular brasileira (MPB), I aim to trace their development from the bossa-influenced sound of recordings by Fairouz and Ziad Rahbani in the 1970s to the bands and blocos that perform in Lebanon today. I'll explore the unique, ambivalent and sometimes contested space that the performance of Brazilian music by both Brazilian and non-Brazilian performers occupies in the cosmopolitan Lebanese musical milieu, and discuss how issues of cultural conservatism, exoticism and stereotyping shape the production, performance and reception of Brazilian music and dance in Lebanon today.

 

 

Georgette Nummelin (SOAS, University of London)

My project explores how contemporary music can be used to support the maintenance and revitalisation of Ainu language and identity. My fieldwork will take me to Japan to engage with professional and amateur performers and composers, and with the diverse audiences that engage with the music. Additionally, I will be engaging with Ainu language learners of both Ainu and non-Ainu heritage. The aim of my research is to draw on these participants’ experience of learning, creating and performing contemporary Ainu identity through music and language, and to document how these practices can affect the revitalisation of cultural traditions and the Ainu language.

 

 

 

 

Soosan Lolavar (City, University of London)

My research brings together the methodologies of composition and ethnomusicology to explore a new movement in music in Iran in which musicians and composers combine aspects of Iranian classical music with ideas more commonly associated with Western music. My work will present both a written ethnography and portfolio of compositions considering the creative, social and political effects of drawing from these two forms, particularly against the backdrop of a post-revolutionary Iran in which objects of Western culture are often associated with the imperialism and colonialism. 

As an official nominating body, the BFE proposed candidates to the panels for the REF 2021 at the end of 2017, and the panel appointments have now been announced. Many congratulations to BFE Chair, Barley Norton, who has been appointed to the REF sub-panel UOA33 for both the criteria and assessment phase. Additional panel members for the assessment phase will be appointed in 2020. Full details of the panels are here: https://www.ref.ac.uk/about/membership

Deadline for Nominations: Friday 16 March 2018

Dear BFE members,

The British Forum for Ethnomusicology seeks nominations for election for 5 positions on the BFE Committee. The terms of some current members of the BFE Committee members are coming an end; some Committee members will be standing down while others intend to stand for re-election.

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.

The specific roles for committee members in this election round are:

1) Conference Liaison Co-Officer

The Conference Liaison Co-Officers (Dr Stephen Wilford will remain in post as one of these) are jointly responsible for:

  • organizing the BFE’s Annual and One-Day conferences, study days and other events in conjunction with local conference arrangement committees.
  • representing the BFE at the January BFE–RMA Research Students’ Conference (each January), 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., Analytical Approaches to World Music, Société Française d’Ethnomusicologie).
  • providing oral reports on conference activities at BFE committee meetings

2) Membership Liaison Officer

This role includes:

  • Developing strong relations between the membership and the Committee.
  • Working on membership and marketing initiatives in conjunction with Taylor & Francis, the BFE Administrator (Dr Morgan Davies) and the Membership Administrator (Dr Ruard Absaroka).

3) Treasurer

This role includes:

  • Being responsible for all aspects of managing the finances of the BFE, working closely with the BFE Administrator.
  • Preparing a financial report at the end of each year. Previous experience of accounting is desirable.

4) Website Administrator

This role includes:

  • Being responsible for all aspects of the running of the BFE website and email accounts. Previous web experience and IT knowledge (Drupal, CiviCRM etc.) is desirable.

5) Prizes Officer

This role includes:

  • Being responsible for coordinating the announcements and panels for the various BFE awards and prizes (e.g. Book Prize, Fieldwork Grants, Student Prize, Conference Bursaries).

If you wish to stand for election you must be nominated and seconded by two BFE members. Please send a proposal of no more than a single side of A4, which will be forwarded to the BFE membership by email and our list serve prior to voting. Include:

  • your name and a contact address;
  • your current employment;
  • the names of the BFE members who have nominated and seconded your candidacy (it is not necessary for the nominators to email the Chair separately about the nomination).
  • length of time you have been a BFE member;
  • the specific role - from the 5 roles listed above - you would like to be nominated for;
  • a statement outlining why you think you are suitable for being a member of the BFE Committee, highlighting relevant skills, experience, or previous time served on the Committee.

Nominations must be sent by email to Barley Norton (BFE Chair) chairatbfe.org.uk (chairatbfe.org.uk) by the end of Friday 16 March 2018.

In order to vote you need to be a current member so please renew your membership for 2018 if you have not done so already. Online voting will take place soon after the deadline for nominations and results will be announced at the AGM at the annual conference at Newcastle University on Saturday 14 April. I look forward to seeing many of you in Newcastle.

Barley Norton, BFE Chair

Sydney-based ethnomusicologist and BFE member Dr Muriel E. Swijghuisen Reigersberg has co-edited a volume entitled Making Congregational Music Local in Christian Communities Worldwide, which is due to be released by Routledge on 9th March 2018. Congratulations Muriel!

Making Congregational Music Local in Christian Communities Worldwide explores the ways that congregational music-making is integral to how communities around the world understand what it means to be ‘local’ and ‘Christian’. Showing how locality is produced, negotiated, and performed through music-making, this book draws on case studies from every continent that integrate insights from anthropology, ethnomusicology, cultural geography, mission studies, and practical theology. Four sections explore a central aspect of the production of locality through congregational music-making, addressing the role of historical trends, cultural and political power, diverging values, and translocal influences in defining what it means to be ‘local’ and ‘Christian’. This book contends that examining musical processes of localization can lead scholars to new understandings of the meaning and power of Christian belief and practice.

For more information and to purchase Muriel's co-edited volume, click on this link to the CRC Press website.

 

 

The BFE is a nominating body for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 and it is important for us to nominate ethnomusicologists to be panel members for REF 2021. The BFE Committee wants to ensure an open and transparent process regarding our subject association’s nomination of panel members, which meets our equality and diversity ambitions as a subject association. REF 2021’s invitation to nominate candidates states, "The funding bodies are seeking nominations of candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds, institution types and geographical region. We particularly welcome nominations of candidates from groups previously under-represented on assessment panels, including women, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, and disabled people”.

We would like to invite any member of the BFE to nominate themselves, or another member (with their prior agreement), to email the BFE Chair by Tuesday 21st November 2017 (chairatbfe.org.uk). When emailing the Chair please provide a short expression of interest, briefly outlining suitability for the role. The BFE Committee will then consider all nominated individuals in preparing our list of nominations to submit to HEFCE before the deadline of 20th December 2017.

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