Two first-year doctoral students at St John's have been awarded highly competitive Fieldwork Grant Awards from the British Forum for Ethnomusicology.

Sophia FrankfordSophia Frankford and Pablo Infante-Amate were among three winners of Fieldwork Grant Awards from the British Forum for Ethnomusicology. Sophia (whose research is on Egyptian sha'bi music) and Pablo (whose research is on digital musics in Equatorial Guinea) are part of a growing cohort of ethnomusicology and anthropology doctoral students at St John's focusing on the ethnographic study of music in Africa, the Middle East and South America.

Speaking of her research, Sophia said, ‘My research focuses on Egyptian sha’bi music, a contemporary urban genre that emerged from working-class neighbourhoods in 1970s Cairo. Through tracing the development of the genre from the 1970s to the present day, I plan to examine its role in shaping a working-class Egyptian identity, exploring how it served as an impetus for a reframing of cultural ideals and class stereotypes, and a vital path through which modern identities have been re-imagined.’

Pablo Infante-AmateSpeaking of his research, Pablo said, ‘My project explores the recent birth of a digital music economy in Equatorial Guinea, and how this has been facilitated and hindered by a combination of two key events: the discovery of large oil reserves in the mid-1990s and the introduction of digital technologies starting from the early 21st century. My broader goal is to understand how music is a mediator of musicians’ perceptions, expectations, fears and hopes relating to oil and the digital and neoliberal world order.’

Further information on Sophia and Pablo's awards can be found here