Ethnomusicologist wins substantial fellowshipBy Janet Harron
A Memorial professor of music and folklore who has been a trailblazer in the area of ethnomusicology in Canada has been named a Trudeau Fellow, one of the most prestigious humanities awards in Canada.
This lucrative fellowship, which includes $225,000 paid over three years, will allow Dr. Beverley Diamond to advance and expand upon her important work.
“It’s a huge surprise and a very great honour,” said Dr. Diamond. “Although I haven’t had time yet to plan what I will do with this generous prize, I feel an enormous weight has lifted. More extensive and creative ways to engage in community consultation about research projects, and even time free to do more writing — these are the sorts of things that might now be possible.”
The Trudeau Foundation is an independent and non-partisan foundation established in 2002 to “promote outstanding research in the humanities and social sciences and foster a fruitful dialogue between scholars and policy makers.”
Every year, the foundation selects up to five fellows from diverse streams of the humanities who are working in key areas such as human rights and social justice, responsible citizenship, Canada and the world, and humans and their natural environment.
The rigorous nomination process is designed to award these highly accomplished Canadians who question society’s worldviews and teach the importance of responsible and engaged citizenship.
Dr. Diamond was cited by the foundation as “an exceptional leader in conserving and promoting Aboriginal and Canadian traditional music and exploring contemporary media.”
As the country’s first and still only Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in a music discipline (she is also cross-appointed to the Faculty of Arts through the department of folklore), Dr. Diamond’s influence is widespread. Her publications on the music practices of Inuit, First Nationals of Eastern North America, and Saami people of northern Europe recognize the ascendant role of Aboriginal voices.
Her commitment to feminist musicology has lead to the development of a research agenda exploring the gendering of musical practices, and her work in the field of Canadian music history has extended the range of music deemed worthy of study.
Dr. Diamond also has an astounding record as a mentor and advisor and has been keynote speaker at almost every major international society that examines music and culture. The director of the Music, Media and Place Research Centre, in 2008 she was elected to the Royal Society of Canada.
Dr. Tom Gordon, director of the School of Music is thrilled that the importance of Dr. Diamond’s work is being recognized in this way.
“Across her career Bev Diamond has explored and championed the expressive cultures of peoples on the periphery of the constructed history of music,” he said. “She has charted their collisions with modern world of instant media. She has helped to position local practice at the heart of global culture. And all this she has done with balance and with respect.
“Few scholars in Canada today are as exemplary of the ideals of the Trudeau Fellows as Dr. Bev Diamond. I am thrilled that this recognition has come to her.”