East African Education and Doctoral Supervision

I look forward to participating soon as a session chair and discussant for the first East African Teacher Education Symposium: Challenges and Opportunities in Teacher Education (November, 2021). This initiative was developed through the Norad-sponsored CABUTE project, and will take place both online and physically at Makerere University, in Kampala, Uganda. Eight presentations at this symposium - around half of what was selected for this event - are concerned with music-related topics, including papers by accomplished scholars such as James Isabirye, Nicholas Ssempijja and Milton Wabyona.

It was also a pleasure to learn yesterday that I have been formally appointed by the Royal Danish Academy of Music as a doctoral supervisor for a dissertation through Aalborg University concerned with online music learning between Denmark and China. It promises to be a very interesting project, and this means that I will soon have served on doctoral committees for universities in 11 countries, each of which has been uniquely stimulating. Later this week I teach for University of Bergen’s annual university-wide course on Doctoral Supervision, and next week I will be in Iceland for the NNME intensive course/conference. 


Although the pandemic has made international initiatives more challenging than before, it is encouraging to see that many forms of collaboration are still possible.



Image of Makerere University retrieved from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ssetendekero_Makerere.jpg


Global Higher Education & Arts Summer PhD Course

It is a pleasure to announce that we have co-developed a new PhD course with cultural geographer Erlend Eidsvik, Global Inequalities in Higher Education and the Arts, which will be part of Bergen Summer Research School in 2022. Bergen Summer Research School attracts doctoral students from across the world for interdisciplinary courses concerning global challenges.

More information will be posted here soon.

Above is an image of Bergen harbor, a photo I took a few weeks ago when our postdoctoral researcher was visiting from Sweden. 

Music and Cultural Diplomacy Panel at BFE

We look forward to giving a panel presentation “Ethnomusicology and Cultural Diplomacy” at the British Forum for Ethnomusicology conference Ethnomusicology in 2022 and Beyond in mid-November 2021. The conference format allowed for only 3 papers in a panel session, so this is just a tiny preview of what will appear in the book, but future conferences will give us more opportunities to share what we have developed through this project.


Ethnomusicology and Cultural Diplomacy

This panel is based on a book by the same title that will be in press at the time of the conference. Three contributors will present material from their chapters on music diplomacy projects from Afghanistan, Iran, and Vietnam. Rather than explaining how western nations use music for diplomacy, they take a decolonizing approach to ethnomusicology, by determining how non-western cultural practices impact music diplomacy directed toward Europe and North America. Two presenters are from the countries discussed (Iran and Vietnam), while the other devoted three years to music diplomacy in Afghanistan, a nation now embroiled in a tragic crisis. 


Session Format:

·       Introduction, Prof. David G. Hebert, session chair (Western Norway)


·       Paper 1: ‘A Very Beautiful Image of Afghanistan’: Cultural Diplomacy through Music Performance and Education - Lauren Braithwaite (PhD candidate, Oxford University)


·       Paper 2: Soft War and Multilateral Creative Pathways in Iran - by Nasim Niknafs, PhD (Associate Professor, University of Toronto)


·       Paper 3: Cultural Diplomacy and Transculturation through the History of the Vọng Cổ in Vietnam - by Thanh Thuy Nguyen, PhD (Postdoctoral Researcher, Royal Academy of Music, Stockholm)


·       Q&A Discussion, moderated by Prof. Hebert

We are also making further progress now on the forthcoming book on Viking musical heritage, hence the image above.