AHRC Networking - 'Memory, Music, and Movement'

Woman playing fiddleWe have been successful in attracting an AHRC Networking award. The grant will fund a series of initiatives from January 2016 to January 2018. Our aim is to energise the network of North Atlantic fiddle and dance scholars to initiate new and challenging directions of research in relation to the theme of ‘Memory, Music, and Movement’. This will inspire new research and make existing research accessible to communities of practice as well as to the general public, and bring scholars and performers together to develop innovative collaborative research, including practice-based and practice-led research. Our proposal is for the following interrelated projects:

  1. A series of three international interdisciplinary workshops. Three distinct approaches have been identified each to be led by acknowledged experts from outside fiddle and dance studies. Workshop 1 in Aberdeen, 9-10 June 2016, will focus on cognitive psychology (how music and dance are related to memory), Workshop 2 in Aberdeen, 27-28 April 2017, on digital humanities (how we can use digital technologies to document and later recall music and dance traditions, and Workshop 3 in Cape Breton, 4-6 October 2017, on performance studies (how we remember music and dance through our bodies and how music and dance inspire memories).
  2. A public lecture series will build on the workshops featuring speakers from academic, performance, and heritage contexts.
  3. A website platform will be developed hosting a variety of relevant content and interactive features, including
    1. The publication of all previous and future North Atlantic Fiddle Convention publications online as ‘open source’, enabling a cumulative and invaluable scholarly resource;
    2. An interactive moderated online forum to enable informal discussion among scholars, performers and other individuals, as well as research questions and observations seeded by keynote presenters;
    3. An annotated list of relevant URLs/websites;
    4. Video content featuring keynote presentations, workshops, and short, accessible 'snappers' describing and illustrating North Atlantic fiddle and dance research.
  4. A project coordinator who will engage stakeholders through social media and the interactive online forum, and will work with broadcast media in both Scotland and Canada to maximize the project's audience.

The project will culminate in 2018 and herald NAFCo’s return to Aberdeen.

The project is designed to benefit scholars, musicians, dancers, related stakeholders (e.g. archives, museum, and festival personnel), and the general public. The workshops and lecture series will involve both experts and participants from these various sectors, enriching collaborative research possibilities, inspiring new research projects, and motivating new research applications. The virtual resources will ensure that the network will continue to develop outside the face-to-face events while enabling those who could not attend them to participate as well.


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