Shortlist and Winner IBP 2009 Dissertations Humanities

Shortlist and Winner IBP 2009 Dissertations Humanities

Winner of IBP 2009 Dissertations Humanities

Birgit Abels, 'Sounds of Articulating Identity: Tradition and Transition in the Music of Pulau'.

This is quite clearly the outstanding submission in the PhD category Humanities and is an academic enquiry of the highest order. It presents an ethno-history of the music of the Palau islands in Micronesia, and any sense that this might be of peripheral interest to wider scholarship is quickly laid to rest. The author explores the function of music in cultural identity, identifying sounds as audible symbols used in Palau to signify cultural distinctness and through this device explores not only the technicalities of musicology, but advances our knowledge of the subject culture, identity, social relationships, and history. Drawing on an extensive bibliography of secondary sources and recordings, as well as oral sources from her fieldwork, the author, within a convincing theoretical framework and in the wider context of globalization, clearly and logically situates her subject in such a way as to demonstrate that her findings are of wide importance. It radiates enthusiasm, reflection, and critical thinking in an informed and engaging manner.


Shortlist IBP 2009 Dissertations Humanities

Mihwa Choi, 'Contesting Imaginaries in Death Rituals during the Northern Song Dynasty'.