UC San Diego announced Monday that the European Research Council awarded nearly $3 million to professor Jann Pasler for a five-year study on French colonialism and music.
Pasler’s study will focus on musical life in six colonial cities in Africa and French Indochina, including Senegal and Morocco. Pasler said she plans to research the musical interests of both French colonizers and natives, as well as how the two overlapped.
“So far, my research has shown that music helps to break down the stereotype of binaries such as ‘domination and resistance,’ and that music can serve as a means of intercultural contact and exchange between Europeans and natives,” Pasler said.
The council reviewed 2,052 grant applications and awarded grants to roughly 10 percent of applicants. Pasler will conduct her study in Paris with two groups of researchers focusing on colonial musical life and colonial radio and recordings.
The researchers will also make their data public throughout the study via a website and multiple books and radio programs.
“The project aims to have a significant impact on its team, forming scholars who will approach writing their own histories both relationally and globally,” Pasler said. “It is especially hoped that those based in the former empire will return to create what may be the first musicology departments in their universities, setting the groundwork for them to write their own histories, up until now dominated almost entirely by westerners.”
— City News Service