News: MSCA Individual Fellowship

It’s a strange time to have good news to share: I certainly don’t want to vaingloriously distract from the difficult global circumstances, but perhaps it’s nice to hear about exciting new opportunities. With that in mind…

I’m delighted to announce that in September I’ll be starting as a Research Fellow at University College Cork (Republic of Ireland), funded by an Individual Fellowship with the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. It forms part of the Horizon 2020 scheme to nurture excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility. I’ll be working with Prof. Griff Rollefson‘s groundbreaking CIPHER team at UCC to study global hip-hop knowledge flows. You can read more about CIPHER here and here. Ok, that’s probably enough links!

My research project, titled ‘Digital Flows’, investigates dynamic cultural politics of hip-hop music and community on the internet. Mapping expressions of hip-hop throughout the world, what more global domain to explore than the web? (And yet, it is clearly not an even playing field, with stark inequities in internet access and engagement.) The work will develop a new web-oriented methodology of data-driven and case study research into online cultural networks. My focus will be on hip-hop’s listener base, which includes many young and/or marginalised people employing digital technologies to exciting new ends. The findings of this investigation of internet-based music culture will shed light on European priorities concerning online cultural expression, engagement and education.

You can read more about the project here, on the European Commission’s portal CORDIS. (The extract there is taken from the larger application, packing lots of information into as few words as possible, so I’d be glad to elaborate if there are questions about the project.)

UCC has been extremely welcoming so far, despite restrictions on travel, and I’m looking forward to getting started on the research. More from me when I’m set up in Cork – it’ll be nice to live in Europe again! I’ll try to provide more regular updates, in the hopes they will be helpful for others on research fellowships for international mobility / postdocs / ECRs interested in the intersections between music and the Internet.

Admittedly, it’s with some sadness that I leave the fantastic BIMM Institute, Brighton, where I’ve had a rewarding experience developing an academic support provision to support the college. However, I’m confident that someone with academic expertise can take leadership of the Head of Academic Studies role, maintaining the high-quality standards now in place. I’ve really enjoyed the leadership and teaching aspects of the position, and I’m excited to further my popular music studies specialism by embarking on this exceptional research opportunity.