SOCIETY FOR ASIAN MUSIC
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Society for Asian Music Small Grants


The Society for Asian Music is pleased to announce this year’s small grant program to support research in Asian music. There will be up to two small grants dedicated to full-time graduate students and one additional small grant available for independent scholars and/or contingent faculty who are otherwise ineligible for institutional research funding.

We invite grants applications between $2,000 - $4,000 and are available for the period from May 2023 - May 2024.

Small Grants for full-time graduate students


Applicants must be full-time graduate students enrolled in North American institutions, and members of the Society for Asian Music at the time that they apply. Grants are to be used for doctoral research, including fieldwork, pre-dissertation research, travel, language study, and other related activities, and may be used to supplement other grants.

Grant proposals will be evaluated on the clarity of research objectives and the proposed budget being reasonable and sufficient to accomplish these objectives. Grantees will be invited to make an oral presentation of their research at the Society for Asian Music Annual Membership Meeting (held in conjunction with the Society for Ethnomusicology annual conference). Presentations are scheduled every other year (alternating with our Keynote Address), so grantees may not present in the actual year of their award. At the end of the award year, however, grantees will be required to provide a report of their research progress, which will be published on the Society's website.

Please submit a proposal of no more than 500 words to Margaret Sarkissian by 1 March 2023. Proposals should include:

  1. a project title
  2. a project description
  3. a description of how the project fits into the applicant's current degree program
  4. a description of the applicant's relevant language skills
  5. a description of how the funds will be used
  6. a detailed budget

Small Grant for independent scholars and/or contingent faculty


Applicants must be independent scholars or contingent faculty employed at North American institutions who are ineligible for institutional research funding, and members of the Society for Asian Music at the time that they apply. Grants are to be used for research, including fieldwork, travel, language study, and other related activities, and may be used to supplement other grants.

Grant proposals will be evaluated on the clarity of research objectives and the proposed budget being reasonable and sufficient to accomplish these objectives. Grantees will be invited to make an oral presentation of their research at the Society for Asian Music Annual Membership Meeting (held in conjunction with the Society for Ethnomusicology annual conference). Presentations are scheduled every other year (alternating with our Keynote Address), so grantees may not present in the actual year of their award. At the end of the award year, however, grantees will be required to provide a report of their research progress, which will be published on the Society's website.

Please submit a proposal of no more than 500 words to Margaret Sarkissian by 1 March 2023. Proposals should include:

  1. a statement of the applicant’s employment status
  2. a project title
  3. a project description
  4. a description of the applicant's relevant language skills
  5. a description of how the funds will be used
  6. a detailed budget
  7. a plan for publication (e.g., monograph, article, invited chapter in an anthology)


Small Grant recipients: independent scholars/contingent faculty

2022
  • Shumaila Hemani (Independent Scholar), "Saint’s Children: The Cultural Rights of Sufi Reciters in South Asia."
2021
  • Joseph Kinzer (Contingent faculty, Antioch University/Archive of World Music, Harvard), "Arab Lutes and Global Routes of Music in Muslim Malaysia: Performance, Piety, and the Politics of Tradition."
2020
  • Brian E. Bond (Independent Scholar), "A Poetic Landscape: Sindhi Sufi Music, Emotion, and Islam in the India-Pakistan Borderlands."

Small Grant recipients: graduate students

2022
  • Tomal Hossain (University of Chicago), "Islam, Song, and Solidarity in the Rohingya Diaspora."
  • Sangah Lee (University of Toronto), "The Rupturing Voices in the Collective: South Korean Feminists in the 2016-17 Candlelight Vigils."
  • Zhizhi (Stella) Li (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), "The Sound of a Good Life: Musicking in Occupied Japan’s ‘Little America."
2021
  • Subash Giri (University of Alberta, Edmonton), "Traditional Music for Cultural Continuity, Sustainability and Community Well-Being: A Case Study of the Nepalese Diaspora Community in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada."
  • Duncan Reehl (Boston University), "Sonic Sutures: An Ethnography of Japanese Buddhist Sounds."
2020
  • Allan Zheng (University of California at Riverside), "Creativity and Musical Aesthetics in Contemporary Cambodian Hip Hop and Rap Music."
  • Jon Bullock (University of Chicago), "(Re)sounding Tradition: Iraqi Kurdish Musicians and the Transformation of Musical Practice 1923-Present."
2019
  • Hamidreza Salehyar (University of Toronto), "Contemporary Urban Music in Tehran, Iran."
  • Miranda Fedock (CUNY Graduate Center), "Listening to Shey nyingpa sarpa nyi and the Tibean Nation-in-Exile."
2018
  • Xiaorong Yuan (UCLA), "Chinese Music in Bangkok in the 21st Century."
2017
  • no grant awarded
2016
  • no grant awarded
2015
  • Christine May Yong (Wesleyan University), "Shifting Spaces: Musical Interactions, Malaysian Islam, and the Practice of Wayang Kulit in Malaysia."
  • Jason Busniewski (University of California, Santa Barbara), "Colonialism, Revivalism, and the Great Highland Bagpipes in Garhwal, North India."
2014
  • Yuan-yu Kuan (University of Hawai`i), "Musical Interconnectedness among Islands of Taiwan and Okinawa."
2013
  • Maho Ishiguro (Wesleyan University), "Ratoeh Jaroe: How Acehnese Traditional Sitting Dances Transform into Jakarta’s Popular Dance Form."
2012
  • Ben Krakauer (University of Texas), "Negotiations of Modernity, Spirituality, and Bengali Identity in Contemporary Bāul-Fakir Music."
2011
  • Aaron Paige (Wesleyan University), "From Kuala Lumpur to Kollywood: Music, Language, and Identity in Transnational Tamil Hip-Hop."
2010
  • Jeff Roy (UCLA), "Music in Liminal Spaces: Performance in India’s Transgender Hijra Communities."



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page updated November 30, 2022