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, on a trial basis, one additional small grant available for independent scholars and/or contingent faculty who are otherwise ineligible for institutional research funding.

Grants will range from $2000-$4000 and are available for the period from May 2021 - May 2022.

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 2021. 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 2021. 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)


Prior Small Grant recipients, independent scholars/contingent faculty


2020       Brian E. Bond, "A Poetic Landscape: Sindhi Sufi Music, Emotion, and Islam in the India-Pakistan Borderlands."

Prior Small Grant recipients, student


2020       Allan Zheng (University of California at Riverside), "Creativity and Musical Aesthetics in Contemporary Cambodian Hip Hop and Rap Music."
2020       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."
2019       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."
2015       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 January 12, 2021