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PhD Studentship: Past and Present Musical Encounters across the Strait of Gibraltar (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Music

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Cambridge
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 11th January 2019
Closes: 15th March 2019
Reference: GT16930

Applications are invited for a 3-year funded PhD studentship starting in October 2019 under the supervision of Dr Matthew Machin-Autenrieth, as part of the ERC-funded project 'Past and Present Musical Encounters across the Strait of Gibraltar'.

The project explores how the notion of a collective European-North African cultural memory has been articulated through music for different sociopolitical ends in colonial and postcolonial contexts. Music has been employed as a means of social control and representation during French and Spanish colonialism in North Africa in the twentieth century, and as a model for multiculturalism and cultural diplomacy among North African communities in Europe today. The project analyses how modern-day practices of musical exchange in the region are shaped by discourses and networks formed during colonialism. Combining archival research, oral history and ethnographic fieldwork, it brings together different geographical, linguistic and musical specialisms, leading towards an integrated understanding of musical exchange in the region. For more information, please see the project website:

We are looking for a highly motivated, bright and enthusiastic student to join the project. The successful student will possess intellectual independence and the ability to work as part of a team of five researchers. The selected student's research will explore postcolonial musical encounters between the Maghreb and the former colonial metropoles of France and/or Spain. This research might explore the below:

  • The role of music as a form of intercultural dialogue between host and immigrant communities (including both institutional and 'grassroots' projects)
  • The role of music in acts of cultural diplomacy between North Africa and Southern Europe
  • The colonial legacies that influence music making across the Mediterranean
  • Music's relationship with North African transnationalism in Southern Europe

Applicants must have (or expect to obtain) a Master's degree in any musicological discipline (e.g musicology, ethnomusicology, popular music studies) or related field (e.g anthropology, cultural history). Ideally, applicants will have knowledge of musical cultures of the Mediterranean/Maghreb (genres such as Arab-Andalusian music, raï, hip hop) and experience of, or aptitude for, ethnographic fieldwork. However, we also welcome students with interests in other areas or cultural phenomena that fall within the geographical scope of the project. In order to conduct the research, applicants will need relevant linguistic skills (Arabic, French and/or Spanish depending on research area) or demonstrate a willingness to acquire such skills during the course of the PhD.

The studentship will provide a stipend covering maintenance and fee costs at the current Home rate. Non-EU students and those from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may be eligible for a stipend covering fees-only. We encourage minorities and women to apply, including those coming from the geographical areas covered by the project.

Applications should be submitted for the PhD in Music via the Applicant Portal ( In addition to the standard application materials, you must state that you are applying for the ERC Studentship in your 'Statement of Research Interest' and upload a cover letter (no more than two pages) outlining your suitability for this project and what you will bring to the team. Dr Matthew Machin-Autenrieth should be identified as your preferred supervisor.

If you would like to be considered for other funding opportunities alongside this studentship, please note the much earlier deadlines for these (

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Matthew Machin-Autenrieth (

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