University of Mississippi music professor awarded Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship

Published 5:41 pm Monday, December 17, 2018

A University of Mississippi music professor has been selected as one of 51 scholars to mentor potential professors and research ethnomusicology.

George Worlasi Kwasi Dor, a native of Ghana and a holder of UM’s McDonnell-Barksdale Chair of Ethnomusicology, was selected as a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship, according to a release.

The fellowship, which takes place during the summer of 2019, will send Dor to Nigeria to conduct field research in ethnomusicology, develop curriculum and mentor graduate assistants and assistant lecturers.

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Dor will work with Dr. Adeoluwa Okunade, who teaches at the University of Port Hartford, and Dr. Marie Agatha Ozah, who is an assistant professor at Duquesne University.

“The research portion of the project will consider the ways indigenous knowledge in traditional ethnic music stays relevant to contemporary communities in Ghana and Nigeria,” Dor said in a release. “This will build on research Dr. Ozah and I have collaborated on before, and we look forward to using the opportunity to train graduate students in ethnographic field research methods.

The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program is in its sixth year and is designed to increase different skills in order to benefit African nations, build capacity at host institutions and develop long-term collaborations between universities in Africa, the United States and Canada.

Other fellows will work on a wide range of projects. Some include controlling malaria, strengthening peace and conflict studies. They will also mentor graduate students in criminal justice, archiving African indigenous knowledge, creating low-cost water treatment technologies, building capacity in microbiology and pathogen genomics and developing a forensic accounting curriculum.

Dor’s fellowship is the only one that was awarded in the area of music.

“I’ll also be in conversation with Dr. Okunade and the faculty as they refine and develop their ethnomusicology curriculum,” Dor said in a release. “Because of my experience in this field, I hope to be a resource for them, but I expect to learn a great deal that could benefit our program, as well.”

At UM, Dor directs the African Drum and Dance Ensemble, teaches world music courses and is also a composer and performer of Ghanaian art music.

Robert Riggs, UM’s department chair of music, said Dor’s fellowship is well deserved.

“The receipt of this Carnegie fellowship further validates Dr. Dor’s well-established reputation as a leading researcher in the field of ethnomusicology,” Riggs said in a statement. “I am confident that both he and his colleagues in Nigeria will benefit greatly from this exciting opportunity to pursue joint scholarly projects.”