Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Fulbright-mtvU Fellowships, Benjamin Cohn of University of Puget Sound, Jillian Marshall of Cornell University, Martha O’Donovan of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies, Scott Shigeoka of Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, and Corinne Stokes of University of Texas at Austin. These five U.S. scholars will be conducting research and sending blog updates from Ghana, Japan, Zambia, Iceland and the United Arab Emirates respectively for one academic year on projects that are designed to promote “the power of music” as a global force for mutual understanding. Best of luck!
School: University of Puget Sound
Major: International Political Economy
Country Visiting: Ghana
Benjamin Cohn is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound, where he studied International Political Economy. Cohn’s fellowship will focus on the political-economic impact of music on Ghana’s rich history and culture, and he will use that research to set up a program to facilitate access to music education for the youth of Accra, Ghana’s capital. Working with local musicians and organizations, Cohn will build a program to give the students a voice and instill the power of music into those who seek it. After graduation, Cohn moved to Yangsan, South Korea where he taught English for one year. Since returning to the United States, he has focused on music journalism, as he founded a hip-hop web site, Da-What.com.
School: Cornell University
Country Visiting: Japan
Jillian Marshall earned a B.A. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2009 and she is currently pursuing a doctorate in ethnomusicology at Cornell University, where she is a Ph.D. candidate. After her undergraduate studies, Marshall moved to Japan for two years to teach English at a middle school in a tiny fishing village. It was during this initial time in Japan that she became fascinated with Japanese music, inspiring her to return to the U.S. to pursue her Ph.D. For her Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship, Marshall will be researching three different music scenes in Japan – traditional, J-pop and underground techno – to understand the link between music, society and identity in this unique culture.
School: New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies
Major: The Politics of Human Rights and Development in African Cities
Country Visiting: Zambia
Martha O’Donovan received her B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies with a concentration in The Politics of Human Rights and Development in African Cities. As a Gallatin-Africa House Fellow and Global Human Rights Fellow, she spent time working with young artists and activists in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Zambia. O’Donovan’s fellowship will build upon that research as she returns to the Copperbelt in Zambia to explore how young men and women express themselves individually and collectively through music culture. The forms of their expression not only illuminate how youth project their dynamic identities, but also introduce new questions about the city and its citizens into the public sphere. O’Donovan’s research will focus on aspiring artists as well as individuals who reproduce this culture by participating in social spaces such as at music festivals or clubs.
School: Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University
Country Visiting: Iceland
Scott Shigeoka is a 2011 graduate of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. In partnership with local organizations in Iceland, Shigeoka’s fellowship will focus on the launch of Saga Fest, a transformative music festival that builds community and promotes sustainability. He is also developing a video series on the relationship between music and nature. Prior to the Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship, Scott was a contributing music writer for The Washington Post Express and built partnerships worldwide for an education startup.
School: University of Texas at Austin
Major: Middle Eastern Studies
Country Visiting: United Arab Emirates
Corinne Stokes earned her B.A. in Music and Religious Studies at the University of Miami and studied contemporary music at Berklee College of Music. She is a current Ph.D. student in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches Arabic and does research in language, performance and media. For her Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship, Stokes will travel to the United Arab Emirates to document contemporary Arab musical culture through multimedia blog entries and will follow new conceptions of what it means to be a performer in the multifaceted musical cultures of the Gulf region. Her work will concentrate on artists who perform in multiple dialects and musical genres as well as on the complex interplays of poetry, dialect and musical style in contemporary Arab music and musical media. Stokes plans to conduct interviews and present musical and lyrical analysis in order to assess the effects of multinational and pan-Arab collaboration on Arab music and media.