Music Professor Receives Prestigious International Fellowship

Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship supports George Dor’s work with Nigerian university

George Worlasi Kwasi Dor, a music professor at the University of Mississippi, has been awarded a fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to work with professors at the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria.

Dor, a native of Ghana who holds the McDonnell-Barksdale Chair of Ethnomusicology at UM, will travel to Nigeria in the summer of 2019 to collaborate with Adeoluwa Okunade and Marie Agatha Ozah on field research in ethnomusicology, curriculum development, and mentoring of graduate assistants and assistant lecturers.

“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. “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.

“I’ll also be in conversation with Dr. Okunade and the faculty as they refine and develop their ethnomusicology curriculum. 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.”

Dor’s selection is well-deserved, said Robert Riggs, chair of the UM Department of Music.

“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. “I am confident that both he and his colleagues in Nigeria will benefit greatly from this exciting opportunity to pursue joint scholarly projects.”

Dor’s fellowship is part of a broader initiative that will pair 51 scholars with one of 43 higher education institutions and partners in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda to work together on curriculum co-development, research, graduate teaching, training and mentoring activities.

“Dr. Dor’s collaborative approach to pedagogy, research and performance with Dr. Adeoluwa Okunade and colleagues at the University of Port Harcourt and the University of Mississippi serves as a beacon for others in academe who facilitate understanding of musical traditions within the wider African diaspora,” said Gail Simpson, an Ole Miss doctoral candidate in music education.

Dor’s fellowship was the only one awarded in the area of music. Other visiting fellows will work with their hosts on a wide range of projects that include controlling malaria, strengthening peace and conflict studies, training and mentoring 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.

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

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