Research Associate in Music
King's College London Music
United Kingdom

# Job description

The Music Department at King’s College London invites applications for a 3-year position as a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work with Professor Martin Stokes on the project *Beyond 1932: Rethinking Musical Modernity in the Middle East and North Africa* \[MUSCON1932\] (a UKRI Frontier Research Grant, formerly ERC). For this post we seek a candidate with background in (ethno)musicology, Middle Eastern Studies or related fields.


MUSCON1932 explores new methodologies for studying the music of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, drawing together historical, archival, ethnographic and performance-oriented research/curation. Its starting point is the 1932 Cairo Congress, though the project will look both significantly forwards and backwards. A team of three PDRAs from diverse disciplinary backgrounds will work with Professor Stokes to develop a perspective on the legacy of the Congress that draws on, and transforms, cultural historical/archival, anthropological/ethnomusicological and performance-based scholarly methodologies. The research outcomes of the project are intended to include collaborative and single-author publications, performances, curations and media. They are intended, too, to embrace music from across the MENA region and its diasporas.


The candidate for the post will be ambitious, imaginative, and accustomed to working both independently and as part of a team. They will have two research foci in this project. First, they will be working on an independent research project, demonstrably related to the broad themes of MUSCON1932. Second, they will work collaboratively with the PI and two other PDRAs developing an interdisciplinary methodology that incorporates historical, archival, ethnographic and performance work. The latter will, importantly, include working with performing musicians. They will be able to work in Arabic. Knowledge of Ottoman Turkish, or other regional languages relevant to the MENA music archives will be an advantage. Though they will have expertise in the period spanning the late Nahda era through to the years immediately after the Congress, they must also be ready to participate in the more contemporary ethnographic and performance-oriented goals of the project. They will further advance and disseminate the project’s agendas through travel to libraries and archives and fieldtrips in the MENA region; through regular team collaborations with project musicians; through contribution and design of workshops, seminars and conferences; through preparation of publications both independently and in collaboration with the core team and through public presentations (with opportunities for engagement with cultural partners and performers in London).


The MUSCON1932 team is based in Music at the Strand campus in Central London. The successful candidate will join a dynamic and international community, with opportunities for career development and training. The postholder is required to live in/near London for the duration of their employment and be able to undertake some travel for conferences and archival work.


This post will be offered on a full-time, fixed term contract for 3 years from 1 January 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.# Key responsibilities

- Develop an independent research project that is demonstrably related to the project’s main research themes.
- Contribute on an ongoing basis to the project’s collaborative knowledge-base, dependent on candidate’s expertise. This includes contributing to a broader understanding of the social and cultural history of the MENA region from the Nahda era onwards, struggles over musical and other ‘modernities’ (however defined), the politics of the sonic archive.
- Work closely with PI and two other postdocs to create an interdisciplinary methodology for the study of MENA region musical modernities.
- Where necessary, undertake training to develop skills relevant to the shared research agenda
- Where required, carry out research trips to libraries and archives and fieldtrips in the MENA region and elsewhere.
- Contribute to the regular practice-led workshops with project musicians and to related lecture-recitals, podcasts, blogs and equivalent
- Publish results both individually and together with the PI and two other postdoctoral researchers
- Prepare presentation materials and attend events, conferences and meetings to disseminate research related to the project
- Organise workshops, seminars and meetings related to the project
- Attend regular in-person meetings in London with the PI and two other postdoctoral researchers
- Assist the PI, Research Assistant and two other postdoctoral researchers with aspects of the project management

*The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.*

# Skills, knowledge, and experience

**Essential criteria**

1.     PhD in relevant area of musicology, ethnomusicology, anthropology, or related field.

2.     Ability to pursue archival/historical work in the Arab world in Arabic at the requisite level.

3.     Ability to work in a team in an open, sharing manner and to engage in independent working

4.     Openness to interdisciplinary approaches and willingness to undertake training to develop skills

5.     Developing record of high-quality publications and scholarship (achieved and potential) appropriate to career stage

6.     Experience as a performer (in MENA region musics) or working with such performers.

7.     Excellent written and spoken command of English


**Desirable criteria**

1.      Knowledge of one or more MENA region language, beyond primary area of expertise, including (but not limited to) Ottoman Turkish, modern Turkish, Hebrew, Persian, Armenian, Kurdish.

2.     Experience with simple databases, social media, podcasts or equivalent


* Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis by 31 December 2023 will be considered. If the PhD has not been awarded by the starting date, the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.*

## Further information

We welcome applications from all, and especially encourage applications from members of groups underrepresented in academic music and from people marginalised on any of the grounds listed under the UK Equality Act 2010.


To apply, please submit:

1.     CV with list of publications (maximum 4 pages)

2.     A recent writing sample (maximum 8000 words; published or in manuscript, and may be a portion of a larger piece)

3.     A cover letter detailing your interest in the project; how you meet the eligibility criteria; and what you might bring to the project (maximum 2 pages)

4.     Names and contact details of two referees


Interviews of shortlisted candidates with a short presentation of their work will take place in October.


For an informal discussion to find out more about the role please contact Professor Martin Stokes, King’s College London,  [](

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