Dr Ross Cole wins prestigious award from the Society for Ethnomusicology

Dr Cole has been awarded the prestigious Bruno Nettl Prize for his recent book 'The Folk: Music, Modernity, and the Political Imagination', published by University of California Press.

The Bruno Nettl Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology is awarded in recognition of an outstanding publication contributing to or dealing with the history of the field of ethnomusicology.

Chair of the judging panel Dr Kiku Day praised the book for its archival research and stimulating arguments concerning how race is entwined with folk music, myth, and nostalgia:

Cole skillfully shows no culture is created out of a vacuum.<br><br>This book is an important contribution to the scholarship of ethnomusicology in understanding how convoluted politics and notions of authenticity in music can be. 

The book traces a mounting fascination with folk music in Britain and the US during a crucial period of cultural change from 1870 to 1930, and beyond to the contemporary alt-right. Interdisciplinary in scope, it follows an insistent set of disputes surrounding the practice of collecting, ideas of racial belonging, nationality, the poetics of nostalgia, and the pre-history of European fascism. It is the biography of a people who exist only as symptoms of the modern imagination, and the archaeology of a landscape directing flows of global populism to this day. 

Reviews have described it as ‘definitive’ (Music & Letters), ‘richly informed’ (Twentieth-Century Music), and ‘a wake-up call’ (Ethnomusicology Forum).

For more information visit the University of California Press website, and read Dr Cole’s profile for more information on his research.