Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Report Abuse   |   Sign In   |   Join SEM
Dale A. Olsen Prize
Group HomeGroup HomeGroup PagesDirectory & Features Join Group
Share |

The Dale A. Olsen Prize is awarded annually to the best student paper presented at the annual SEMSEC meeting. The prize is named in honor of Dale A. Olsen, founding member of SEMSEC and Professor Emeritus of Ethnomusicology at Florida State University. The award is only given if the committee identifies a deserving student paper that meets the criteria of the prize. A student shall be defined as a person pursuing an active course of studies in a degree program. This will include persons who are engaged in writing the doctoral dissertation, but not those who are teaching full time while doing so.


The award of $100 will be split 50/50, with funds provided by Dale Olsen and the SEMSEC budget. The SEMSEC treasurer will send a check to the awardee.

Prize Committee

Each year, the SEMSEC leadership will appoint 3-5 people from different institutions, drawn from people who plan to attend the meeting, such as SEMSEC officers and session moderators. The program committee may serve as the prize committee, providing all program committee members attend the conference. Prize committee members should not be students. The program committee chair will also serve as the award chair, provided he or she attends the meeting.

Award Procedures

Submission: Students wishing to be considered for the award should submit papers to the SEMSEC Secretary/Treasurer/Program Chair/DAO Prize Chair electronically within seven (7) days after the final day of the annual meeting. Contact information should appear clearly within the e-mail, including name, institutional affiliation and phone number.
Format: Papers should be attached to an e-mail in .pdf format. Because the award will be based on oral and written versions of the paper, sound and video files may be embedded and/or students may submit a separate file with presentation slides, also in .pdf format. For purposes of uniformity and due process, the committee cannot accept other file formats.
Paper evaluation process: The Secretary/Treasurer will collect all submissions within seven (7) days after the final day of the SEMSEC annual meeting. That person will compile the submissions before sending them out to members of the prize committee. The committee will evaluate the submissions within sixty (60) days after the receipt of the submissions. If scoring leaves the winner ambiguous, the committee chair may request written comments and/or facilitate discussion of the front-runners in order to clarify the winning submission.
At the discretion of the chair and by consent of the committee, committee members may be asked to provide written feedback to students. There is a strong precedent within the Chapter to encourage ongoing scholarship through this kind of feedback. The prize will only be awarded if a deserving paper is submitted. Winners will be announced on the chapter website, in the SEM Newsletter, and at the business meeting during the next SEM annual meeting

Award Criteria

Committee members rank papers on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the best score, according to the following criteria. Note award must be based on both written and oral presentation.
Written Presentation:
    1.    Clarity of problem statement
    2.    Knowledge of previous research
    3.    Organization
    4.    Coherence of argument
    5.    Originality of research and contribution to the field of ethnomusicology
Oral Presentation:
    1.    Effective use of time
    2.    Oral communication skills (pace, eye contact, clearly articulated)
    3.    Organization
    4.    Effective overall presentation, including use of hand-outs, AV (if applicable)
Revised February 2014 by the committee.

Past Awardees:

Dennis Novaes
Federal University of Rio De Janeiro / University of North Carolina
“Becoming a DJ: musical production in Brazilian funk music”

Corey Lohman
University of North Carolina, Greensboro
"The Grain of the Acousmêtra: Encountering the Other in the field recordings of Hugo Zemp’s Voix du Monde”

Peter Trigg
University of Tennessee
"Slippery When Moist: Garfunkel, Oates, and Feminist Musical Comedy"

Shabnam Goli
University of Florida
"Voices of a Rebellious Generation: Cultural and Political Resistance in Iran's Underground Rock Music"
Elizabeth Clendinning
Florida State University
“Changing Karawitan: The Political and Economic Legacy of International Higher Education in the Arts of Bali, Indonesia”
Jessica Hajek University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign “‘Lo Nuestro es lo Verdadero:’ The Rise of Alí-Babá at Dominican Carnival” “‘Lo nuestro es lo verdadero’: el ascenso de Alí-Babá en el carnaval dominicano”
Tom Astley Newcastle University "Destruction as Remembrance: A Cuban Punk Identity Played Out"
Robin Harris University of Georgia Athens "Revitalization and Sustainability: New Horizons for the Siberian Epos of *Olonkho*."
Jonah Chambers University of Tennessee at Knoxville "Where is the Line?: Embodied Expression and the Construction of Difference in Björk's Medulla."
Elizabeth Whittenburg University of Georgia "Sound of the City: The Transmission of Culture by a College Radio Station."
Jason McCoy Florida State University "Making Violence Ordinary: RTLM Radio and the Rwandan Genocide."
Honorable Mention: Plamena Kourtova, Florida State University, "Suffering and Transformation in the Firewalking Ritual of the Bulgarian Nestinari"
Trevor S. Harvey Florida State University "Informal Musicking Within an Old-Time Jam Session in Tallahassee, Florida."
Margaret Jackson Florida State University "Black Like We: The Sounds and Images of Turkish Hip Hop in Germany."
Holly Wissler Florida State University "The Story of an Andean Accordion: The Q’ero Community and Musical Modernization in the Andes."
     Wissler's paper deals with the Qero, a Quechua speaking people who live in a remote region of the southern Peruvian Andes, and are known for the maintenance of indigenous traditions such as shamanistic healing, textile production, and musical ritual. Up until last year the Qero community has used their own Andean flutes and drums in ritual musical performance. In 2003, at their request, the Qero community received their first urban instrument: the accordion. While this instrument is not new to the Andes, it is to the Qero community. The paper explores the following: (1) the Qeros relationship with the urban world in the context of their participation in Qoyllur Riti, the largest pilgrimage festival in the southeastern Andes, and the underlying issues for their desired acquisition of the accordion; (2) how Qero community infrastructure is revealed in the official reception of the instrument; (3) the week-long learning process of the single musician who was chosen by the community to perform the accordion at the Qoyllur Riti festival; and (4) how this acquisition of an urban musical instrument is related to the process of mestizaje, indigenous cultural modernization in the Andes.
Lara Greene Florida State University "Pa’ que sepa la yuma entera: Cuban Popular Dance Music and the Process of Globalization."
     Greene's paper considers the case of timba as it undergoes the transition from local to global popularity. Timba is a Cuban popular dance music that emerged in the late 1980s. Today it enjoys a broad following on the island, largely due to elements that are distinctly local in character. The paper focuses on the activities of timba musicians now living in Miami and examines the changes that occur in their music as they work to connect with new audiences at local and international levels.
Judges for this year's prize consisted of the 2003 SEMSEC Program Committee: Laurie Sommers, Valdosta State University (chair); Chris Goertzen, University of Southern Mississippi; Larry Crook, University of Florida; and Steve Grauberger, Alabama Center for Traditional Culture. (An additional program committee member, Joyce Jackson of LSU, was unable to participate in the prize judging process). Thanks to all those who submitted papers and congratulations to Lara Greene! (submitted by Dr. Laurie Sommers, Program and Award Committee Chair, May 2003)
no award given.
David Pruett Florida State University "WPAQ Radio: Examining a North Carolina Insider Archive." [At this time the prize was not yet the Dale A. Olsen prize, simply the best student paper prize.]

Sign In

Featured News

The upcoming calendar is currently empty.

Click here to view past events and photos »