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Ethnomusicology Student of the Month - Jeffrey Dyer

Wednesday, August 21, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephanie Sturgis
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Jeffrey Dyer
Boston University

Concentration of Study: Historicity and temporality; music and politics; urban soundscapes; music and ritual; ontological ethnomusicology; transnational networks & exchange

Expected Graduation Date: August 2020

Biography: Jeffrey Dyer is a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology at Boston University. His dissertation rethinks the ethics of historicity and trauma in Cambodia by listening for the ways Cambodian people derive a moral foundation, health, and guidance from local ontologies embedded in sonic practices. Funded by the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, a Center for Khmer Studies Senior Fellowship, and BU’s Graduate Research Abroad Fellowship, this interdisciplinary dissertation interrogates the ways music and sound bring spirits, ghosts, and ancestors to be active participants in Cambodians’ lives, and the wealth of history and remembrance inherent in that companionship. Jeffrey plays a number of Cambodian instruments; has presented at conferences including SEM, ICTM, and the Association for Asian Studies; and has published articles in the journals EthnomusicologyThe Yale Journal of Music & Religion, and Asian Music. In addition to his work in Cambodia, Jeffrey researches the experiences of Muslim minorities living in Mandalay, Myanmar, including how they cope with predominantly Buddhist soundscapes. At BU, Jeffrey served on the inaugural Graduate Student Advisory Board to the Provost’s Office. Before beginning graduate studies, Jeffrey taught high school English and environmental science in Massachusetts and Arizona, and he hopes to incorporate active pedagogy into any future teaching. When not conducting research, reading, or writing, Jeffrey can be found mountain biking, backpacking, and hiking up tall mountains.

Honors & Awards:

  • Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 2019-2020.
  •  Senior Research Fellowship, Center for Khmer Studies, 2018-2019.


  • 2018. “Oral Pedagogy, Playful Performance, and Issues of Notation in Khmer Wedding Music.” Ethnomusicology 62(1): 104-36.
  •  2017. “Nationalist Transformations: Music, Ritual, and the Work of Memory in Cambodia and Thailand.” The Yale Journal of Music & Religion 3(2): 26-42.
  •  2016. “A View from Cambodia: Reorienting the Monochord Zither.” Asian Music 47(1): 3-28.


Complete list of Ethnomusicology Students of the Month

Ethnomusicology Student of the Month Nomination Form

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