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Bess Lomax Hawes Award in Applied Ethnomusicology
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Purpose: To recognize SEM conference presentations that advance the understanding and scope of applied ethnomusicology and the goal of connecting ethnomusicology to the public arena, as well as to encourage student contributions to the field.

Bess Lomax Hawes (1921-2009) was Director of the Folk and Traditional Arts Division of the National Endowment for the Arts, 1977-1992. A folklorist and ethnomusicologist, she was instrumental in establishing the public folklore infrastructure in the US, and a tireless advocate for applied ethnomusicology. A long-time member of SEM, she delivered the Charles Seeger Lecture in 1993.

Eligibility: Student members of SEM and the Applied Ethnomusicology Section who present a paper or project at the SEM annual conference. (Non-students should apply for the Applied Ethnomusicology Section Paper/Project Prize.) A student is defined as a person pursuing an active course of studies in an undergraduate, graduate or professional degree program. Students need not be the sole architect or participant of the presentation, but must have played significant roles in the planning and execution, to the extent that they can claim co-authorship.

Papers and projects must address topics/issues/concerns connected to applied ethnomusicology (including engaged- and/or advocacy-oriented topics).

Prize: A cash prize of $100.

Regularity: Annually.

Administration: The Applied Ethnomusicology Prize Committee will be made up of three members of the Applied Ethnomusicology Section appointed by the Section co-chairs. Each member of the prize committee will review and evaluate the entries, calling on outside specialists’ opinions when necessary.

The prize winner will be notified before the following year’s conference. The winner will then be recognized at the Applied Ethnomusicology Section business meeting.

Application Process: To apply for the Bess Lomax Hawes Award in Applied Ethnomusicology, applicants must submit an electronic copy of their conference presentations to the Section co-chairs. Normally this will consist of the text of the paper that was read, along with the audio and visual material that was presented. 

Application Deadline: One week after the annual SEM conference.


Oliver Shao. 


Jocelyn Moon & Steven Moon. 


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