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Lise Waxer PMSSEM Student Paper Prize
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Purpose: The Popular Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology is pleased to offer the Lise Waxer PMSSEM Student Paper Prize competition. The prize was created to recognize the most distinguished student paper in the ethnomusicology of popular music presented at the SEM annual meeting. The Waxer Prize comes with a cash award of up to $200. All students giving papers on popular music topics at the SEM conference are encouraged to submit their papers for consideration.

Scholar, teacher, and musician, Lise Waxer was an ethnomusicologist whose research on salsa music was greatly admired in the field and whose supportive work as a mentor and colleague inspired the greatest loyalty and respect from those around her. Her untimely death in 2002 was a shock to those that knew her, and at the 2002 SEM meeting, the PMSSEM voted to name the prize in her honor. 

The purpose is to recognize the most distinguished student paper in the ethnomusicology of popular music presented at the SEM annual meeting.

Eligibility: Any student who presents, in person, a formal paper in the ethnomusicology of popular music at the SEM annual meeting. 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. Please note: The Waxer prize competition is separate from other prize competitions. Papers submitted for other prizes (such as the Seeger Prize) are also eligible for the Waxer prize.

Prize: A cash prize in an amount decided annually by the PMSSEM chair; the amount will not exceed $200.

Regularity: Annually. The prize may be withheld by the decision of the committee.

Administration: The selection committee shall be made up of three or four members of PMSSEM, with members chosen for the next year's competition by the section at its annual business meeting or by mail-in vote. (Students may not serve on this committee.) Entries will be judged solely on the content of the papers, including the use of video and audio examples submitted. In general, the Waxer Prize selection committee will decide upon a winner by 15 March each year.

Application Process: To apply for the Waxer prize, the prize candidate must complete two steps:

1. Submit a completed registration form to the Chair of the prize committee at the PMSSEM business meeting, the time and location of which are listed in the SEM conference program; and

2. Send a copy of his or her paper, in PDF format to pmssemwaxerprize@gmail.com before the submission deadline: 12:00 PM (eastern time) on the third day after the end of the annual SEM conference. (In most cases the deadline is at noon on the Wednesday following the annual SEM meeting.) The paper submitted must be the version read at the conference and may not exceed twelve double-spaced pages (roughly 4,000 words). Candidates who wish to submit audio or visual examples should send these to the above email address as well.

Application Deadline: Submissions are due at the PMSSEM Business Meeting.

PMSSEM Web page




Darci Sprengel. “'Ana ‘andi cherophobia’: The Fear of Happiness and the Affects of Belonging in Contemporary Egyptian DIY Music.”

Honorable Mention: Byrd McDaniel. “Karaoke Democracy: Failure and Success at the Providence Boombox.”


Michael D’Errico. “‘Diggin’ in the Carts’: Technologies of Play in Hip-Hop Production and Performance.”

2014 (Listed year shifted in 2015 to reflect when presented opposed to year awarded)

Daniel Stadnicki. “(Anti)Neolibral Musicking: An Inquiry into Protest Drumming for the 21st Century.”


Fritz Schenker. "‘The Paul Whiteman of the East’: Performing Race in Colonial Asia.”    


Meredith Schweig. 
"That's a Rap?: Imagining the Multiple Origins of Taiwan Hip-Hop.”


Tony Dumas. 
"Metaphors of Emotion and the Commodification of Flamenco in Northern America.”


Luis-Manuel Garcia. "Liquid Solidarities: Vague Belonging at Electronic Dance Music Events in Paris, Chicago, and Berlin.”      


Andrew Mall. "Lost in the Sound of Separation: Mainstreams and Undergrounds at a Christian Rock Festival."


Tyler Bickford. "Media Consumption as Social Organization at a New England Public School."


Jayson Beaster-Jones. "Indexing the Past, Selling the Future."


Elizabeth K. Keenan. "Straightyfest, Ladyquest, Ladyfest: Femininity, Sexuality, and Third Wave Feminism at Young Women's Punk Rock Music Festivals."


Rachel Devitt. "Girl on Girl: Bio-Queens, Pop Music, and Re-radicalizing Drag."


Kristin Solli. "Keeping it Køntri: Country Music, Class, and Cultural Hierarchy in Norway."


Richard W. Mook. "'Oh How I Miss that Old Gang of Mine': Memory and Homoeroticism in Barbershop Performance."        


Thomas H. Greenland. "Mutiny on the Boundary or Microcosmopolitanism?: Theorizing Transience in Cruiseship Communities."         






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