Research Projects

Nordic Sounds: Critical Music Research Group
Formed in 2016 as part of University of Oslo’s strategic research area  UiO:Norden. The research group aims to establish interfaculty and inter-departmental collaboration on issues dealing with music, sound, subjectivity, national and Nordic identity, culture, and social systems. Engages with Nordic music research across all genres, including contemporary, classical, folk, jazz, black metal, hip hop, rap, rock and pop. Examines the recent trends and developments in music within a Nordic geopolitical context from a broad musicological perspective. Strives towards establishing knowledge on Nordic music within an international context.

Popular Music and Gender in a Transcultural Context: NFR (Norwegian Research Council) funded, Department of Musicology, 2010-2014. This was led by me, the first project of its kind in Europe, and particularly relevant socially and politically in the wake of recent cultural changes in Norway, not least in the aftermath of the terror attacks on the country by a white right extreme male nationalist on 22 July 2011. The core team of the project consists of Mats Johansson (postdoctoral fellow), Birgitte Sandve (PhD fellow), Jon Mikkel Broch Ålvik (PhD fellow), Erlend Hegdal (PhD fellow), Mari Paus and Craig Jennex (Research Assistants). Affiliated to the project was  Susan McClary. Various national, Nordic and international seminars and conferences were planned and in 2014 both Mikkel Ålvik and Birgitte Sandve successfully completed their PhDs.

Cultural Complexity in the New Norway: Strategic university programme, University of Oslo, 2004-2009.
Participation in a prestigious research programme that has been selected as the new priority area for research at the University of Oslo. The programme is an inter-faculty project and is concerned with an empirical focus on minority-majority relationships within Norway. Together with music anthropologist, Jan Sverre Knudsen, Stan Hawkins is heading up a music project at the Department of Musicology, “Bonds and Boundaries – Musical dynamics and strategies in the new Norway.” Publication, Normalitet (eds. T. Hylland Eriksen & Jan Kåre Breivik, Universitetsforlaget, 2006) included chapter 10, ‘Normalitet og musikk i norsk reklame i 2006’ (Stan Hawkins)

Musical Bonds and Boundaries: Research project developed at the Department of musicology in 2005. Underlying this project is a firm conviction that music creates bonds and boundaries in  ways that articulate processes of cultural complexity at work. In a national context,  performance practices and styles relate to one another through patterns of communication  that can complicate our understanding of how musical trends become circumscribed.  Clearly, there are many positions that have addressed how cultural expression functions  through music. Informed by studies within ethnomusicology, anthropology, sociology,  gender studies, music criticism, popular music studies, and media and communication  studies, this project considers musical activity as a social and relational process, which  binds people together in more or less formal communities, by also serving as a tool for  defining and maintaining stylistic and social boundaries. Engaging oneself in music  always has to do with processes of creating, empowering and connecting to discourses  and value systems of different kinds. These operate on the level of the private, collective,  linguistic, political, national, religious or aesthetic.  Seminar: Musical Bonds & Boundaries, held 28 November 2006, Dept. of Musicology, University of Oslo. Programme/delegates: Mats Johansson, John Richardson, Eirik Askeroi, Jan Sverre Knudsen, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Erkki Pekkilä and Stan Hawkins. Seminar: Musical Bonds & Boundaries, held 27 November 2007, Dept. of Musicology, University of Oslo. Programme/delegates: Eirik Askeroi, Marita Buanes, Stan Hawkins, Jan Sverre Knudsen and Sarah Niblock.

Hip-Hop project with Jan Sverre Knudsen (2005/2006)
Musical styles are always in flux: they change through time. For example, the changes within hip-hop reflect the movements of people into and out of a milieu. Such changes have much to do with immigration, but also with technological innovation and temporality. Investigating the relationship between social elements and the development of styles is one of the main challenges of this pilot study.