Doctoral Candidate Bonnie McConnell awarded AAUW American Fellowship
Ethnomusicology doctoral student Bonnie McConnell receives substantial support and recognition for her research into the relationship between women’s musical performance and health in The Gambia with a recent fellowship award from the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
American Fellowships, AAUW’s oldest and largest funding program, date back to 1888 and support women scholars who are completing doctoral dissertations, conducting postdoctoral research, or finishing research for publication. For the 2014-15 academic year, AAUW awarded $3.7 million to 244 scholars, research projects, and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls.
McConnell’s doctoral work examines the relationship between women’s musical performance and health in The Gambia. Her dissertation focuses in particular on kanyeleng (women’s fertility society) performers and popular music. In The Gambia, she has performed extensively with kanyeleng groups as well as with a popular band dedicated to using music to combat HIV/AIDS related stigma. In addition to her studies in ethnomusicology, McConnell’s research is informed by over four years working on HIV/AIDS awareness in Tanzania and The Gambia.
“Bonnie understands ethnomusicology in its many interdisciplinary dimensions, particularly as it operates at the intersection of music and global health," says Patricia Campbell, head of the UW's Ethnomusicology Program. "She is a fine musical mind, which comes through in her performance as a pianist and performer in various African ensembles as well as in her scholarly analysis and interpretation.”
McConnell says the fellowship will allow her to work full time on completing her dissertion this year. “I feel very honored to have received this fellowship from an organization that has done so much to break down barriers for women around the world.”