Dr. Jocelyn Mory (’20 PhD, Ethnomusicology) was selected as the recipient of the Distinguished Dissertation Award by the UW Graduate School, for her dissertation “Recentering the Borderlands: Matepe as Sacred Technology from the Mutapa State to the Age of Vapostori,” the culmination of four years of fieldwork with musicians in Zimbabwe, with a focus on the instrument known as the mapete. Her thesis advisor was Professor Patricia Campbell.
"We are delighted that Dr. Mory's work rose to this level of recognition," said JoAnn Taricani, Director of the School of Music. "Every dissertation represents the culmination of extensive research.” In this case, Dr. Mory made several extended trips to Zimbabwe over a five-year period, which allowed her to develop deep access to the music and performers in central Mozambique and Zimbabwe. She has made considerable progress in decolonizing the received history of matepe music by using ethnographic methods and colonial archives to craft narratives that align with indigenous concerns and worldviews.
Since completing her degree studies, Dr. Mory has accepted a position as interim director of the International Library of African Music (ILAM), Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, which she begins in January 2022.