Musicologist Beverly Diamond Wins Gold Medal for Impact

Beverly Diamond
Beverly Diamond explains her work on contemporary Indigenous music is “motivated by my desire to see Settlers give more respectful attention to this remarkable realm of creative activity.”(Photo: SSHRC)
A woman “rightly considered a guiding voice in contemporary ethnomusicology in Canada” won the nation’s second-annual prize awarded specifically for social science and humanities scholarship today in Ottawa. Beverley Diamond of Memorial University of Newfoundland received the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Gold Medal at the agency’s Impact Awards ceremony at the National Arts Centre. The medal comes with C$100,000 in research money.

A release from the SSHRC, a federal research funding agency, describes Diamond’s scholarship as “examin(ing) the relationship between music and issues of identity, rights and social change. … Her work on contemporary Indigenous music enriches Canadian society and promotes respect for cultural diversity.”

“How are individuals, communities and strangers redefined when musicians, technicians, producers, marketers and listeners produce recordings for global consumption, or when deep-rooted, community-based ‘traditional’ music is broadcast over transnational media networks?” Diamond asks. “What processes are used to select, arrange, record, produce and circulate local music? How does live performance relate to recorded performance? How do the social relations of the music studio vary for musicians of different ethnocultural traditions, genders or ages?”

She played a central role in developing ethnomusicology as a socially and academically relevant research discipline in Canada, establishing undergraduate programs at Queen’s University and graduate programs at York University and Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her 2000 anthology Music and Gender is considered to be one of the most influential compilations in the field, often praised for how it engaged the anthology authors in a conversation about their own experiences and the processes of intellectual formation that underpinned their studies. She established and directs Memorial’s Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place and held visiting professorships at the University of Toronto and Harvard University

Four other winners were announced today (details on the award shortlists available here):

  • The Talent Award went to Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Kirk Luther for his research on human behavior within the criminal justice system, which is helping to improve policing practices and ensure all youth understand their legal rights.
  • The Insight Award went to Thomas Lemieux from The University of British Columbia for his research on the causes behind the growing gap between rich and poor in Canada.
  • The Connection Award went to Nico Trocmé from McGill University for his work developing innovative knowledge-sharing tools that are now being used by child welfare workers across Canada to better understand and address the needs of young people in their care.
  • Queen’s University bullying expert Wendy Craig took home the Partnership Award for her work on PREVNet (conducted in collaboration with scientific co-director Debra Pepler of York University), a national network aimed at stopping bullying in Canada and promoting safe and healthy relationships for all Canadian children and youth.

Recipients of the Talent, Insight, Connection and Partnership awards each receive $50,000.

Now in their second year, SSHRC’s Impact Awards recognize achievements in research, research training, knowledge mobilization and outreach activities in the social sciences and humanities in Canada. The winners are selected by a jury from a list of exceptional nominees submitted by postsecondary institutions across the country.

  • SSHRC is Canada’s federal research funding agency that promotes and supports the development of postsecondary-based research and research talent in the social sciences and humanities.

Members of the committee that chose the Impact Award winners were artist and director Herménégilde Chiasson; Diana Brydon, professor in globalization and cultural studies at the University of Manitoba; Ann Dale, a professor with the School of Environment and Sustainability, Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences at Royal Roads University; Sara L. Diamond, president and vice chancellor of OCAD University; Anthony Glinoer, a professor of literature at Université de Sherbrooke; Myron P. Gutmann, a visiting scholar at the University of Colorado’s Institute of Behavioral Science (and former head of the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate); James Hughes, president of the Graham Boeckh Foundation; Gilles LeVasseur, a professor of law and management at the University of Ottawa; Rohinton Medhora, president of the Center for International Governance Innovation; Simone Philogène, a corporate and public affairs executive with leadership experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors; and Heather L. Sparling, a professor of ethnomusicology at Cape Breton University.


This article was drawn from releases provided by the SSHRC.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
amanda r

Congrats to Beverly Diamond on an amazing achievement! I have a great deal of respect for her, for working so hard to promote cultural diversity in the musical field.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x