Professor Tina K. Ramnarine

Research interests













Tina K. Ramnarine is a musician, anthropologist and global cultural explorer. Her research focuses on performance, politics, music in global histories, and arts responses to contemporary global challenges. It lies at the intersections between the Humanities and the Social Sciences, and it draws on social theory, performance and multi-sited ethnographic work. She is interested in what music researchers can contribute to issues such as climate change and cross-species creativities in fragile ecosystems. She has carried out extensive research across the Nordic countries, especially on Finnish and Saami music (e.g. contemporary folk music, Jean Sibelius, joik and Nils Aslak Valkeapää). She has worked on Caribbean music (chutney, steel orchestras), labour histories in the Indian Diaspora, and intercultural gamelan projects in Bali. She has broad interests in transnationalism, decolonising scholarship and postcolonial studies.


Publications include the books Creating Their Own Space: The Development of an Indian-Caribbean Musical Tradition (University of West Indies Press, 2001), Ilmatar's Inspirations: Nationalism, Globalization, and the Changing Soundscapes of Finnish Folk Music (Chicago University Press, 2003), Beautiful Cosmos: Performance and Belonging in the Caribbean Diaspora (Pluto Press, 2007), and an edited volume Musical Performance in the Diaspora (Routledge, 2007). Research publications include articles on the Disney film Frozen, the Saami film, Pathfinder and the Bollywood films Om Shanti Om and Dulha Mil Gaya. She researched orchestras around the world in terms of civil society, European Integration and education, postcolonial politics and digital technologies as an Associate Director of the AHRC Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice. This research was based on professional experiences as an orchestral musician and it resulted in the edited volume Global Perspectives on Orchestras: Collective Creativity and Social Agency (Oxford University Press, 2017/18).


Currently, she is a member of the Royal Anthropological Institute's Ethnomusicology Committee and an Associate Fellow of the Institute for the Study of the Americas. She is an international advisory board member of the CWM and EZJM (universities of Hildesheim and Hanover), African Musicology Online and the School of Indian Film Music. She is a former Chair of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, co-editor of Ethnomusicology Forum, UK Representative on the International Council for Traditional Music, member of the Society for Ethnomusicology's Board of Directors (USA), and of the UK QAA benchmarking panel for Anthropology. She has been involved in the organisation of international conferences and she has been a programme committee member for several of these, including the joint meeting of three music societies, which was one of the largest musicological gatherings held in the USA.


Activities in public engagement include creating and directing an award-winning community-pedagogy project in Northern Ireland, 'Musical Performance as Social Practice', and presenting research talks at festivals such as Sounds New Music Festival 'Baltic+' (UK); Wassermusik Festival (Germany); Chutney Currents: Music, Migration, and Diaspora (USA); Remembered Rhythms: Music and Diaspora of India Festival (India); Diaspora Music Village Festival (UK); and for the museum exhibition, Inde du Nord: Gloire des Princes, louanges des Dieux (France). She co-convened Indenture to Windrush, a public event featuring an oral history panel, musical demonstration and commemorative reading, which drew further attention to an important aspect of British imperial history. Linked with this event, as well as with the Commonwealth People's Forum 2018 (on civil society approaches to inclusivity, justice and accountability) is an anthology of creative writing, co-edited with the writers and literary scholars, David Dabydeen and Maria del Pilar Kaladeen. This anthology, We Mark Your Memoryincludes contributions from Africa, the Americas, the Pacific, South Asia and the U.K,


She is active in music pedagogy and she is the current Director of the MMUS and PGDip programmes at RHUL. Her doctoral research students are working on projects such as transmission and policies in UK conservatoires, UK opera, Western art music in India, symphony orchestras in Indonesia, music and economics in Greece, and Congolese popular music. She has also supervised projects on music in Arctic, Vietnamese, South African and Ugandan contexts. Tina K. Ramnarine has been invited to share her research insights by giving talks, public lectures and keynote conference papers internationally, including across the Nordic countries, the Caribbean, Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, India, UK, Canada and USA.




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