FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University Jacobs School of Music alumna Elizabeth Elmi has received the 2020 International Musicological Society Outstanding Dissertation Award, in addition to a 2020-21 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award.
The research Elmi, Ph.D.’19, developed while a musicology student at the Jacobs School of Music earned her these two coveted international honors.
Elmi examined the predominantly oral practice of singing lyric poetry among members of the Neapolitan aristocracy in southern Italy during the late 15th century in her 2019 dissertation, “Singing Lyric among Local Aristocratic Networks in the Aragonese-Ruled Kingdom of Naples: Aesthetic and Political Meaning in the Written Records of an Oral Practice.”
“It was a pleasure advising Liz throughout the dissertation-writing process,” said Massimo Ossi, professor of musicology. “She mastered a wide array of scholarship, from literary and musicological theories on the shift from oral to written transmission of poetry and music, to the intricacies of codicological analysis and philology, to the history of the Kingdom of Naples under the Spanish monarchy.
“In the process, she thought deeply about every problem she encountered, producing a brilliant account of the activities of native aristocratic poets and musicians seeking to preserve their distinct culture under foreign occupation. Nothing of the sort had ever been attempted: previous studies of Naples focused on the Aragonese court, not on the intellectuals and artists meeting outside its patronage and certainly not on their identity as a colonized people.”
As the recipient of a 2020-21 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award, Elmi will travel to Italy, where she will expand on her dissertation and conduct research at the Università della Basilicata for her pending book, “Inscribing the Self in Occupied Southern Italy: Culture, Politics, and Identity in Lyric Song Practices of the Aragonese-Ruled Kingdom of Naples.”
“I hold degrees in both Italian literature and musicology, and I am a trained vocalist,” said Elmi. “Neapolitan song, in particular, is something I grew up hearing from my southern Italian parents and grandparents. In many ways, this project, which will bring me into the smaller archives of rural southern Italy, allows me to weave all of these disparate elements together into an approach to research that links the personal and the professional.”
One of the top-ranked musicology programs in the nation, the IU Jacobs School of Music Musicology Department offers masters and doctoral degrees, courses in music of all periods, strong financial aid, an outstanding music library and the resources of a major research university with a comprehensive school of music.