Job offer
30 Months Post-doc position in Ethnomusicology at the Instituto de Etnomusicologia, Música e Dança (INET-MD), NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal

A Post-doc position will be soon available at the Instituto de Etnomusicologia, Musica e Dança (INET-MD), New University of Lisbon, Portugal (http://www.inetmd.pt/). The successful candidate will work on a project entitled HELP-MD “The Healing and Emotional Power of Music and Dance," funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT, Total funding: €239.881,43) and led by Dr. Filippo Bonini Baraldi (Principal Investigator, PI) and Dr. Salwa Castelo Branco (Co- PI). The position is available for 30 months, starting April 1st, 2019.

The successful candidate will hold a temporary position as associate researcher following Portuguese regulations (work contract including social security benefits, rather than scholarship). Salary will be 2.334,30 euros/month (after taxes). Candidates are invited to send a cover letter describing qualifications and interest in the research topic, a CV, and contact details for two referees. Please send application documents as a single pdf to Dr. Filippo Bonini Baraldi (filibb@gmail.com) before December 31st, 2018.

Project description :

Can we explain the power of music and dance to prevent and even treat illness? In Western societies, this question is of great concern to cognitive scientists, who investigate the impact of music on basic human faculties such as memory, emotions and corporeal abilities in persons affected by different types of diseases (Alzheimer's, autism, etc.). Ethnomusicologists, who focus on the cultural diversity of musical expressions, may offer an important contribution to this emerging field by describing how the relation among music, dance, and health regulation is conceived of in other cultural contexts and performance settings (rituals, religious ceremonies, profane feasts, etc.) Although the scientific literature reports a large variety of these descriptions, no attempts have been made so far to compare data across cultures and musical genres, and to link qualitative field observations with quantitative laboratory experiments. By establishing an interdisciplinary team of scholars working in the fields of ethnomusicology, cognitive sciences, and music computing, this project aims to fill this gap.

The first aim is to develop an anthropological theory of the emotional and healing power of music. Given the large dissemination of non-scientific beliefs on the use of music as a therapeutic tool, our purpose is to show rigorously what type of relations music maintains with illness prevention and treatment in a wide range of world cultures. By sharing ethnographic accounts coming from our respective fields, we will address the following question: Can we find, in different musical and cultural contexts, similarities in the ways music is used for healing purposes?

The second objective is to develop an innovative methodological framework for exploring the relation among music, emotions and health regulation in a specific study-case, that of Maracatu de baque solto, a Carnival performance occurring in Pernambuco (Brazil). In order to prevent spiritual and physical attacks that may result in illness and eventually death, Maracatu musicians and dancers act to achieve a high level of group cohesion locally known as consonância (consonance), a valorized human and aesthetic value which is opposed to desmantelo (fracture, breaking up). While field-research in Brazil will explore the symbolic, religious and emotional meanings of Maracatu, laboratory experiments in Lisbon will be held in order to understand, at a more formal level, how consonance is achieved through the interplay of music and dance.

The successful candidate will hold a temporary position as associate researcher following Portuguese regulations (work contract including social security benefits, rather than scholarship). Salary will be 2.334,30 euros/month (after taxes).

Candidates are invited to send a cover letter describing qualifications and interest in the research topic, a CV, and contact details for two referees. Please send application documents as a single pdf to Dr. Filippo Bonini Baraldi (filibb@gmail.com) before December 31st, 2018.

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