Professor John Morgan O'Connell
MA (Oxon), MA (UCLA), PhD (UCLA), AGSM
I am an Irish ethnomusicologist with a specialist interest in cultural history. I have recently completed a monograph on music and commemoration as it relates to the Gallipoli Campaign from the perspective of the Australians and the Turks, the British and the Germans, amongst others (see O’Connell 2017). I also explore the issues of militarism and orientalism with respect to Irish recruits in the military catastrophe, my own family in particular having an ongoing connection with the Ottoman Empire. Some of my ancestors were administrators and soldiers in Ottoman territories, and others were diplomats and doctors in the Ottoman capital (see Figure 1). Significantly, a number of my relatives were either killed or wounded in the Gallipoli Campaign (see Figure 2).
This research builds upon my established interest in the music of the Middle East. It also draws upon my continued research on music in conflict zones. These academic strands have resulted in significant outputs in the form of a monograph (see O’Connell 2013) and a collection (see O’Connell Ed. 2010) respectively. I am currently working on a project that concerns staged folklore in Ireland (see O’Connell forth.). I also aim to complete a study on music in the late Ottoman Empire. In addition, I have conducted impact related research in the Muslim world in association with the Aga Khan Humanities Project (see O’Connell 2015) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (2014).
O’Connell, John M. 2018. ‘Bedî Mensî: Arel ve Ahenk’. In Fikret Turan, Emine Temel and Emre Kurban Eds. Arel Sempozyumu Bildirileri. Istanbul: Türkiyat Araştırmaları Enstitüsü, 341-350.
O’Connell, John M. 2018. ‘A Concert Platform: A Space for a Style in Turkish Music’. In Federico Spinetti and Michael Frishkopf Eds. Music, Sound, and Architecture in Islam. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 59-84.
O’Connell, John M. 2017. Commemorating Gallipoli through Music: Remembering and Forgetting. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, Lexington Books.
O’Connell, John M. 2019. ‘E Pluribus Unum: Unity in Diversity through Music’. In Denis Laborde Ed. L’idéal du musicien et l’âpreté du monde. Paris: Gradhiva.
O’Connell, John M. forth. ‘From Stage to Page: Fadó Fadó and the Kerry Tradition’. In Susan Motherway and John M. O’Connell Eds. Staged Folklore. Cork: Cork University Press.
O’Connell, John M. forth. ‘Folklore in Stages: Theorizing Staged Folklore’. In Susan Motherway and John M. O’Connell Eds. Staged Folklore. Cork: Cork University Press.
2018: ‘Staged Folklore: The National Folk Theatre of Ireland’. Siamsa Tíre. Tralee (Ireland) [Sponsor: The Arts Council of Ireland].
2019: ‘Social Anthropologies of the Welsh: Past and Present’. Royal Anthropological Institute. Cardiff (UK) [Sponsor: WISERD].
- 1996: PhD (Ethnomusicology) UCLA, USA
- 1992: MA (Music) UCLA, USA
- 1986: AGSM (Performance) Guildhall School of Music, UK
- 1985: MA (Geography) Oxford University, UK
- 1982: BA (Geography) Oxford University, UK
- 2006: Getty Foundation Internship, Koç Üniversitesi, Turkey
- 2002: Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, Brown University, USA
- 2001: Music Consultant, Aga Khan Humanities Project, Tajikistan
- 1992: Turkish Government Fellowship, İstanbul Üniversitesi, Turkey
- 1991: Graduate Distinguished Scholar, UCLA, USA
- 1990: DAAD Fellowship, Freie Universität, Germany
- 1988: Graduate Fellowship, UCLA, USA
- 1987: Research Associate, York University, UK
- Otago University (Lecturer)
- University of Limerick (Senior Lecturer)
- Cardiff University (Professor)
- Queen's University (Visiting Lecturer)
- Brown University (Visiting Professor)
- Haverford College (Distinguished Visiting Professor), among others
Recent: Selected (2014-)
- 2019: ‘Aheng-i Tarab: Turkish Musicians in Cairo and Arab Musicians in Istanbul during the Twentieth Century’, Herb Alpert School of Music, UCLA, Los Angeles (USA)
- 2019: ‘William Jones (1746-94): Welsh Orientalist and Ethno-Musicologist’, Royal Anthropological Institute, Cardiff University, Cardiff (UK)
- 2018: ‘From Stage to Page: Fadó Fadó and the Kerry Tradition’, International Symposium, Siamsa Tíre, Tralee (Ireland)
- 2018: Keynote. ‘“Çanakkale Türküsü”’: Reconciliation and Retribution at a Centennial Commemoration’, British Forum for Ethnomusicology, University of Keele, Newcastle-under-Lyme (UK)
2017: Keynote. ‘Old Gallipoli: Music in the Commemoration of a Campaign', CoHere Symposium, Newcastle University, Newcastle (UK)
2017: 'Bedî Mensî: Hüseyin Sadettin ve Türk Operası', Hüseyin Sadettin Arel Sempozyomu, İstanbul Üniversitesi, Istanbul (Turkey)
- 2017: ‘De la musique pour la guerre: pluralisme et chauvinisme’, La Fondation Royaumont, Paris (France)
2017: Keynote. ‘Heal the Pain: The Arts in the Dardanelles (1915)’, Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies, Durham University (UK)
2016: ‘Turân: A Turkic Myth in Turkish Music’, Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum, SOAS, London (UK)
2016: ‘Telling Tales: Musical Creativity and National Identity in the Gallipoli Campaign’, Commemorating WWI, National Museum, Cardiff (UK)
2016: ‘Saz as Symbol: A Turkic Lute in the Turkish Diaspora’, Music of the Silk Road, Shanghai Conservatory, Shanghai (China)
2015: ‘The Classical Style: Modal Analysis of a Vocal Improvisation in Turkey’, 3rd International Mugam Symposium, Baku (Azerbaijan)
2015: ‘The Pulse of Asia: Musical Diffusion and Environmental Determinism in Central Asia’, International Council for Traditional Music, Astana (Kazakhstan)
2014: ‘Usûlsüz: A Matter of Meter in the Concerts of Münir Nurettin Selçuk (1923-1938)’, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster (Germany)
2014: ‘Ottomanism Revived: Jewish Musicians and Cultural Politics in Turkey’, Society for Ethnomusicology, Pittsburgh (USA)
2014: ‘Concert Platform: Style and Space in Turkish Music’, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisation, London (UK)
2014: ‘Mythality: Myth and Reality in Turkish Music’, Arnolfini, Bristol (UK)
I offer a range of lectures and seminars. At an undergraduate level, I teach the following lectures: ‘Music in Human Life’ (Year 1), ‘Music in Cross-Cultural Perspective’ (Year 2) and ‘Project in Ethnomusicology’ (Year 3). At a postgraduate level, I teach the following seminars: ‘The Anthropology of Music’, ‘Methods in Ethnomusicology’, ‘The World of Music’, ‘Doing Ethnomusicology’, ‘The Language of Music’ and ‘Music and Discourse’. I also offer specialist seminars that concern music in the Middle East and music in the Celtic world. My doctoral students are currently completing research on musical topics in the Celtic world, the Balkans, and Turkey.
My research concerns the musical traditions of the Muslim world, with a secondary area of expertise in the musical traditions of Europe. Other areas of interest include the significance of hermeneutic theory and historical ethnography for ethnomusicology. In 2013, I published a monograph on Turkish style in the early-Republican period (1923-1938). In 2010, I edited a scholarly collection that concerns music and conflict in a global perspective. Further, I have recently published chapters on music and humanism, music and classicism, and music and architecture. Having submitted for publication my latest book on music and commemoration in the Gallipoli Campaign (contract signed November, 2016), I am now undertaking a study of music in Ireland during the Great War.
I have acted as a music consultant for a number of international organizations, being awarded a Senior Fulbright Fellowship in association with the Aga Khan Humanities Project (2002) and a Getty Foundation Grant to participate in its International Summer Institute (2006). I was also awarded an AHRC fellowship (2014) for a project entitled ‘The God Article’. I have hosted a variety of international conferences including the 15th ICTM International Colloquium (2004) and the annual conference of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (2008). I was reviews editor for the journal Ethnomusicology. I am currently a member of the editorial boards for the SOAS Musicology Series, Ethnomusicology Forum and the Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, amongst others.