Professor Tina K. Ramnarine

Research interests


Tina K. Ramnarine is a musician, anthropologist and global cultural explorer. Her interdisciplinary research lies at the intersections between the Social Sciences and the Humanities. It draws on social theory, performance and multi-sited ethnographic work in looking at music, globalization, identity politics and environment. She has carried out extensive research across the Nordic countries on Finnish and Saami music (e.g. contemporary folk music, Jean Sibelius, joik, rap, and Nils Aslak Valkeapää). She has also worked on Caribbean music (from chutney to steel orchestras) and on music and film in the Indian Diaspora. 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). With interests in engaged scholarship, she has explored what music researchers can contribute to important global issues such as climate change, polar warming, forest industries, and endangered languages. She is an Associate Director of the AHRC Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice within which she is  researching 'the orchestra in global perspective'. This research stems from professional experiences as an orchestral musician. It explores orchestras in relation to civil society, postcolonial politics, digital technologies and anthropological approaches to ritual performances. An edited volume (Global Perspectives on Orchestras: Essays on Collective Creativity and Social Agency) is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.


She co-convenes the Royal Holloway Postcolonial Research Group. Currently, she is a member of the Royal Anthropological Institute's Ethnomusicology Committee, an Associate Fellow of the Institute for the Study of the Americas, and an advisory panel member of African Musicology Online and of the School of Indian Film Music (Chennai). 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 (2005-13), member of the Society for Ethnomusicology's Board of Directors (USA), and of the UK QAA benchmarking panel for Anthropology.


Her current doctoral research students are working on projects such as music and social activism in South Africa, transmission and policies in UK conservatoires, South African jazz musicians in exile, music and sentiment in Vietnam, Western art music in India, music and economics in Greece, and music and politics in Uganda. 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, France, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, India, UK, Canada and USA.




ID: 19397