An American scholar from the University of California has been granted the prestigious Fullbright-mtvU Scholarship to study music of the gay and lesbian community in India.
Jeffrey Roy, who is in the Ph.D. program of Ethnomusicology at UCLA, is currently in post-production of his feature-length documentary film, entitled “Rites of Passage,” following the gender transition of an Indo-Muslim transsexual female. The short-film version of the project (already completed) won the Audience Choice: Best Short Film award at the Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival (I-W, June 15).
Besides English and French, Roy knows Hindi and Urdu.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and mtvU announced the 2012 winners of the Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship Aug. 13 to study, for an academic year, aspects of international musical culture in Barbados, Botswana, India and Kosovo.
The other three winners are Albulen Shabani (University of Wisconsin), who will study women’s musical groups in Kosovo; Katherine Cloutier (Michigan State University) to study community health and music in Barbados; and Sebastian Modak (University of Pennsylvania) to study local hip hop and HIV/AIDS awareness in Botswana.
In partnership with mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, the Fulbright fellowship uses music to promote mutual understanding. The winners will share their experiences during their Fulbright year via video reports, blogs and podcasts.
According to the Fulbright program’s Web site, “Roy will create a documentary on how members of the LGBT community in India use music and dance to navigate tradition, modernity and globalization, in order to craft a contemporary, urban identity.
“Roy will base his work primarily in Mumbai to examine how music and dance constructs and negotiates identities as sites of resistance and self-affirmation, within the context of social gatherings, political protests and religious rituals,” said a statement from the program.