African studies, cultural policy, ethnicity and identity (Mande diaspora, griots, West African musical traditions)
Cultural Anthropology (Cultural festivals, Arts and cultural policy, Nationalism and identity)
Digital archives (Sound archives)
Ethnomusicology (African and Trans-Atlantic musics, World Music)
Dr Graeme Counsel is a lecturer, subject coordinator and Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne. His research projects and publications examine the nexus of popular music and politics, drawing from the disciplines of ethnomusicology, cultural studies and history. His research interests encompass trans-Atlantic and Asiatic cultures, and focus on music, culture and society in Africa. Dr Counsel's post-doctoral research includes over two years’ fieldwork in West Africa. From 2008 to 2013 he received three Major Research Project Awards through the Endangered Archives Programme in partnership with the British Library. This funding enabled the collection, preservation and archiving of Guinea’s national sound archive, a collection of over 7,500 songs recorded during Guinea's 1st Republic (1958-1984). One of the largest digital collections of African music, the archive includes the complete catalogue of the Syliphone recording label, the flagship of the Guinean recording industry. The complete archive is available in its entirety online through the British Library Sounds website. Dr Counsel’s cultural archive projects were conducted in partnership with Guinea’s Ministry of Culture et Patrimonie and Ministry of Communication, and were exhibited at the National Museum of Guinea. In recognition of his research and contribution to the preservation of national culture, the Guinean government awarded him their highest research honour, the gold medal of the Palme Academique en Or. He was the first non-African and non-Guinean recipient of this award. The Bibliotheque Nationale de Guinee and the archives of Radio Television Guinee both hold his collections. Dr Counsel has presented his academic research in a wide variety of fora. He was invited to present his research at the first international symposium on African popular music: “Revisiter l'histoire des musiques modernes d'Afrique: Retour aux sources”, held in Mali. He has presented papers for numerous African Studies
My research interests cover the music, culture and politics of Africa, with particular reference to West Africa. Trans-Atlantic music styles (jazz, blues, reggae, Cuban music, etc) are also research areas, with cultural policy, nationalism and identity central discourses.