School of History, Classics and Archaeology

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Jazzy Vacation Scholarship

A second year undergraduate History student at Newcastle University has used a vacation scholarship to research Jazz history in America. Emily Needle’s self-designed project focuses on the Jenkins Orphanage Band, originally formed in 1890s Charleston (South Carolina), as a case study to explore the wider questions surrounding the development and dissemination of Jazz in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century United States.

In her blog, From Rags Through Race to Ragtime, which documents her experience Emily explains how she set out to ‘examine the ethnic and economical profile of Jazz audiences in an attempt to assess the reception of Jazz, and the extent to which Jazz, developed in the segregated environment of the ‘Jim Crow’ South, was able to cross class and racial divisions among national audiences’. Her research will form the basis of her final year dissertation, and she will be producing an academic poster of her findings.

Vacation scholarships and expeditions enable students to conduct their own research projects. Training with established researchers and the financial support provided by the University afford students the exciting opportunity to pursue a research question and to develop key skills through conducting a project they have designed. After undertaking her research in America, Emily has encouraged current first and second year students to apply for vacation scholarships, commenting that they're a 'really incredible opportunity!’.



published on: 20 August 2015