Dr Catherine Ingram

BMus(Hons) PhD Melb; Dip Ed La Trobe
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Member of China Studies Centre

C41 - Sydney Conservatorium of Music
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 1235

Website ResearchGate

Biographical details

Catherine Ingram (英倩蕾) is an ethnomusicologist and an ethnographer of contemporary Chinese culture. Her main focus is Chinese musical culture, and especially the music of China’s minority groups. She is the first non-Chinese to complete substantial research into Kam (in Chinese, Dong 侗) minority song—including study of Kam “big song,” the important Kam song genre that was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009 and that was the focus of her doctoral research (Ethnomusicology/Chinese studies, University of Melbourne, 2010). Before commencing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Sydney in late 2014, Catherine was a Newton International Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London, 2013-2014), a Research Fellow at the International Institute of Asian Studies (University of Amsterdam, 2011), and an Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Research Fellow (Research Institute for Ritual Music in China, Shanghai Conservatory of Music (上海音乐学院), 2010-2011).

Since 2000 Catherine has spent many years working and conducting research in China. As part of her research she was invited to sing with Kam friends and teachers in many performances of various Kam musical genres, and learnt to speak a dialect of the Kam language (a Tai-Kadai language with no widely used written form and completely different from Chinese). Her research into and involvement in Kam music-making have featured in a range of Chinese print, broadcasting and online media, including in two documentaries produced by Guizhou Province TV, China (2006, 2011).

In Australia, the courses that Catherine has lectured include The Ethnography of Music, The Politics of Gender in East Asia and Human Rights in East Asia. In 2014, she was visiting lecturer for a five-part bilingual English/Chinese postgraduate seminar series on musical ethnography at the Research Institute for Ritual Music in China (Shanghai Conservatory of Music). She has delivered guest lectures at SOAS (University of London, UK); Leiden University (The Netherlands); the Interdisciplinary Center for East Asian Studies at Goethe University (Frankfurt, Germany); Shanghai Conservatory of Music (China); Guangxi University for Nationalities (广西民族大学, China); National Chengchi University (國立政治大學, Taiwan); National Tsinghua University (國立清華大學, Taiwan); University of Hong Kong (香港大学); and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and the Asia Institute at the University of Melbourne. She was also English lecturer at Central South University (中南大学), China, from 2001-2003.

Research interests

Catherine’s research has focussed on diverse aspects of the music of Kam minority communities in southwestern China, where she has conducted extensive musical ethnographic fieldwork. Key interests include:

  • China and Chinese musical cultures, especially the music of China’s minority groups
  • Collaborative ethnomusicological research methods
  • Fieldwork incorporating digital technology; sustainable digital archiving; and cross-cultural collaborative archive management
  • Gendered music-making and sociocultural change
  • Intangible cultural heritage
  • Linguistics and music – especially the music of tonal-language-speaking communities
  • Minority music-making
  • Music and environmental knowledge
  • Musical ethnography
  • Research ethics
  • The anthropology of musical tradition

Her recent publications include Environmental Preservation and Cultural Heritage in China (co-authored with Anne McLaren, Alex English and He Xinyuan), and Taking Part in Music: Case Studies in Ethnomusicology (co-edited with Ian Russell), amongst others. In 2011 she received the inaugural Nadel Essay Prize from The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology for her article “Tradition and Divergence in Southwestern China: Kam Big Song Singing in the Village and on Stage”.

Catherine has also collaborated with members of Kam communities to produce several co-presentations and four co-publications (Ingram et al. 2011a; Ingram et al. 2011b; Ingram and Wu Zhicheng 2014; Ingram and Wu Jiaping forthcoming), and to establish a digital collection of sustainably archived recorded material and metadata, hosted with the Pacific and Regional Archive of Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC). Her work aims to benefit Kam communities by creating valuable written and audio-visual records, producing analyses which demonstrate the richness and significance of Kam music-making, and making indigenous Kam views known to a wider audience.

Catherine’s postdoctoral research at the University of Sydney will explore and compare the musical activities of cultural minorities in Australia and China, looking especially at the role of music in asserting agency and enabling social engagement. As further detailed here, she will be undertaking musical ethnographic research with Kam and Zhuang communities in China and South Sudanese migrant communities in Australia on a project entitled The Music-Making of Cultural Minorities in Australia and China: Aesthetics, Agency and Social Engagement.

Teaching and supervision

Catherine currently co-supervises one PhD student and is a member of the supervisory committees for a further five PhD students. She is also sole supervisor for one Honours dissertation.

Current projects

Associations

  • Association for Asian Studies
  • Association for Chinese Music Research
  • British Forum for Ethnomusicology
  • CHINOPERL (Chinese Oral and Performing Literatures)
  • International Council for Traditional Music
  • Musicological Society of Australia
  • Society for Ethnomusicology

Languages

  • Arabic (beginner)
  • Chinese
  • Kam (Dongyu 侗语)

International links

China

(Kam (Dong 侗) communities, Guizhou Province) Ongoing collaboration with Kam minority community members in publications and in the development of a sustainable digital archive of recordings related to Kam culture (held with PARADISEC).

United Kingdom

(School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London) Ongoing workshops/exchanges with Department of Music, SOAS, University of London as a Newton International Fellow Alumnus.

Selected grants

2017

  • Reconsidering Ethnographic Comparison: Issues in Minority Music-Making in Australia and China; Ingram C; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.

2015

  • Presence through Sound: Place and Contemporary Music in and from East Asia; Ingram C; Royal Society (UK)/Newton International Fellowship Alumni follow-on funding.
  • Video Research Data Archiving Suite; Barwick L, Enfield N, Marsh K, Turpin M, Ingram C; DVC Research/Equipment Grant.

2014

  • The music-making of cultural minorities in Australia and China: aesthetics, agency and social engagement; Ingram C, Barwick L; DVC Research/Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Scheme.

Selected publications

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Books

  • McLaren, A., English, A., Ingram, C., He, X. (2013). Environmental Preservation and Cultural Heritage in China. Champaign: Common Ground Publishing.

Edited Books

  • Russell, I., Ingram, C. (2013). Taking Part in Music: Case Studies in Ethnomusicology. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press.

Book Chapters

  • Ingram, C., Russell, I. (2013). Introduction. In Russell, Ian and Ingram, Catherine (Eds.), Taking Part in Music: Case Studies in Ethnomusicology, (pp. 1-16). Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press.
  • Ingram, C. (2013). Understanding Musical Participation: 'Listening' Participants and Big Song Singers in Kam Villages, Southwestern China. In Russell, Ian and Ingram, Catherine (Eds.), Taking Part in Music: Case Studies in Ethnomusicology, (pp. 53-68). Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press.
  • Ingram, C. (2012). Ee, mang gay dor ga ey (Hey, why don't you sing)? Imagining the Future for Kam Big Song. In Keith Howard (Eds.), Music as Intangible Cultural Heritage: Policy, Ideology, and Practice in the Preservation of East Asian Traditions, (pp. 55-75). Farnham, UK: Ashgate.
  • Ingram, C. (2012). Researching Kam Minority Music in China. In N. Ng (Eds.), Encounters: Musical Meetings Between Australia and China, (pp. 63-80). Bowen Hills: Australian Academic Press.
  • Ingram, C. (2011). Taking the Stage: Rural Kam Women and Contemporary Kam 'Cultural Development'". In Tamara Jacka and Sally Sargeson (Eds.), Women, Gender and Rural Development in China, (pp. 71-93). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Journals

  • Ingram, C., Wu, J. (2017). Research, cultural heritage, and ethnic identity: Evaluating the influence of Kam big song research of the 1950s. Asian Ethnology, 76(1), 65-93.
  • Ingram, C. (2014). Facing the Predicament of Wordlessness: When We Speak of Certain Musical Sounds. Yearbook for Traditional Music, 46, 22-42. [More Information]
  • Ingram, C. (2013). Preliminary Research into the Influence of the Process of Musical Transmission on the Relationship Between Speech Tone and Melody in Kam Singing Traditions from Southwestern China. Jahrbuch des Phonogrammarchivs, 4, 116-139.
  • Ingram, C. (2013). Review of Francesca R. Sborgi Lawson, "The Narrative Arts of Tianjin: Between Music and Language". CHIME Journal, 18 - 19, 169-173.
  • Ingram, C. (2013). Review of Shzr Ee Tan, 'Beyond "Innocence": Amis Aboriginal Song in Taiwan as an Ecosystem' (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012). Asian Ethnology, 72(2), 368-370.
  • Ingram, C. (2012). Tradition and Divergence in Southwestern China: Kam Big Song Singing in the Village and on Stage. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 13(5), 434-453. [More Information]
  • Ingram, C. (2011). Echoing the Environment in Kam Big Song. Asian Studies Review, 35(4), 439-455. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Ingram, C. (2011). Discussing 'fair use' of archived recordings of minority music from the mountains of southwestern China. Sustainable data from digital research: Humanities perspectives on digital scholarship, Melbourne: University of Melbourne.
  • Falk, C., Ingram, C. (2011). From intangible cultural heritage to collectable artefact: the theory and practice of enacting ethical responsibilities in ethnomusicological research. Transmission of academic values in Asian Studies workshop, Canberra: The Australia-Netherlands Research Collaboration (ANRC).
  • Ingram, C. (2010). A Localized Perspective on China's Intangible Cultural Heritage: The Case of Kam Big Song. 18th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA), Adelaide: Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA).

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Ingram, C. (2012). The Multiple Meanings of Tradition: Kam Singing in Southwestern China. The Newsletter for the International Institute of Asian Studies.
  • Ingram, C. (2010). China’s Kam Minority: A Short Bibliographic Outline of Kam-Related Research Materials in the University of Melbourne Library. East Asian Library Resources Group of Australia Newsletter No. 56.

Reference Works

  • Ingram, C. (2014). "Beeba (Kam Pipa)". In L. Libin (Eds.), The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ingram, C. (2014). "Muye (Tree Leaf)". In L. Libin (Eds.), The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Other

  • Ingram, C. (2014), Utilising Participation in Musical Ethnographic Fieldwork in Rural Kam Minority Areas of Southwestern China, [Field Research Method Lab blog].
  • Ingram, C. (2012), Kam 'Big Song' Down Under.
  • Ingram, C. (2011), Ai chang Dongge de Kaiselin (Catherine, who loves to sing Kam song), dir. Bai Chuan (Guiyang: Guizhou TV): Guizhou Province TV.
  • Ingram, C. (2009), China’s 60th Anniversary From the Margins, [New Mandala].

2017

  • Ingram, C., Wu, J. (2017). Research, cultural heritage, and ethnic identity: Evaluating the influence of Kam big song research of the 1950s. Asian Ethnology, 76(1), 65-93.

2014

  • Ingram, C. (2014). "Beeba (Kam Pipa)". In L. Libin (Eds.), The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ingram, C. (2014). "Muye (Tree Leaf)". In L. Libin (Eds.), The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ingram, C. (2014). Facing the Predicament of Wordlessness: When We Speak of Certain Musical Sounds. Yearbook for Traditional Music, 46, 22-42. [More Information]
  • Ingram, C. (2014), Utilising Participation in Musical Ethnographic Fieldwork in Rural Kam Minority Areas of Southwestern China, [Field Research Method Lab blog].

2013

  • McLaren, A., English, A., Ingram, C., He, X. (2013). Environmental Preservation and Cultural Heritage in China. Champaign: Common Ground Publishing.
  • Ingram, C., Russell, I. (2013). Introduction. In Russell, Ian and Ingram, Catherine (Eds.), Taking Part in Music: Case Studies in Ethnomusicology, (pp. 1-16). Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press.
  • Ingram, C. (2013). Preliminary Research into the Influence of the Process of Musical Transmission on the Relationship Between Speech Tone and Melody in Kam Singing Traditions from Southwestern China. Jahrbuch des Phonogrammarchivs, 4, 116-139.
  • Ingram, C. (2013). Review of Francesca R. Sborgi Lawson, "The Narrative Arts of Tianjin: Between Music and Language". CHIME Journal, 18 - 19, 169-173.
  • Ingram, C. (2013). Review of Shzr Ee Tan, 'Beyond "Innocence": Amis Aboriginal Song in Taiwan as an Ecosystem' (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012). Asian Ethnology, 72(2), 368-370.
  • Russell, I., Ingram, C. (2013). Taking Part in Music: Case Studies in Ethnomusicology. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press.
  • Ingram, C. (2013). Understanding Musical Participation: 'Listening' Participants and Big Song Singers in Kam Villages, Southwestern China. In Russell, Ian and Ingram, Catherine (Eds.), Taking Part in Music: Case Studies in Ethnomusicology, (pp. 53-68). Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press.

2012

  • Ingram, C. (2012). Ee, mang gay dor ga ey (Hey, why don't you sing)? Imagining the Future for Kam Big Song. In Keith Howard (Eds.), Music as Intangible Cultural Heritage: Policy, Ideology, and Practice in the Preservation of East Asian Traditions, (pp. 55-75). Farnham, UK: Ashgate.
  • Ingram, C. (2012), Kam 'Big Song' Down Under.
  • Ingram, C. (2012). Researching Kam Minority Music in China. In N. Ng (Eds.), Encounters: Musical Meetings Between Australia and China, (pp. 63-80). Bowen Hills: Australian Academic Press.
  • Ingram, C. (2012). The Multiple Meanings of Tradition: Kam Singing in Southwestern China. The Newsletter for the International Institute of Asian Studies.
  • Ingram, C. (2012). Tradition and Divergence in Southwestern China: Kam Big Song Singing in the Village and on Stage. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 13(5), 434-453. [More Information]

2011

  • Ingram, C. (2011), Ai chang Dongge de Kaiselin (Catherine, who loves to sing Kam song), dir. Bai Chuan (Guiyang: Guizhou TV): Guizhou Province TV.
  • Ingram, C. (2011). Discussing 'fair use' of archived recordings of minority music from the mountains of southwestern China. Sustainable data from digital research: Humanities perspectives on digital scholarship, Melbourne: University of Melbourne.
  • Ingram, C. (2011). Echoing the Environment in Kam Big Song. Asian Studies Review, 35(4), 439-455. [More Information]
  • Falk, C., Ingram, C. (2011). From intangible cultural heritage to collectable artefact: the theory and practice of enacting ethical responsibilities in ethnomusicological research. Transmission of academic values in Asian Studies workshop, Canberra: The Australia-Netherlands Research Collaboration (ANRC).
  • Ingram, C. (2011). Taking the Stage: Rural Kam Women and Contemporary Kam 'Cultural Development'". In Tamara Jacka and Sally Sargeson (Eds.), Women, Gender and Rural Development in China, (pp. 71-93). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

2010

  • Ingram, C. (2010). A Localized Perspective on China's Intangible Cultural Heritage: The Case of Kam Big Song. 18th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA), Adelaide: Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA).
  • Ingram, C. (2010). China’s Kam Minority: A Short Bibliographic Outline of Kam-Related Research Materials in the University of Melbourne Library. East Asian Library Resources Group of Australia Newsletter No. 56.

2009

  • Ingram, C. (2009), China’s 60th Anniversary From the Margins, [New Mandala].

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