Johannes Brusila
20142021

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Personal profile

Research interests

I am professor of musicology with a special interest in the cultural study of music, ethnomusicology and popular music studies. My research has over the years encompassed a wide range of themes and issues. There has nevertheless been a general focus on questions concerning music and culture, music industry, the relationships between music and cultural belonging, and the cultural study of technology.

I have, among other things, written about “world music” as a cultural and industrial phenomenon, using Zimbabwean case studies (e.g. Local Music, Not From Here’ -The Discourse of World Music examined through three Zimbabwean case studies: The Bhundu Boys, Virginia Mukwesha and Sunduza), and several publications on the relationships between music, media and culture. I have also co-edited volumes on music industry (e.g. the Popular Music and Society special issue ”Music, Digitalization, Democracy”), and on the contexts that shape sonic practice (Memory, Space, Sound).

During the last few years, I have focused on music and minorities, mainly concentrating on the Swedish-speaking population of Finland. As a result of the project “Finland-Swedishness constructed through music”, I for example co-edited Modersmålets sånger: Finlands svenskheter framställda genom musik. In 2018-20 I also led the project “The impact of digitalization on minority music: Finland-Swedish music culture as case study”.

Biography

I was appointed professor of musicology at Åbo Akademi University in 2010, after having been acting professor for some time. I was originally educated at University of Helsinki and have studied musicology, media and arts management. In 1995 I came to Åbo Akademi University as Assistant and received my PhD in 2003. I have also worked as project researcher at Finnish Broadcasting Company (1993-1994) and at the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland (2008-2010). My main fieldwork experience is from Zimbabwe and the Swedish-speaking regions of Finland.

During my career I have also worked outside academia as for example music museum director (Sibelius Museum 2000-2010), freelance cultural journalist (Finnish Broadcasting Company 1984-1994), and aid worker in a music project focusing on Southern Africa (1990-1991).

I have been editor, editorial board member and peer reviewer of several international and Finnish publications. I have also served as review committee member for for example grant panels, university educations, and dissertations in e.g. Finland, Sweden, Portugal and Australia. I am a working member of the Royal Gustavus Adolphus Academy for Swedish Folk Culture and honorary member of the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland.

Teaching

Since 1995, I have taught courses in most fields of musicology, at levels ranging from first year to MA seminars, and since 2007 I have been responsible for curriculum planning. During this period a growing amount of the teaching has also become interdisciplinary. I have supervised four PhD theses to completion at ÅAU (three as main supervisor), and three at other Finnish universities (as second supervisor). I am currently supervising seven doctoral students, working on a broad range of topics, including minority music, jazz improvisation, opera, and church music.

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