Biography

Fiorella Montero-Diaz is a Senior Lecturer in ethnomusicology at Keele University. She has a degree in Sound Engineering and Piano Performance from Peru, her country of birth. She later moved to the UK where she was awarded several international student excellence grants and graduated with distinction from Goldsmiths – University of London (MA in Ethnomusicology, 2008) and Royal Holloway – University of London (PhD in Music, 2014). In 2015 she was appointed as Keele’s first Lecturer in Ethnomusicology.

Dr Montero-Diaz is known nationally and internationally for placing music and the arts at the centre of debates on race and class equality, anti-racist strategies, conflict transformation and the creation of new citizenships within contemporary post-conflict urban societies. Her impactful work has contributed to shaping cultural policies in Peru, and has been lauded by ministers, policymakers, and human rights and peace organisations in Latin America.

Dr Fiorella Montero-Diaz has an extensive record of leadership and cross-institutional engagement. She is currently Director of Programmes for Music and Music Technology here at Keele, where she has a leading role in the creation of new UG creative programmes and development of new courses. Between 2014-2017 she was the General Administrator and Archivist of the British Forum of Ethnomusicology, during this period she built the BFE’s first historical archive. Now, she sits on the Executive Board of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology and the Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion in Music Studies Network. In recognition of her contribution to advancing EDI in Higher Education, Dr Montero-Diaz was awarded the 2020 Stonewall Role Model of the Year Regional Award and the 2019 Keele Excellence Award.

Dr Montero-Diaz’ research generates transformative, interdisciplinary approaches to the intersection between music, social inclusion and new citizenships. She was recently awarded as Principal Investigator a GCRF Networking Grant from the Academy of Medical Sciences for “Sounding a Queer Rebellion: LGBTI Musical Resistances in Latin America” (2020), which is building an interdisciplinary network of 13 partners in South American countries.

At Keele University Dr Montero-Diaz is supervising PhD dissertations, leading postgraduate courses in Music, Music Technology and Media; and teaching undergraduate courses on world musics, music in the community/health, popular music and ethnomusicology. She teaches the first-year undergraduate module “Introduction to World Musics”, the second-year modules: “Music and Wellbeing in the Community”, “Introduction to Ethnomusicology and Ethnography Methods”, and her signature course for third-years “Music, Conflict, and Social Change”.

Research and scholarship

Dr Montero-Diaz research focuses on music hybridity, citizenship, race, class, and social conflict in contemporary Lima, Peru. Dr Montero-Diaz is particularly interested in understanding the impact music has on people in conflict contexts (racial, ethnic, class, gender) noting which experiences, if any, contribute to breaking patterns of social segregation, discrimination, and racism.

Dr Montero-Diaz describes herself as an ethnomusicology, popular music scholar and above all a music ethnographer. She draws heavily on sociological, cultural and media studies approaches. She researches and writes about music hybridity, racial imaginaries through music performance and listening; links between identity, technology and music; the use of music as a tool for empathy and conflict transformation; music, whiteness and the Latin American elites; music, antiracism and modern citizenships; music, gender and LGBTI music urban interventions in Latin America.

Dr Montero-Diaz’ work has been published in Ethnomusicology Forum, Popular Music, Anthropologica, Musiké, and has appeared in the edited volume: Music, Indigeneity, Digital Media (eds. Hilder, Stobart and Tan) and Cultures of Anti-racism (eds. Wade, Aguiló). She most recently co-edited the book Citizenship in the Latin American Upper and Middle Classes. Ethnographic Perspectives on Culture, Politics, and Consumption (Routledge), and co-edited the Ethnomusicology Special Edition “Music and Sound in Times of Violence, Displacement and Conflict.

In 2020, Dr Montero-Diaz, in collaboration with Dr Luis Gabriel Mesa Martinez (Universidad Javeriana, Bogota), won a GCRF Networking Grant for ‘Sounding a Queer Rebellion: LGBTI Musical Resistances in Latin America’, to assemble an interdisciplinary network in the Global South. This marks the beginning of an ambitious long-term research plan focusing on LGBTI – especially transgender – communities who use music and artivism (Art as Activism) to sonically appropriate public space to call out governments, denounce violence, advocate for social inclusion and social change.

Dr Montero-Diaz is currently developing a new research project on feminist transgender dissidence and musical artivism in Latin America. The project seeks to explore LGBTI music strategies to build bridges between feminist struggles for gender equality and the fight against violent transphobia.

Teaching

Dr Fiorella Montero-Diaz teaches at the Music, Music Technology and Media, Communications and Culture (MCC) departments; she also contributes to the Humanities MRes and other MA programmes in the School of Humanities. Since she started lecturing at Keele, every year she has been nominated to both Keele Excellence Awards in Teaching and the Student Choice Award.

Dr Montero-Diaz teaches on/convenes the following research-led undergraduate modules: 

  • Year 1: Introduction to World Music
  • Year 2: Music in the Community; Introduction to Ethnomusicology and Ethnography Methods           
  • Year 3: Music, Conflict, and Social Change; and Dissertation

Dr Montero-Diaz encourages her students to engage in discussion and debate, and problematize readings and scholar’s arguments from academic journal articles, books and ethnographic material. She also invites artists, scholars, music practitioners and fellow ethnomusicologists to engage in conversation with her students in order to expand on the contents of her lectures. In Dr Montero-Diaz modules, students are free to deconstruct music topics expressing their own views and thoughts not only in essays, but also through other creative media, such as ethnographic film, performance as a research technique, graphic notation/transcription, poster presentations, world music performance, placements shadowing people in the music industry, among other innovative learning tools.

As an educator, Dr Montero-Diaz focuses on a student’s ability to synthesize content, to critically deconstruct representations of musical meaning and expression and to analyse music’s impact on human emotion, wellbeing and identity. Her goal is to encourage students to build experiential-knowledge and support a constructive approach to learning by enabling them to make reflective connections, ascertaining what they already knew and, thus, guiding them to connect new information to their previous knowledge. This helps them to question, critically engage and deconstruct their previous assumptions about music and facilitates the creation of new contrasted constructs of the diverse music surrounding them.

Dr Montero-Diaz would be delighted to discuss postgraduate research projects relating to her research and teaching interests:

  • Ethnomusicology/ Popular Music Studies/ Music and Media
  • History and Methods of Ethnomusicology – online ethnography
  • Latin American Music and Culture
  • Music hybridity and fusion
  • Music, Race, Class and Ethnicity
  • Music as a technology for conflict transformation
  • Music and gender
  • LGBTI musical resistances

Dr Montero-Diaz has been invited to assess PhD theses in the UK and abroad. 

Selected Publications

  • Montero-Diaz F and Wood A. 2021. Music and sound in times of violence, displacement and conflict. Ethnomusicology Forum, 1-4. doi> link>
  • Montero-Diaz F. 2021. Book Review of Making music Indigenous: popular music in the Peruvian Andes (by Joshua Tucker). Ethnomusicology Forum, 1-3, vol. 29(3). doi> link>
  • Montero-Diaz F. 2021. Swimming upstream: balancing motherhood, academia and well-intentioned policies. Ethnomusicology Forum, 292-295, vol. 29(3). doi> link> full text>
  • Montero-Diaz F. 2020. Book Review of The Old Guard: The Creole Waltz and the formation of citizenship in the popular classes (1885-1930) (by Fred Rohner). Journal of Latin American Studies, 669-671, vol. 52(3). link> doi> link>
  • Montero Diaz F. White cholos? Discourses around race, whiteness and Lima’s fusion music. In Cultures of Anti-Racism in Latin America and the Caribbean. Wade P, Scorer J, Aguilo I (Eds.). (9 vols.). Institute of Latin American Studies. doi> link>

Full Publications Listshow

Books

  • Montero-Diaz F and Winter F (Eds.). 2019. Citizenship in the Latin American Upper and Middle Classes - Ethnographic Perspectives on Culture and Politics. Routledge. link>

Journal Articles

  • Montero-Diaz F and Wood A. 2021. Music and sound in times of violence, displacement and conflict. Ethnomusicology Forum, 1-4. doi> link>
  • Montero-Diaz F. 2021. Book Review of Making music Indigenous: popular music in the Peruvian Andes (by Joshua Tucker). Ethnomusicology Forum, 1-3, vol. 29(3). doi> link>
  • Montero-Diaz F. 2021. Swimming upstream: balancing motherhood, academia and well-intentioned policies. Ethnomusicology Forum, 292-295, vol. 29(3). doi> link> full text>
  • Montero-Diaz F. 2020. Book Review of The Old Guard: The Creole Waltz and the formation of citizenship in the popular classes (1885-1930) (by Fred Rohner). Journal of Latin American Studies, 669-671, vol. 52(3). link> doi> link>
  • Montero-Diaz F. 2018. Book Review of The Tango Machine: Musical Culture in the Age of Expediency (by Morgan James Luker). JOURNAL OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, 1023-1025, vol. 50(4). link> doi>
  • Montero Diaz F. 2018. Turning Things Around? From White Fusion Stars with Andean Flavour ro Andean Fusion Stars with White Appeal. Popular Music, 424-443, vol. 37(3). doi> full text>
  • Montero Diaz F. 2018. La música fusión, ¿verdadera inclusión? Una exploración de la escena fusión en Lima. Anthropologica, 97-120, vol. 36(40). doi> link> full text>
  • Montero Diaz F. 2018. Review of Remixing Reggaetón: The Cultural Politics of Race in Puerto Rico by Petra R. Rivera-Rideau. Journal of Latin American Studies, 262-264, vol. 50(1). doi> link>
  • Montero Diaz F. 2017. Book review of Song and Social Change in Latin America (by Lauren Shaw). Humanities and Social Sciences Online (H-Net Music). link>
  • Montero Diaz F. 2017. Review of A Latin American Music Reader: Views from the South, by Javier León and Helena Simonett. Yearbook for Traditional Music, W3-W5, vol. 49. link>
  • Montero Diaz F. 2016. Singing the war: reconfiguring white upper-class identity through fusion music in post-war Lima. Ethnomusicology Forum, 191-209, vol. 25(2). doi> link> full text>
  • Montero Diaz F. 2014. Review of online journal “El Oído Pensante”. Yearbook for Traditional Music, 258-259, vol. Volume 46((2014)). doi> link> full text>
  • Montero Diaz F. 2013. Review of Intimate Distance: Andean Music in Japan, by Michelle Bigenho. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 425-426, vol. Volume 19(2). doi> link> full text>
  • Montero Diaz F. 2009. Danza de Tijeras through Modernity and Migration. Musiké. International Journal of Ethnomusicological Studies, 1-18, vol. 5/6 Sacred Singing and Musical Spirituality(III (1)). link>

Chapters

  • Montero Diaz F. White cholos? Discourses around race, whiteness and Lima’s fusion music. In Cultures of Anti-Racism in Latin America and the Caribbean. Wade P, Scorer J, Aguilo I (Eds.). (9 vols.). Institute of Latin American Studies. doi> link>
  • Montero Diaz F and Stobart H. 2019. 'Andean Music', Oxford Bibliographies in Latin American Studies. Vinson B (Ed.). Oxford University Press. doi> link> full text>
  • Montero-Diaz F. 2019. Marginal like you!: constructing citizenship through fusion music in the Peruvian traditional upper classes. In Citizenship in the Latin American Upper and Middle Classes. Ethnographic Perspectives on Culture and Politics. Montero-Diaz F and Winter F (Eds.). (8 vols.). Routledge. full text>
  • Montero Diaz F. 2017. YouTubing the "Other": Lima's Upper Classes and Andean Imaginaries. In Music, Indigeneity, Digital Media. Hilder TR, Stobart H, Tan SE (Eds.). (8 vols.). United Kingdom: University of Rochester Press. link>

Other

  • Montero Diaz F. Sound Transformations: Michael Ormiston (Documentary 2008). Ethnographic Filmlink>

Conferences

Most Recent Conferences

2021
  • ‘Re-imagining Music and Arts Studies: Exploring music, race, gender and social justice in troubled times’. Ethnomusicology in 2022 and Beyond, British Forum for Ethnomusicology two-day international conference in ethnomusicology (Online). 12-13th November 2021.
  • Society of Ethnomusicology, Atlanta (USA). ‘Sounding a Queer Rebellion: Music, Gender and Artivism in Latin America’ 28-31st October 2021. Invited/funded talk.
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Colombia). ‘Música, Conflicto y Transformación Social’. 15th May, 2021. Invited/funded talk.
  • University of Bern (Switzerland). ‘Re-imagining Music and Arts Studies: Exploring music, race, gender and social justice in troubled times’. 23rd March 2021. Invited/funded talk.
2019               
  • Cardiff University (UK) John Bird Lecture Series ‘Fusion as inclusion: A Lima upper-class delusion?’ 5th December 2019. Invited/funded talk.
  • SOAS University London (UK). Lima. 3rd December 2021. ‘Music, class identity and new citizenships in post-war Lima’ 3rd December 2019. Invited/funded talk.
  • Leuphana University Lüneburg. (Germany). ‘When Fieldwork Takes You Home. The Challenges of Engaging with the Familiar Other’ 29th November 2019. Invited/funded talk.
  • ‘Swimming Upstream: Balancing Motherhood, Academia and Well-Intentioned Policies’. Royal Musical Association International Annual Conference. Manchester University. 11-13th September 2019.
  • Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia). ‘Marginal   ¡como tú! Las clases altas tradicionales limeñas construyendo ciudadanía a través de la música fusión’. 25th July, 2019. Invited/funded talk.
  • Royal Anthropological Institute (UK). Invited keynote lecture: ‘Marginal like you! Reconfiguring white upper class identity and citizenship through fusion music in post-war Lima’. 20th March 2019. Invited/funded talk.
2018
  • Newcastle University (UK). British Forum for Ethnomusicology International Annual Conference Europe and Post-Brexit Ethnomusicologies. Panel title: ‘Ethnomusicology and Parenting’. 12th -15th April 2018. Invited talk.
2017               
  • “Diálogos Sonoros: La Fusión Musical y los Jóvenes de Clases Altas Tradicionales en Lima de la Posguerra”. Diálogo de Saberes. LASA International Conference - Latin American Studies Association. Lima-Peru. 29-1st May 2017.
  • Lugar de la Memoria, La Tolerancia y La Inclusión Social LUM (Peru). Cuando las palabras no bastan: música, conflicto y cambio social en el Perú de la post-guerra. Lecture: ‘Diálogos sonoros: la fusión musical y los jóvenes de clases altas tradicionales en Lima de la posguerra’ 27th April 2017. Invited/funded talk.
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Instituto de Etnomusicología (Peru). ‘Métodos y Temas en Etnomusicología’. 26th April 2017. Invited/funded talk.
  • Manchester University (UK). Conference: Cultures of Anti-racism. Paper: ‘White Cholos? Discourses around race, whiteness, and Peru’s fusion music’. 2nd-3rd February 2017. Invited/funded talk.
2016               
  • Royal Holloway, University of London (UK). Invited talk ‘Fusion Music Made in Peru’. 29th November 2016. Invited/funded talk.
  • Birmingham City University, School of Media (UK). ‘Ethnomusicology of the hegemonic: Methodological dilemmas”. 12th October 2016.  Invited/funded talk.
  • “Marginal like you. Lima upper class youth embracing marginality for social inclusion and participation”. LASA at 50. Latin American Studies Association.  New York, USA. 27-30th May 2016.
  • “Constructing the White Cholo. Racial Sincerity or Colour-Blindness?” Building Bridges: Repositioning Latin American Studies. Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS). University of Liverpool, Liverpool. 7-8th April 2016.
2015 
  • “Lima elite subversions? Music as a post-war technology of self-transformation”. Centre for Anthropological Research (CfAR) Conference: Transnational Cultures of Struggle: Song, Art and Popular Movements. University of Johannesburg, South Africa. May 2015.
  • “Elite social protest? Lima’s white upper classes subverting their own hegemony through music”. Research clusters ‘Popular Music and Popular Culture’ and ‘Power, Discourse and Society’ Three day Symposium: Songs of Social Protest. University of Limerick, Ireland. 29-1st May 2015.
  • “An inclusive ideal in a delusional box? Marca Perú’s impact on young white upper class identity in Lima”. Branding Latin America. University of Cambridge. 8-9th April 2015.

Conference organization

2021
  • Ethnomusicology in 2022 and Beyond, British Forum for Ethnomusicology two-day international conference in ethnomusicology. Online. Convenor and chair. 12-13th November 2021.
2019
  • BAME LGBT Voices, Keele University. Convenor, chair and speaker. Launch of the ‘BAME LGBT Voices Documentary’ partly filmed at Keele; Q&A session, with Revered Jide Macaulay, Founding Pastor of House of Rainbow and Stonewall Empowerment Officer Rhys Purtill; and a panel with members of Keele’s LGBTI community to discuss the Importance of LGBTI visibility and of role models at universities, Keele in particular. This event was also a public engagement activity as it united the LGBTI Keele Community, Stonewall, Keele Friends, Keele Communities Together and other LGBTI associations in the area.  13th February 2019.
2018
  • Beyond Memory and Reconciliation: Music, Conflict and Social Manipulation in Post-Conflict Contexts, Keele University and British Forum for Ethnomusicology one-day international conference in ethnomusicology. Convenor and chair. 3rd November 2018.
2017
  • Early Career Training (Teaching/Researching) and Networking, Keele University. Convenor and chair. (Funded by the School of Humanities at Keele). 13th December 2017.

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