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 Production and Sound Design; and teaching undergraduate courses on sound and society, music in the community/health, popular music and ethnomusicology.

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.


Dr Fiorella Montero-Diaz teaches at the Music Production and Sound Design, 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: Sound and Society
  • Year 2: Creative Synergies. Designing Collaborative Projects; Introduction to Ethnomusicology and Ethnography
  • Year 3: Say it Loud! Music, Sound, and Social Change; and Dissertation – Research Project

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, 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. 



Most recent conferences

  • University of Cambridge (UK). ‘Sounding a Queer Rebellion. LGBTI Musical Resistances in Lima, Peru’. 16th November 2022. Invited/funded talk.
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) (Norway). ‘Sounding a Queer Rebellion. LGBTI Musical Resistances in Lima, Peru’ 14th November 2022. Invited/funded webinar.
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Peru). Seminario International de Musicología Peruana y Peruanista. ‘¡Qué suene la rebelión queer! Resistencias Musicales LGBTI en Lima, Perú’. Roundtable: Música y género en el Perú. 19th October 2022. Invited/funded talk and roundtable.
  • UCLA (USA). Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy  department colloquium (NAJ). ‘Sounding a Queer Rebellion. LGBTI Musical Resistances in Lima, Peru’. 27th April 2022. Invited/funded lecture.
  • Festival Internacional de Música de Alturas – FIMA and UNESCO, (Peru). ‘La música fusión como inclusión, ¿tan solo una ilusión?, Música, identidad, clase y nuevas ciudadanías en Lima post-conflicto’. 30th April, 2022.  Invited/funded masterclass.
  • ‘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 de Cuenca (Ecuador). ‘Turquesa – arte y activismo LGBTQ+. Interview with Music and Gender researchers: Dr Fiorella Montero-Diaz and Dr Luis Gabriel Mesa Martinez’.
  • 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.
  • 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). ‘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.
  • Manchester University (UK). Royal Musical Association International Annual Conference. ‘Swimming Upstream: Balancing Motherhood, Academia and Well-Intentioned Policies’. 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). ‘Marginal like you! Reconfiguring white upper class identity and citizenship through fusion music in post-war Lima’. 20th March 2019. Invited/funded keynote lecture.
  • 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.
  • LASA International Conference - Latin American Studies Association. (Peru) “Diálogos Sonoros: La Fusión Musical y los Jóvenes de Clases Altas Tradicionales en Lima de la Posguerra”. Diálogo de Saberes. 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.
  • 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.
  • LASA at 50. Latin American Studies Association.  New York, (USA) “Marginal like you. Lima upper class youth embracing marginality for social inclusion and participation”. 27-30th May 2016.
  • University of Liverpool (UK). Building Bridges: Repositioning Latin American Studies. Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS). “Constructing the White Cholo. Racial Sincerity or Colour-Blindness?” 7-8th April 2016.
  • University of Johannesburg (South Africa). Centre for Anthropological Research (CfAR) Conference: Transnational Cultures of Struggle: Song, Art and Popular Movements. “Lima elite subversions? Music as a post-war technology of self-transformation”. May 2015.
  • University of Limerick, (Ireland). Research clusters ‘Popular Music and Popular Culture’ and ‘Power, Discourse and Society’ Three day Symposium: Songs of Social Protest. “Elite social protest? Lima’s white upper classes subverting their own hegemony through music”. 29-1st May 2015.
  • University of Cambridge (UK) “An inclusive ideal in a delusional box? Marca Perú’s impact on young white upper class identity in Lima”. Branding Latin America. 8-9th April 2015.

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