Call for Application: Archival Fellowship, Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology of the American Institute of Indian Studies (ARCE) (CLOSED)

India Foundation for the Arts
in collaboration with
The Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology 
of the American Institute of Indian Studies

invites applications for

One Archival Fellowship
Application deadline: December 15, 2015

This initiative is supported by TATA TRUSTS

About the Fellowship: 
India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) in collaboration with the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology of the American Institute of Indian Studies (ARCE) invites applications for one Archival Fellowship for a period of 10 months. This fellowship gives creative practitioners– artists, researchers, curators - the opportunity to engage with the audiovisual archives at ARCE (in Gurgaon), to research the archive in innovative and original ways, and work towards a tangible outcome such as an exhibition, film, performance, publication, etc at the end of 10 months. The outcome will need to be based on material from the ARCE archive.

The Archival Fellowships of IFA have been initiated with the twofold objective of providing arts practitioners with an opportunity to generate new, critical and creative approaches to public engagement with archives, and energising archives as spaces for dialogue and discourse.

About the ARCE Archive: 
The Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology of the American Institute of Indian Studies (henceforth ARCE) was established in 1982, to return to India the audio recordings of Indian music stored in archives abroad, as well as to ensure that copies of contemporary research remained in India. This goal extended to taking in all such collections that are threatened by physical degradation. Today ARCE houses an extraordinary audiovisual archive of more than 25,000 hours of recordings. As an ethnomusicology archive, all contexts of music making are included and thus the collections include recorded Indian music, dance, and performance of all kinds, from Classical music traditions to regional traditions from all over India, popular music from film music, to Jazz in India.

The open-access archive is enhanced by an outstanding library that houses one of the best collections of books, journals, and newspaper clippings.

The collections of field recordings and other unpublished recordings at ARCE are supported by an extensive collection of published commercial recordings ranging from 78 rpm discs to CDs.

The collections include all kinds of music and performance, ranging from the classical music traditions of India, narrative traditions, and musical genres whether performed for dance, ritual or entertainment and social occasions.

Collections are of audio and video recordings, and in most cases are accompanied by documentation, which range from logs, transcriptions and translations, and or field journals. There are listening and viewing facilities for users, and fellows would have access to computer terminals. The ARCE has an audio visual laboratory, where digitisation and access copies are produced, which would provide technical support.

There are to date over 230 collections made by scholars, institutions, and private collections from India and abroad. They are all catalogued at a primary level, but need work to get them catalogued to a detailed level, that would provide thorough track level information. The digitisation of the collections is under way. However, access will be provided to all the recordings and digitisation can be undertaken of specific materials to enhance access.

It is not possible to list all the collections, and at this time they are not accessible on the internet, though a website is under development. We provide a few samples of the kinds of collections (click here to read about them) and applicants are free to write to to ask further questions.

Application requirements / application process & important dates:

  • Applicant profile: We seek applications preferably from creative practitioners who have worked with 'sound' related projects,and have a strong interest in archives. Practitioners who are Indian nationals or have been residing in India for five or more years are eligible to apply
  • Financial assistance and other support: The fellowship provides an honorarium of Rs 2,00,000 for the duration of 10 months and research facilities within the archives of the ARCE. Work space will be provided by the ARCE for the duration of the Fellowship. A separate budget of a maximum of 2,50,000/-will be provided for the final outcome

Important dates:

  • The deadline for receiving applications is December 15, 2015
  • Shortlisted candidates will be informed by December 23, 2015
  • Interviews with shortlisted candidateswill take place in the second week of January, 2016
  • The Fellowship will commence on February 1, 2016 for a period of 10 months

Application Process:
Your application must include:

  • A brief description of a project you could potentially develop from the materials of the archive at the ARCE. The description should include the vision, approach and the possible outcome of the project. This is just to get a sense of the kind of material you will be researching in the archive
  • A letter of interest explaining how you would benefit from this Archival Fellowship. Please identify aspects of your practice that you think will be honed and further developed during the course of this Fellowship
  • A brief description of a project you have been involved with either as a curator, arts practitioner or researcher. Please include documentation of the project, which could include 6 to 8 scanned or printed images with titles and date, audio video files (max 4 minutes), catalogues, artworks, performances, or reviews
  • Your curriculum vitae

Please address any queries to or +91-80-2341 4681 / 82.
Please post the required documents to IFA in an envelope marked 'Archival Fellowship: IFA and ARCE' by December 15, 2015.

Archival Fellowship: IFA & AAA
India Foundation for the Arts
'Apurva', Ground Floor,
No 259, 4th Cross, RMV 2nd Stage, 2nd Block
Bangalore - 560 094, India