2019 Plenary Speakers

Emma Hornby

Professor of Music, University of Bristol

Emma Hornby is Professor of Music at the University of Bristol, UK. She works on Western liturgical chant, and in recent years has focused on the Old Hispanic rite. She is currently leading a Leverhulme International Network, collaborating with colleagues in Spain to explore the processional practices of early medieval Iberia. Her recent research focuses on how Old Hispanic chant texts and melodies interact in order to promote a particular devotional state or theological understanding.  

Jonathan Arnold

Dean of Divinity, Magdalen College, Oxford

Jonathan Arnold is Dean of Divinity and Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. Before ordination he was a regular member of St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir and The Sixteen. In 2007, Jonathan appeared in the BBC five-part television documentary Sacred Music. He was Chaplain and Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College from 2008-2016. He teaches ecclesiastical history at Oxford and in 2014 he was also co-founder of a new girl choristers’ choir for Oxford, Frideswide Voices. His latest publication is Music and Faith: Conversations in a Post-Secular Age. Other publications include Sacred Music in Secular Society; The Great Humanists and John Colet of St. Paul’s

John Witvliet

Director and Professor of Worship, Theology and Congregational and Ministry Studies, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

John D. Witvliet is director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and professor of worship, theology, & congregational and ministry studies at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary.  He is editor for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies Series (Eerdmans), author of The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship: A Brief Introduction and Guide to Resources (Eerdmans), Worship Seeking Understanding: Windows into Christian Practice (Baker Academic), and collaborating editor for several hymnals, children’s books, and scholarly books, including Worship in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Change and Continuity in Religious Practice (University of Notre Dame Press).

Jean Kidula

Professor of Music, University of Georgia 

Jean Ngoya Kidula is Professor of Music (Ethnomusicology) at the University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music. Teaching, dialoguing, performing and presenting papers open opportunities for Dr, Kidula to share her research, scholarship, understandings and experiences of the diverse musics of the world, and more specifically African Musics as part of her mission to expand worldviews about the musical legacies, impact and continuing artistic imagination of Africans on the continent and in historic and recent dispersion. Among Dr. Kidula’s publications of books and articles is the monograph Music in Kenyan Christianity: Logooli Religious Song (Indiana University press) that earned her the Society for Ethnomusicology African Music Section’s Nketia Award. Dr. Kidula is also co-director of the Athens Music Project, a research initiative that documents, promotes, and celebrates the vibrant and diverse musics of Athens, GA and the surrounding regions. 

Helen Phelan

Professor of Arts Practice, University of Limerick

Helen Phelan is Professor of Arts Practice at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland. She is an Irish Research Council recipient for her work on singing, ritual and new migrant communities in Ireland. Her most recent book, Singing the Rite to Belong: Music, Ritual and the New Irish, was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. As a singer, she specializes in chant from global religious ritual and is the co-founder of the female vocal group Cantoral who released the much acclaimed CD recording Let the Joyous Irish Sing Aloud! in 2014.  She is also founder of the Singing and Social Inclusion research group at the University of Limerick.

2019 Workshop Leaders

Abigail Wood

Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology, University of Haifa

Abigail Wood is senior lecturer in ethnomusicology at the University of Haifa, Israel and a lay leader of an egalitarian Jewish prayer group in her neighbourhood.  She previously held the Joe Loss Lectureship in Jewish Music at SOAS, University of London. She has published widely on contemporary Jewish musics; her recent research focuses on the soundscapes of the Old City in Jerusalem, including the ways in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is reflected and reconfigured in sound, and on intercultural border-crossing in music. 

Sahil Warsi

Sahil Warsi is an anthropologist working on the intersection of migration, arts, and mental health. Through an initial exploration of music and social change among the hereditary musicians of Kabul, his doctoral research turned to examine Afghan migrants' practices of belonging in New Delhi. He has conducted research on religion, ethnicity, and health among South Asians with the NHS, the University of York, and the University of Leeds. He is a trustee of South Asian Arts UK, and convenes the zikr (divine remembrance) ceremonies for the local Nur Ashki Jerrahi circle. As part of his local spiritual work, he also holds workshops for Leeds Mindfulness' religion and mental health retreats on emotions and listening to the Quran.