The Lise Waxer Prize

The Popular Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology is pleased to announce the Lise Waxer Graduate Student Paper Prize competition. The prize was created to recognize the most distinguished student paper in the ethnomusicology of popular music presented at the SEM annual meeting. The Waxer Prize comes with a cash award of up to $200. All students giving papers on popular music topics at the SEM conference are encouraged to submit their papers for consideration.

Scholar, teacher, and musician, Lise Waxer was an ethnomusicologist whose research on salsa music was greatly admired in the field and whose supportive work as a mentor and colleague inspired the greatest loyalty and respect from those around her. Her untimely death in 2002 was a shock to those that knew her, and at the 2002 SEM meeting, the PMSSEM voted to name the prize in her honor.

About the Prize


To recognize the most distinguished student paper in the ethnomusicology of popular music presented at the SEM annual meeting.


A cash prize in an amount decided annually by the PMSSEM chair; the amount will not exceed $200.


Annually. The prize may be withheld by the decision of the committee.


Any student who presents, in person, a formal paper in the ethnomusicology of popular music at the SEM annual meeting is eligible for the prize. A student shall be defined as a person pursuing an active course of studies in a degree program. This includes persons who are engaged in writing the doctoral dissertation but not those who are teaching full-time while doing so. To be eligible, the applicants must submit this registration form at the PMSSEM business meeting and email a copy of his or her paper to moc.liamg|ezirprexawmessmp#moc.liamg|ezirprexawmessmp before the deadline listed on the annual Call for Submissions. The paper submitted must be the version that was read at the conference and must not exceed twelve double-spaced pages (roughly 4,000 words).


The selection committee shall be made up of three or four members of PMSSEM, with members chosen for the next year's competition by the section at its annual business meeting or by mail-in vote. (Students may not serve on this committee.) Entries will be judged solely on the content of the papers, including the use of video and audio examples submitted. In general, the Waxer Prize selection committee will decide upon a winner by 15 March each year.

Application Process

To apply for the Waxer prize, the prize candidate must complete two steps:

  1. Submit a completed registration form to the Chair of the prize committee at the PMSSEM business meeting, the time and location of which are listed in the SEM conference program; and
  2. Send a copy of his or her paper, in PDF format to moc.liamg|ezirprexawmessmp#moc.liamg|ezirprexawmessmp before the submission deadline: 12:00 PM (eastern time) on the third day after the end of the annual SEM conference. (In most cases the deadline is at noon on the Wednesday following the annual SEM meeting.) The paper submitted must be the version read at the conference and may not exceed twelve double-spaced pages (roughly 4,000 words). Candidates who wish to submit audio or visual examples should send these to the above email address as well.

Submissions are due at 12:00 PM (eastern time) on the third day after the end of the annual SEM conference.

Registration Form

You may download the Lise Waxer Prize Registration Form here:

Waxler Prize 2018 registration form.pdf

Past Recipients


Stephanie Choi
“Commodifying Korean Citizenship in the Female-Dominant K-pop Fandom”

Andrea Decker (Honorable Mention)
“Women Resisting Irresistible Music: Masculine Susceptibility and Feminine Precarity in Indonesia Dangdut”


Maxwell Williams
“Stand on Your Own, Rude Boy!’: Rethinking Hybridity and Belonging in Postcolonial London’s Grime Communities”


Darci Sprengel
“'Ana ‘andi cherophobia’: The Fear of Happiness and the Affects of Belonging in Contemporary Egyptian DIY Music”

Byrd McDaniel (Honorable Mention)
“Karaoke Democracy: Failure and Success at the Providence Boombox”


Michael D’Errico
“‘Diggin’ in the Carts’: Technologies of Play in Hip-Hop Production and Performance”


Fritz Schenker
"'The Paul Whiteman of the East': Performing Race in Colonial Asia"


Meredith Schweig 
“That's a Rap?: Imagining the Multiple Origins of Taiwan Hip-Hop"


Tony Dumas 
"Metaphors of Emotion and the Commodification of Flamenco in Northern America"


Luis-Manuel Garcia
"Liquid Solidarities: Vague Belonging at Electronic Dance Music Events in Paris, Chicago, and Berlin"


Andrew Mall
"Lost in the Sound of Separation: Mainstreams and Undergrounds at a Christian Rock Festival"


Tyler Bickford
"Media Consumption as Social Organization at a New England Public School"


Jayson Beaster-Jones
"Indexing the Past, Selling the Future"


Elizabeth K. Keenan
"Straightyfest, Ladyquest, Ladyfest: Femininity, Sexuality, and Third Wave Feminism at Young Women's Punk Rock Music Festivals"


Rachel Devitt
"Girl on Girl: Bio-Queens, Pop Music, and Re-radicalizing Drag"


Kristin Solli
"Keeping it Køntri: Country Music, Class, and Cultural Hierarchy in Norway"


Richard W. Mook
"'Oh How I Miss that Old Gang of Mine': Memory and Homoeroticism in Barbershop Performance"


Thomas H. Greenland
"Mutiny on the Boundary or Microcosmopolitanism?: Theorizing Transience in Cruiseship Communities"