Hugo Ferran

Host institution

Université de Montréal

Granting agency

SSHRC

Project description

Understanding immigration and diversity through church music

Canada is home to a wide diversity of Ethiopian evangelical churches – some 23 in all – each with their own worship music. Dr. Hugo Ferran is studying the relationships between music, religion and migration, as it applies to Ethiopian evangelical churches and their music in Canada and other countries.

Drawing on his expertise in anthropology and ethnomusicology (the study of music in all historical periods and cultural contexts), Dr. Ferran is examining the role of Canada's policy of multiculturalism in fostering religious and musical diversity and how this compares to Quebec's integration model of "interculturalism" and the tradition of assimilation found in countries like United States and France.

His observations suggest that Ethiopian evangelical migrants tend to form three types of churches in Canada. The most common are based on the Ethiopianess of its members (14 such churches across Canada); churches based on a single Ethiopian ethnic group (5); and Ethio-Eritrean churches (4).

"I want to discover how music differentiates each type of church and how it reveals generational differences between the faithful born in Ethiopia or in Canada. I'm also examining how music is being used to build new associations that transcend traditional cultural differences, while also highlighting the ethnic tensions that continue to exist across the country."

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