Anthropology Ph.D. Candidate Wins a Fulbright to Study the Music Scene in Amman

April 19, 2023

Eliza Marks will explore the growing underground and alternative music scenes in the Jordanian capital.

Eliza Marks headshot
Eliza Marks, winner of a 2023 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Study Abroad fellowship. (Photo courtesy of Eliza Marks)

Graduate Center Ph.D. candidate Eliza Marks (Anthropology) received a prestigious Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) fellowship to conduct research for 11 months in Amman, Jordan, for her dissertation on the city’s underground and alternative music scenes.

Marks is focusing on a collection of Amman-based musicians, producers, organizers, collectives, and labels whose work and network-building has expanded significantly since the mid-2010s. She is interested in the production, multi-sensory aesthetics, and sociality of their music and arts events, and how creative communities emerge from online and in-person connections and interactions.

Learn More About the Ph.D. Program in Anthropology

While in Amman, she plans to attend events related to the music scene and other creative and artistic industries, and to interview and spend time with scene producers and audience members. She’ll also conduct online research, looking for related content and forms of engagement on Instagram and online radio stations.

“I feel honored and relieved to have the support of the Fulbright to focus on this project,” she said. “I’m most excited to go back, reconnect with people, and attend events in-person again, and to be in conversation with the many people who participate in these music scenes and creative industries.”

Support from fellow doctoral students and faculty was key, Marks said, in helping her design her research project and develop a successful Fulbright application. “I’m grateful to everyone who helped me talk through my project and who provided feedback on my many drafts,” she said.

She added, “Being able to do pre-dissertation fieldwork before writing these applications also allowed me to develop a good foundation for my project, articulate preliminary connections and insights, and speak to the feasibility of the project.”

Based on her experience, she offered three recommendations to fellow grant-seekers that she received as she was writing: Give yourself enough time, clearly and directly address what each funder is asking, and adjust the tone of the application based on the funder’s mission.

“Reading successful grant applications and receiving feedback from faculty who have supported students in preparing these grants allowed me to develop an understanding of conventions of this genre and to make sure that all the pieces of my application were well-connected,” she said.

Published by the Office of Communications and Marketing