SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Dr Angela Impey

B.Mus (Cape Town) BA Hons (KwaZulu Natal) PhD (Indiana)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications



Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Aurélie Solenne Gandour, Mixed-gender barbershop singing: Shifting tradition through the performative negotiations of gender (working title)
  • Hugo Hadji, Listening to New Raï: Algerian identities in the 21st century.
  • James Anthony Gardner, The Course of the Hand: Formulas, Creativity and Processes of "Improvisation" in Mande Kora Music
  • Loreley Hahn-Herrera,
  • Maya Youssef, A Musical Intervention with Syrian Refugee Children at the Camps
  • Michael Davidson, Growing Through Music: Developing Teaching For Personal and Social Outcomes within Instrumental Music Teaching in UK
  • Rasika Ajotikar, Feminisms in Performance: protest music and caste in Maharashtra, India
  • Robbie Campbell, Dyslexia, Sensory Ethnomusicology, and Chopi timbila Xylophone Music in Mozambique
  • Ros Hawley, A Reflexive Study of Music Practice in a UK Paediatric Hospital Setting
  • Sam Grant, Metal Music and its Relationship to Folk Music and National Identity in the Middle East


Angela is involved in three areas of research. The first examines the ways in which mobilities and gender intersect in the borderlands of South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland, where the landscape that has been dramatically reconfigured by transboundary conservation development This research builds on narratives inspired by the revival of the jews harp – instruments once performed by young Nguni women to accompany walking, but remembered now by elderly women only – and explores how meanings given to gendered mobilities through sound, song and performance inflect local experiences of land, spatiality and belonging.  

A second project, entitled ‘Metre and Melody in Dinka Speech and Song’ was funded by the AHRC under the ‘Beyond Text’ programme: [Nilotic Prosody]. The project, which was conducted in collaboration with the Department of Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, focused on supra-segmental features in four Dinka dialect clusters in South Sudan, and examined how song systems interact with the unique combinations of tone, length and voice quality specifications of the language. The research also sought to better understand Dinka song-making as a historically, socially and politically embedded system both within South Sudan and the Dinka diaspora. Although the project was recently completed, Angela continues to work on the materials and is planning ongoing research in the region.

She is co-investigator on a recently funded AHRC research project in west Namibia entitled ‘Future Pasts in an Apocalyptic Moment: A Hybrid Analysis of 'Green' Performativities and Eco-cultural Ethics in a Globalised African Landscape’ (2013-2018). The project will explore tensions between local and indigenous conceptions of human/nature relationships (as encoded in songs, oral narratives and healing rituals), and crisis-driven narratives on environmental change that are being used to justify new market-based methods for creating 'green' futures. Led by Sian Sullivan, (Environment and Development at Birkbeck), the team also includes Rick Rohde (Honorary Fellow at University of Edinburgh), Chris Low (Birkbeck), and environmental philosopher, Mike Hannis (Keele University). The project is affiliated locally with the National Museum of Namibia and the Namibian film company, Mamokobo Productions. [The research is a response to the AHRC's 2012 highlight notice on 'Environmental Change and Sustainability' under the Council's ‘Care for the Future’ bid.]


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Available for
  • Radio
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • Africa
Country Expertise
  • Botswana
  • Ethiopia
  • Mozambique
  • South Africa
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Zimbabwe


Authored Books

Impey, Angela (2018) Song Walking: Women, music, and environmental justice in an African borderland. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.


Impey, Angela (2017) 'Activism, advocacy and community engagement: Ethnomusicological Responses to Contemporary Dynamics of Migrants and Refugees'. Ethnomusicology. [Forthcoming]

Impey, Angela (2013) 'The Poetics of Transitional Justice in Dinka Songs in South Sudan'. UNISCI Discussion Papers 33, pp 57-78.

Impey, Angela (2013) 'Songs of Mobility and Belonging: Gender, Spatiality and the Local in Southern Africa’s Transfrontier Conservation Development'. Interventions. International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, (15) 2, pp 255-271.

Impey, Angela (2013) 'Keeping in Touch via Cassette: Tracing Dinka Songs from Cattle Camp to Transnational Audio-Letter'. Journal of African Cultural Studies, (25) 2, pp 197-210.

Pavlicevic, Mercédès and Impey, Angela (2013) 'Deep listening: towards an imaginative reframing of health and well-being practices in international development'. Arts and Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice, (5) 3, pp 238-252.

Impey, Angela and Dovey, Lindiwe (2010) 'African Jim: Sound, Politics, and Pleasure in Early ‘Black’ South African Cinema'. Journal of African Cultural Studies.

Impey, Angela (2007) 'Pathways of Song: Re-voicing Women's Landscapes in the Maputaland Borderlands.'. Agenda. Feminist Media, (73), pp 102-16.

Impey, Angela (2007) 'Sound, memory and dis/placement: Exploring sound, song and performance as oral history in the southern African borderlands'. Oral History Journal, (36) 1, pp 33-44.

Impey, Angela (2006) 'Musical Constructions of Place: Linking Music to Environmental Action in the St Lucia Wetlands.'. Southern African Journal of Environmental Education, (23), pp 92-106.

Impey, Angela (2006) 'Sounding Place in the Western Maputaland Borderlands.'. Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa, (3), pp 55-79.

Impey, Angela (2002) 'Culture, Conservation and Community Reconstruction: Explorations in Participatory Action Research and Advocacy Ethnomusicology in the Dukuduku Forests, Northern KwaZulu Natal (South Africa)'. Yearbook for Traditional Music, (34), pp 9-24.

Book Chapters

Impey, Angela (2021) 'Performing Transitional Justice: Song, Truth-telling and Memory in South Sudan'. In: Diamond, Beverley and El-Shawan Castelo-Branco, Salwa, (eds.), Transforming Ethnomusicology Volume I: Methodologies, Institutional Structures, and Policies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Forthcoming]

Impey, Angela (2019) 'Performing Transitional Justice: Song, Truth-telling and Memory in South Sudan.'. In: Diamond, Beverley and Castelo-Branco, Salwa, (eds.), Transforming Ethnomusicology. Oxford University Press. [Forthcoming]

Cottrell, Stephen and Impey, Angela (2018) 'Community Music and Ethnomusicology'. In: Bartleet, Brydie-Leigh and Higgins, Lee, (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Community Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 525-541.

Impey, Angela (2015) 'Sound, Memory and Dis/placement: Exploring Sound, Song and Performance as Oral History in the Southern African Borderlands'. In: Perks, Robert and Thomson, Alistair, (eds.), Oral History Reader, 3rd edition. Abingdon; New York: Routledge.

Impey, Angela (2015) 'Audio-letters from South Sudan: Tracing Dinka networks, connections and intimacies beyond the war zone'. In: Harris, Rachel and Pease, Rowan, (eds.), Pieces of the Musical World: Sounds and Cultures. Abingdon; New York: Routledge.

Impey, Angela (2015) '“Song of Akuac”: Audio-letters from South Sudan: Tracing Dinka Networks, Connections, and Intimacies beyond the war zone.'. In: Harris, Rachel and Rowan, Pease, (eds.), Pieces of the Musical World. Sounds and Culture. New York and London: Routledge, pp 195-207.

Impey, Angela (2011) 'Songs of the In-Between: Remembering in the Land that memory Forgot'. In: Ian, Peddie, (ed.), Popular Music and Human Rights. London: Ashgate, pp 39-52.

Impey, Angela (2011) 'Songs of the In-Between: Remembering in the Land that Memory Forgot'. In: Peddie, Ian, (ed.), Popular Music and Human Rights, Volume II: World Music. Farnham: Ashgate Press.

Impey, Angela (2005) 'Culture, Conservation and Community Reconstruction: Explorations in Advocacy Ethnomusicology in the Dukuduku Forests, Northern KwaZulu Natal'. In: Post, Jennifer, (ed.), Ethnomusicology: A Contemporary Reader. New York: Routledge, pp 401-411.

Book Reviews

Impey, Angela (2010) 'Review of Jürgen Schöpf, 'The Serankure and Music in Tlôkweng, Botswana'. Berlin: Verlag für Wissenschaft und Bildung, 2008'. The World of Music, (51) 2, pp 168-169.

Impey, Angela (2009) 'Review of Mark Slobin (ed.), 'Global Soundtracks: Worlds of Film Music'. Middletown CT, Wesleyan University Press, 2008'. Ethnomusicology Forum, (18) 1, pp 170-172.

Impey, Angela (2005) 'Review of Christine Lucia (ed.), 'The World of South African Music. A Reader'. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2005'. Ethnomusicology Forum, (16) 2, pp 343-345.


This list was last generated on Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 00:37 Europe/London.