DR Graeme Counsel

DR Graeme Counsel


  • African studies, cultural policy, ethnicity and identity (Mande diaspora, griots, West African musical traditions)
  • Cultural Anthropology (Cultural festivals, Arts and cultural policy, Nationalism and identity)
  • Ethnomusicology (African and Trans-Atlantic musics, World Music)
  • Sound archives (National and local archives)



  • Dr Graeme Counsel is a lecturer, subject coordinator and Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne. His research and publications examine the nexus of popular music and politics, drawing from the disciplines of ethnomusicology, cultural studies and history. A focus of his research is music, culture and society in Africa, and his research interests encompass trans-Atlantic and Asiatic cultures. Dr Counsel's post-doctoral fieldwork includes over two years in West Africa undertaking applied research projects. From 2008 to 2013 he received three Major Research Project Awards through the British Library's Endangered Archives Programme which enabled the collection, preservation and archiving of the complete catalogue of the Syliphone recording label, the flagship of the Guinean recording industry. The project was exhibited at the National Museum of Guinea and presented to the Ministry of Culture et Patrimonie and the Ministry of Communication. In recognition of his research and contribution to the preservation of national culture, the Guinean government awarded him their highest research honour, the gold medal of the Palme Academique en Or and a Diplome d'Honneur. His subsequent projects preserved, digitised and archived original studio recordings from Guinea's 1st Republic (1958-1984), held in the archives of Radio Television Guinea. Dr Counsel's archival collections are currently available at the Bibliotheque Nationale de Guinee, Radio Television Guinee, and online via the British Library Sounds website. Dr Counsel has presented his academic research in a wide variety of fora. He was invited to present his paper, Syliphone: The elephant that will not die. Guinean music on the Syliphone recording label, at the first international symposium on African popular music: Revisiter l'histoire des musiques modernes d'Afrique: Retour aux sources, held in Mali. He has presented papers for numerous African Studies conferences and delivered guest lectures at Australian univer   


Member of

  • International Association for the Study of Popular Music. Member 2016 -
  • Australia Western Sahara Association (Victoria). Member 2007 -
  • Mande Studies Association. Member 2004 -
  • African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific. Secretary 2003 -


Selected publications


Additional Grant Information

  • Major Research Project Award. Endangered Archives Programme, British Library. 2012-2013.

    Major Research Project Award. Endangered Archives Programme, British Library. 2009.

    Major Research Project Award. Endangered Archives Programme, British Library. 2008.   


Education and training

  • GCUT, University of Melbourne 2015
  • PhD, University of Melbourne 2007
  • MMus, University of Melbourne 2000
  • BA (Hons), Monash University 1997

Awards and honors

  • Diplome d'Honneur. Ministere de la Culture des Arts et Loisirs, Republique de Guinee, 2008
  • Palme Academique en Or. Republique de Guinee, 2008
  • Australian Postgraduate Award, 2003
  • Melbourne Abroad Postgraduate Travelling Scholarship, 2001
  • Travel for Research in Postgraduate Study grant, 2001
  • Alma Hansen Scholarship, 2001
  • Ernst Morawetz Prize, 1996



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • My research interests cover the music, culture and politics of Africa, with particular reference to West Africa. Trans-Atlantic music styles (jazz, blues, reggae, Cuban music, etc) are also research areas, with cultural policy, nationalism and identity central discourses.