Candace Bailey Awarded Inaugural ACLS HBCU Faculty Fellowship

Posted March 06, 2024, 2:17PM
Candace Bailey

North Carolina Central University is proud to announce that Candace Bailey, Ph.D., has been awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). The ACLS HBCU Faculty Fellowship and Grant Program provides flexible support for research, teaching, and service commitments at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). This year, the program will support 20 HBCU faculty scholars pursuing research projects in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.
Selected from a pool of more than 150 applications, Bailey, a professor of music at NCCU, is one of 
eight fellows who will receive up to $50,000 each supporting long-term engagement with a significant research project. Awardees will also have access to networking and scholarly programs that aligns with their academic goals and institutional contexts. Each award includes an additional grant of $2,500 to the awardee’s home institution to support humanities programming or infrastructure.
Bailey’s research explores the meaning of Other in her preparation for a monograph entitled Edmond Dédé and His World: The Context for Morgiane.

She describes her project thus:

In 1887, Edmond Dédé, a Black composer born in New Orleans, completed his grand opera Morgiane while living in France. He submitted it to the main theater in Bordeaux, but it never received a premiere. It has lain in manuscript since that time, with the result that no one has been able to describe its music and situate it within his style and career. Using a new transcription of the work, this project rectifies that neglect with two chapters for a monograph on the opera and its context in Dédé’s life. This research constitutes the first examination foregrounding the composer’s music.

One of this project’s chapters deals with the composition’s performance requirements. This first full-length opera by a single Black composer requires a large orchestra, virtuoso singers, and chorus. Given that the composer spent much of his life working in significantly smaller venues, his abilities to create such imaginative atmospheres also merits serious examination because all of the extant music attributed to him is for voice accompanied by piano or piano solo. Questions of alterity and Otherness in an opera composed by a man who was himself always cast as Other concern the other chapter in this project.
“Historically Black Colleges and Universities are a vital part of American higher education, with a long history of rich contributions to public knowledge and our nation’s social and political health,” said ACLS President Joy Connolly. “ACLS celebrates the commitment and brilliance of these awardees and applauds their institutions for fostering excellence in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.”

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