Kit Ashton

Goldsmiths, University of London

Project title: Applied Ethnomusicology and the Revitalisation of the Endangered Language of Jèrriais: A study of music, language ideology, and cultural identity in Jersey.

My research investigates how applied music research and creative interventions can influence cultural identity and encourage language revitalisation. With half the world’s languages endangered, many researchers are working towards language safeguarding and revitalisation, but no studies have looked in-depth at the role of music in this process. Jèrriais is Jersey’s indigenous dialect of Norman. However, with only about 100 fluent speakers remaining, as things stand Jèrriais is likely to die out in a matter of years. My Masters dissertation research demonstrated that targeted music interventions are viable and effective in changing this trajectory of language loss. Applied ethnomusicological research at doctoral level is enabling me to define, develop and apply interventions that will have transformative potential in Jersey. Beyond the revitalisation of Jèrriais, the study will have broader relevance for the revitalisation of other languages and applied musicological research.

Supervised by Barley Norton and Keith Negus

About me

Born and raised in Jersey, since my undergraduate degree in 2001 (Performing Arts - Music at LIPA) I have worked as a professional musician and educator in Liverpool, London, and Brighton, specialising in vocals, guitar, songwriting and production. I completed my MA Music at Goldsmiths in 2015, after founding Badlabecques - a pop-folk band/applied ethnomusicology and language activism project in Jersey.

Research interests

Music, language, identity, community.


Email Kit