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Nick Bollinger named as Lilburn Research Fellow 2023 - DIA

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Writer, musician, and broadcaster Nick Bollinger has been awarded the prestigious Lilburn Research Fellowship for 2023.

Mr Bollinger will use the Fellowship to research and write a book on culture, class and identity in New Zealand music, while being based at the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa. Exploring historic thinking on the subject, from composer Douglas Lilburn’s cultural nationalism to Lorde’s assertion that ‘pop can unite populations’, the book will ask: ‘What happens to notions of musical identity in our hyper-connected 21st century?’ Areas to be considered include Māori showbands, electronic music, taonga puoro (traditional Māori musical instruments), and visits by international artists, such as Bob Marley.

Author of the books Goneville, How to Listen to Pop Music and 100 Essential New Zealand Albums, Mr Bollinger is widely known as a music reviewer and journalist for national and international media outlets and publications. He says being appointed the Lilburn Research Fellow for 2023 is an honour and a fantastic opportunity.

"Being the Lilburn Fellow will give me the time to examine in-depth ideas about music and New Zealand life that I’ve only been able to touch on in my previous work. It will also enable me to dig deep into the relevant archives.

"The National Library and Alexander Turnbull Library collections are a goldmine for a cultural researcher. Being based at the National Library will be like living amongst the treasures."

Mr Bollinger will receive a $70,000 stipend, an office at the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, and access to its collections.

Mr Bollinger’s work in the music field has been wide-ranging, including editing Real Groove Magazine, presenting the weekly RNZ review programme The Sampler and writing for the New Zealand music history website Audio Culture. He received the 2019 Friends of the Turnbull Library research grant and 2021 J.D. Stout Fellowship in New Zealand Studies to write the book Jumping Sundays: The Rise and Fall of the Counterculture in Aotearoa New Zealand, to be published this August. Mr Bollinger is also an experienced musician, including as a member of the groups Rough Justice, The Pelicans and the Windy City Strugglers.

Mr Bollinger will formally take up the Fellowship in January 2023.

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