Bonnie McConnell is Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology and Higher Degree Research Convenor in the ANU School of Music. Her research examines music in relation to issues of health, identity, and social change in West Africa and Australia. She holds an MA and PhD in ethnomusicology with a graduate certificate in public health from the University of Washington (2015).
McConnell is the author of the monograph Music, Health, and Power: Singing the Unsayable in The Gambia (2019, Routledge). The book received an Honorable Mention for the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Kwabena Nketia Prize, which recognises the most distinguished book on music of Africa and the African diaspora published during the past three years.
McConnell's research has been supported by the Fulbright-Hays Program, the American Association of University Women, the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Freilich Foundation. Her work appears in the journals Ethnomusicology, Africa Today, Social Science & Medicine, Popular Music and Society, Voices, International Journal of Community Music, Ethnomusicology Forum, and BMJ Open, among other publications. In 2020, McConnell was awarded the Rebecca Coyle Prize from the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (Australia-New Zealand) for her article “Afropolitan Projects: Music, Representation, and the Politics of Belonging in Australia.” The prize recognises the best paper on popular music of the Australia-New Zealand region.
At the ANU, she teaches courses on contemporary approaches to ethnomusicology and music research methods.