Short Biography


Ingrid Bianca Byerly: Ph.D. (Duke University)

South African ethnomusicologist / anthropologist /educationalist


Professor Byerly received her undergraduate education in her native country, South Africa, before doing graduate work in England and the United States.

Originally a music major in high school, and a literature major for her B.A and honors degrees, she later received postgraduate degrees in education (H.E.D, South Africa and RSA Dip, London), in cultural anthropology (M.A. Duke) and in ethnomusicology (Ph.D. Duke.) She has conducted courses in study skills, public speaking, intercultural communication, anthropology and world music in South Africa, England, Russia and the United States. She has also been lecturer and Course Director of the International Regent Courses in Oxford, England, for ten summer sessions. Her early training in the performing arts (particularly in ballet and piano) developed into an interest in the visual arts, and she subsequently became involved in the production of training videos in South Africa: both as interviewer and actress on-camera, and writer and producer off-camera. In 1990 she was awarded the Panasonic Individual Videomakers’ Award in London for her documentary When Nations Meet. In 1995 she hosted a radio series on WXDU Durham on South African protest music of the late-Apartheid era. Academic awards include the Wenner-Gren Archival Fellowship, an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, a Richard Carley Hunt Award (American Anthropological Association), the Human Sciences Research Council Doctoral Prestige Scholarship (South Africa), the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Scholarship (South Africa), a Sigma Xi Award, an Aleane Webb Award, the Duke Center for International Studies Award, a Fulbright Award, and a South African Council of English Education Bursary. In 1996 she was awarded the Charles Seeger Prize in Toronto, Canada by the Society for Ethnomusicology, for most outstanding work in ethnomusicology by a graduate student.


Dr. Byerly is presently Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Cultural Anthropology. She is working on two books; one for students entitled ‘TO A CERTAIN DEGREE: The Art of Graduating’, and one in ethnomusicology, entitled ‘THINGS COME TOGETHER: The Music Indaba of Late-Apartheid South Africa’.



 From ‘Short Biographies’:  Freshman Seminar Handbook