Austin Okigbo’s research interest is African and diaspora religious music, and music in global health. His ongoing research in South Africa investigates how the Siphithemba Choir, an HIV/AIDS support group and choral ensemble at the McCord Mission Hospital in Durban uses music to articulate and perform its members experiences with HIV/AIDS. The study brings out the complex issues of racial identity in a public health context, the significant role of faith and ritual-based use of music in clinical experience, and the communal approach to addressing everyday forms of human struggle. He also examines how other expressive mediums besides music are being used to articulate people’s experiences of HIV/Aids; and how these other expressive forms articulate with the use of music in expressing communities’ experiences of HIV and AIDS? Okigbo's other interest and future research centers on music and inter-religious dialogue in West Africa.
Music in African and African diaspora religions, world vocal traditions, music in global health, inter-religious dialogue, intercultural dialogue, world popular music, and popular aesthetics