Music and Cultural Diplomacy in the Middle East: Geopolitical Re-Configurations for the 21st Century
About the Event
In recent years cultural diplomacy has gained renewed attention given the social, economic and geopolitical transformations that have underpinned rise of neoliberal economies (Zamorano 2016, Ney 2008). Broadly defined as a soft power tool for building long term influence, cultural diplomacy is a contested term since it can be located on the same spectrum as state branding, propaganda and public diplomacy (Goff 2013). However, cultural diplomacy may also be expanded beyond the remits of the state to encompass international organizations (EU, UNESCO), non-sate actors (NGO’s), communities and individual musicians. All of these contribute to the constant flows of ideas, images and sounds circulating through a plethora of platforms that characterize today’s highly mediatized global world.
While key studies from the fields of musicology, popular music studies, political science and diplomacy have addressed the role of music in cultural diplomacy during the Cold War period (Fosler-Lussier 2015, Mikkonen and Suutari 2016), cultural diplomacy has barely been addressed in the context of the Middle East. Here, the work of musicians such as Umm Kulthum or Fairuz has arguably served cultural diplomacy purposes. This conference aims to tackle a lack of contemporary accounts on the role played by musics, musicians, music institutions as well as non-state actors in mediating between contemporary sound practices, power and cultural diplomacy within the Middle East as well as those between the Middle East, the Western world and other geographies.
In the aftermath of the 2015 migration crisis, cultural diplomacy gained further relevance with the EU claiming it to be ‘at the heart of European International relations’ (European Union External Action). Music has served to manage cultural difference between European states with their external ‘Muslim neighbours as well as internal Muslim citizens’ (Shannon 2015:168) in what can be perceived an asymmetric exchange that serves political, economic and rhetorical functions. In light of the increasing ways in which the term ‘cultural diplomacy’ is being applied, we invite proposals that can help problematise Middle Eastern musical practices in their relationship to power and cultural diplomacy in order build a broader and pluri-dimensional account on these contentious relationships.
(Time zone, Copenhagen, GTM +1)
Wednesday 2 December
|13:45||Conference Opening Remarks|
|Panel 1||Chair: Prof. Søren Møller Sørensen (UCPH)|
|14:00||Medieval Mediations in Music: Queen Elizabeth's Musical Gift to the Ottoman Court||Hooda Shawa (Writer and founder of Taqa Kuwait, Kuwait City)|
|14:30||Cairo as Arab Musical Capital: Cultural Infrastructure, the Colonial State, and the Beginnings of Imperial Mass Cultural Diplomacy in Interwar Egypt||Hazem Jamjoum (NYU)|
|15:00||Break (30 minutes)|
|Panel 2||Chair: Dr. Christopher Witulski (Bowling Green State University)|
|15:30||Mista’aravim in Israeli Popular Music: Mimicry, Magic, and Power||Nadeem Karkabi (University of Haifa) & Yonatan Mendel (Ben-Gurion University)|
|16:00||Arabian Noise: Social Violence and Indeterminacy Performed in Morocco’s Techno Underground||Jillian Fulton-Melanson (York University)|
|16:30||Break (30 Minutes)|
|17:00||Keynote presentation: The Cultural Diplomacy of Umm Kulthum||Prof. Virginia Danielson (Harvard University) and Q&A|
Thursday 3 December
|Panel 3||Chair: Dr. Maria Rijo Lopes da Cunha (UCPH)|
|14:00||Music and Neighbourly Relations in the Persian Gulf||Maho Sebiane (EHESS)|
|14:30||‘Nice but Not Necessary’: Music and Humanitarian Norms in Jordan||Melissa J. Scott (University of California, Berkeley)|
|15:00||Break (30 minutes)|
|Panel 4||Chair: Dr. Nadeem Karkabi (University of Haifa)|
|15:30||The National Arab Orchestra’s cultural diplomacy at home and abroad||Christopher Witulski (Bowling Green State University)|
|16:00||Musical Narratives of Post -Migration: (Co-)Performing Cultural Diplomacy in Germany||Ulrike Präger (University of Salzburg)|
|17:00||Keynote Presentation: Melodies Heard and Unheard: The Promise and Limits of Cultural Diplomacy through Music||Prof. Jonathan H. Shannon (NYUAD) and Q&A|
Friday 4 December
|14:30||Break (30 minutes)|
|16:30||Break (30 minutes)|
|17:00||Introducing the Badiaa Bouhrizi’s work in ‘music as social inclusion’||Badiaa Bouhrizi and Dr. Maria Rijo Lopes da Cunha (UCPH) and Q&A|
|18:00||Closing Remarks||Prof. Søren Møller Sørensen (UCPH)|
|18:00||Break (30 minutes)|
|18:30||Concert by Badia Bouhrizi (Tunisia)|
Medieval Mediations in Music: Queen Elizabeth's Musical Gift to the Ottoman Court
Hooda Shawa (Writer and founder of Taqa Kuwait, Kuwait City)
In 1599 Elizabethan Brexit England was ruled by the feisty and ambitious Queen Elizabeth faced with a hostile Europe. Seeking alliances with the Islamic world, the Queen sends a specially commissioned royal gift of a magnificent, automated organ/clock to the Imperial Ottoman Court of Sultan Mehemed III. Based on the travel diary of an English clockmaker, musician and royal envoy to the Ottoman Court Thomas Dallam, this presentation highlights Elizabethan England's complex relationships and cultural connections with the Muslim world in the sixteenth century.
Music, I argue was a major tool of medieval rapprochement, negotiating crucial political and military alliances, and forging lucrative trade relations. Such associations, formed for mutual benefits, transcended cultural or religious differences. And the vehicle for such cooperation as this presentation demonstrates, was the medieval melodies! After a perilous sea voyage aboard the ship The Hector and upon entry into the Topkapi Palace, the musician and envoy Thomas Dallam is faced with a slightly damaged organ and an impatient Sultan. Ever the astute ambassador, Dallam's original diary provides the backdrop for this cross-cultural encounter about maritime international trade, the ambiguity of foreign diplomacy, and the transformative power of music.
Employing a comparatist approach, this presentation emphasizes the soft power of art and music as a crucial tool of East-West cultural diplomacy in the medieval era that defies essentialist Orientalist approaches to imperialism and orientalism. I argue that Elizabethan era politics vis-a-vis the East, reflects a dynamic example of how music played a crucial tool in shifting alliances, mediating power dynamics and negotiating contested relationships.
Cairo as Arab Musical Capital: Cultural Infrastructure, the Colonial State, and the Beginnings of Imperial Mass Cultural Diplomacy in Interwar Egypt
Hazem Jamjoum (NYU)
Well into the twentieth century, the phonograph industry in the Arab East centered around Cairo. By century’s end, it had become a commonplace to describe the Egyptian metropolis as “the cultural capital of the Arab World.” Yet, given the nineteenth-century preeminence of Istanbul and the vibrancy and dynamism of musical life in such urban centers as Aleppo, Baghdad, Beirut and Mosul, Cairo’s preeminence cannot be understood as having simply carried over from the nineteenth into the twentieth century. In this paper, I attempt to explain the cultural ascendance of Cairo in the half-century leading to WWII by examining the interplay of state, capital and culture producers throughout the Mediterranean region.
My specific aim in such an examination is to identify how the specificities of the commodification of music were conditioned, and in turn transformed, by the region’s cultural infrastructure, and by extension led to the production of an “Arab” musical space with Cairo at its center. Using various archival and autobiographical sources, this paper traces the ways in which the musical culture became an avenue for the exercise of state power in the interwar Middle East, how the Egyptian colonial state and imperial states competing for supremacy in the region engaged in the construction of this cultural infrastructure, and how they attempted to harness it to their own interests.
My overarching argument is that the commodification of music through sound recording technologies contributed immensely to shaping the spatialities and identities that came to constitute the notion of an “Arab World” in the twentieth century, and that the ‘cultural ascendance’ of Cairo was not only a major outcome of these processes, but a central objective for state actors engaged in them. In tracing these processes, I show that the Middle East was one of the earliest sites for mass cultural politics conducted at the state level, the crucible upon which twentieth century cultural diplomacy was forged.
Mista'aravim in Israeli Popular Music: Mimicry, Magic, and Power
Nadeem Karkabi (University of Haifa) & Yonatan Mendel (Ben-Gurion University)
For many centuries, the Arabic word mustaʿribūn referred to Jews who adopted Arabic culture and language. Form the first half of the 20th century, the Hebrew equivalent of the term (Mistaʿaravim) became increasingly in use as a practice of military and espionage infiltration of Zionist agents within Arab societies. From the “Arab Department” of the Palmach to “Duvdevan” in the Israeli Army, there were a number of special unites that have been engaging with undercover intelligence, detention, and assassination of Arabs, identified as “the enemy.” The Mistaʿaravim, as we argue, represent more than mere military units. They reflect a central trait of being Israeli. They can look closest to Arabs, but still act as the absolute opposite. That is, to be “beyond enemy lines” but without crossing the political lines. Their assimilation was crucial; the more they looked like Arabs, the were able to defeat them, and – in the
Palestinian case – also to replace them. As national heroes, the Mistaʿaravim became an object of admiration in Israeli popular culture; from literature, cinema and television, to music. Indeed, they became a cultural metaphor that defines Israelis vis-à-vis Arabs.
This paper examines the performances of Rotem Shefi (Shefita), Daniel Saʿadon, and Rachela as case studies of Israeli musicians, who use practices of Mistaʿaravim, namely masquerading as Arabs, to better their performances. Drawing on postcolonial (Homi Bhabha), anthropological (Michael Taussig) and zoological (Roger Caillois) theories of mimicry and masking, this presentation demonstrates how each musician engages with a mimetic performance of the Arab Other for a different purpose: the first for ridicule and mockery, the second for scaring, and the third for infiltration and passing. By analyzing these musical performances as practices with links to the Mistaʿaravim, it is argued that Israeli musicians disempower the Arab Other by showing that they are morally, technologically, and skilfully (magically) superior. The ability to appear like the Arab, but to be its complete opposite, holds a political performative potency to disqualify the Other and deem him/her as a governable inferior subject.
Arabian Noise: Social Violence and Indeterminacy Performed in Morocco's Techno Underground
Jillian Fulton-Melanson (York University)
This paper examines the contemporary underground social worlds of techno and Noise music that Moroccan youth are creating for themselves and its potential as a zone of political action and social change. Since January 2020, Moroccan rappers and social media influencers have been incarcerated for directly and indirectly critiquing the Moroccan state through public posts and songs that express the limits of their social freedoms and inequalities. This is a recent example of how the Moroccan state is censoring controversial perspectives and information that exposes structural, cultural, symbolic, and physical violence. Drawing from my ethnographic fieldwork with Moroccan artists, I demonstrate that Moroccan Electronic Dance Music Culture (EDMC) producers are using these events as well as their own experiences of indeterminacy, uncertainty, ambiguity, and liminality as fuel for their branding and music production. Although this controversial branding creates dissonance between artists, venue owners, and state authorities, I argue that EDMC artists are able to resist incarceration through techno and Noise because their music does not incorporate lyrics.
Through navigating the grips of authorities, their music has caught the attention of techno- heavy cosmopolitans such as Berlin. However, this international success also conjures intertwining emotions of longing and anger about the way their music is silenced within their own nation and celebrated in others. In order to engage these experiences, I examine how artists in Morocco are composing and producing Noise music that exemplifies the pains and boundaries that Moroccan locals experience in their everyday lives and how performing it in tandem with EDMC genres, such as industrial techno, creates a community of listeners and participants who have cohesive, alternative understandings that resist the state’s objectives. Through an exploration of these sensory and performative spaces, artists, works, and collections, I uncover the invisible social boundaries that obstruct the lives of Moroccan nationals.
Music and Neighbourly Relations in the Persian Gulf: Cultural diplomacy faced with the challenges of traditional musical appropriation
Maho Sebiane (EHESS)
Following the Gulf Arab States foundation in the mid-twentieth century, their government entities have actively participated in the construction of a national identity circumscribed to a sovereign territory. After their ratification of the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, these States have promoted, via the ICH list, a musical specificity vis-à-vis neighboring countries. This process, while revitalizing the traditional repertoire and musician’s circulation on a regional scale, has encouraged the development of specific musical offerings and private infrastructure to benefit local tourist economies. However, this conjuncture has created strong competition between these states, both in terms of economic attractiveness and international visibility.
Thus, in a regional context with strong economic challenges, the recent interstate relations complexification has generated a nationalist tension around the question of musical heritage. Some speeches on both sides of national borders, are against the “appropriation” of their musical “heritage” by their neighbours. For some, it is a “theft of history”, while for others, it is an illegitimate “exploitation” of “national cultural wealth”. What then are the sources of this excitement around the musical heritage in the Gulf? To what extent does the economic and legal dimension contribute to a balanced situation? What is the endogenous understanding for the notions of “heritage” and “appropriation”? From the analysis of the discourse and the positioning of musicians and institutional actors, my communication will first present how the local conception of heritage associated with the concept of branding, informs us about the underlying issues of the phenomenon observed today. It will then explore its implications in the face of the challenges of diplomacy and economy of culture in this region at the dawn of the 21st century.
'Nice but Not Necessary': Music and Humanitarian Norms in Jordan
Melissa J. Scott (University of California, Berkeley)
Humanitarian organizations and their administrations often position music as “nice but not necessary” (Eisner 2005) for refugee populations. As a logic and mode of governance, humanitarianism privileges short-term support for biological life, emphasizing the provisioning of food, shelter, and medical assistance in times of crisis (Fassin 2011, Redfield 2013). International organizations in Jordan, however, increasingly fund and promote cultural activities for refugees and Jordanian citizens alike. This shift indicates that music plays a growing role in both humanitarian and diplomatic efforts, which are themselves often intertwined. Examining the work of humanitarian organizations can, then, provide a “bottom up” view of cultural diplomacy, detailing how such “soft power” projects are carried out and negotiated by local actors (Fosler-Lussier 2015).
In this paper, I look to the differing extents to which humanitarian governance informs cultural activity: do “humanitarian” music programs represent an encroachment of humanitarian order into new domains? To what extent do such programs offer a rethinking of humanitarian logic and the hierarchization of life, activity, and livelihood? I argue that music is a site where humanitarian norms are contested and negotiated (Fassin 2011), demonstrating the limits of humanitarian governance for expressive cultural practices. Drawing on interviews with administrators and working musicians, I examine how local actors negotiate, make use of, and directly challenge three major norms of humanitarian governance: sentiment, technocracy, and biological necessity. In so doing, I aim to nuance discussions of music’s role in international aid, and to also critically reflect on how “humanitarian” norms shape music ethnography and scholarship critically itself.
The National Arab Orchestra’s cultural diplomacy at home and abroad
Christopher Witulski (Bowling Green State University)
Since its founding as a non-profit organization in 2010, the National Arab Orchestra has represented the complex nature of doing cultural diplomacy within the United States. This project’s focus on an American organization lends insight into how cultural diplomacy operates along a wide range of vectors depending on the specific project, setting, goals, and target audience. It also highlights how the identities of the participants are layered and contextual. Through interviews with organizers, donors, audiences, and the professional musicians who regularly travel from across the country to perform with the NAO—and my own experiences as an occasional performer with the group—this work outlines the wide range of priorities and expectations that are laid upon a single organization representing both an art form (Arab music) and a minority community (Arab-Americans), even when the group’s makeup is far from heterogeneous. I focus on four efforts. First, through professional collaborations with the Arab- American community in Houston (TX) and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (OH), the NAO’s “Building Bridges” program extends awareness of Arab-American communities and culture in areas with significant Arab-American populations. Second, workshops, collaborations, and mentorship programs in schools introduce youth to the music of their recently arrived or longstanding Arab immigrant neighbours and classmates. Third, a recent tour to Saudi Arabia presents an example of the ensemble shifting its own representational strategies as it considers its role as an American organization in the Middle East. Finally, collaborations with popular artists—including North African women rappers—and new compositions demonstrate an intentional effort to innovate within the Arab classical tradition, something that represents a different kind of cultural diplomacy, one that aims to connect the art form to younger audiences and bridge the wide generational gaps within immigrant communities because of individuals’ dramatically different life experiences in the United States.
Musical Narratives of Post -Migration: (Co-)Performing Cultural Diplomacy in Germany
Ulrike Präger (University of Salzburg)
The years 2014 and 2015 in Germany were marked by narratives of welcoming when over one million refugees arrived in the country seeking asylum. Since then, empathetic migration discourses increasingly have been replaced by anti-immigration rhetoric. Based on ethnographic materials collected with musicians from Syria, Iraq, and Libya impacted by this forced displacement and its consequences, I highlight how music originating in the Arab World and that happening in European sonic urban and rural locales, generate original sound practices that narrate people’s uprooting migration experiences and potentially are tools for intercultural dialogue, political engagement, as well as the building of resistance networks.
Such sound practices -adapted operas, co-performances, and collaborations voice the intricacies of the musicians’ authorial and creative agency in relation to wider discourses of migration, and the shifting contours of such discursive debate when projecting the migrants’ and hosts’ voices into musical forms. Analysing performances from Munich Syrian Peace Choir and a Munich opera company (an ensemble that generates opera productions as co- performances of migrants and hosts), I show how performers and producers use sound practices to frame reflexive representations that portray the performers’ lived experiences , while commenting on positive and negative realities of everyday negotiations between the performers Middle Eastern and European lives. In these contexts, boundaries between performance, performativity, audience, and performers blur and the moment itself can become a dramatic, sometimes participatory performance. Furthermore, I argue that such sonic phenomena are productive artistic forms to create alternative stories and images that invite wider public audiences to challenge common prejudices about the threat of immigration, while potentially assisting the migrant performers in connecting with local communities – all while mediating and negotiating between sonic phenomena, power, and cultural diplomacy.
Hooda Shawa (Taqwa Kuwait Productions)
Hooda Shawa is a Kuwaiti/Palestinian writer living in Kuwait. Founder and managing director of Taqa Productions, a cultural space dedicated to producing Arabic theatre in Kuwait and the Arab region. She is the recipient of the Sheikh Zayed book award for children's Literature in 2008, and Kuwait’s Children’s Literature award in 2018. Her books include: The Birds' Journey to Mount Qaf, The Animals' vs the Humans at the Court of the King of the Jinn, The Yellow Man, The Secret Revealer, The Elephant's Journey, Apollo on Gaza Beach, The Dragon of Bethlehem, Samia’s Colored Sky, My Palestinian Grandmother. Hooda holds a master’s degree in Comparative Literature from Kuwait University. Her thesis is titled Narrating the Wondrous: Arab-Muslim Encounters of ʿAjab/Wonder in the Lands of the Other (10th-13th Centuries). Her areas of interest include intercultural relations, travel narratives and East/West contact. Productions include:
- Akhnaton (Arabic Operetta) (2012), The puppet shadow theatre Elephant in the City (2017), The Dragon of Bethlehem (Musical story performed by the Edward Said Youth Orchestra 2017), Ikara (Musical) (2017) and
- Julnar and the Firebird (2019).
Hazem Jamjoum (New York University)
Hazem Jamjoum is completing his PhD modern Middle East history at New York University. Until recently, he also worked at the British Library curating and cataloguing sound recordings of relevance to the history of the Arab region. His research interrogates the interrelations between capital, class, and state power through a commodity history of music production in Egypt between 1882 and 1952, using business and state archives, personal papers, music treatises, the periodical press and musical recordings. He was awarded an International Research Dissertation Fellowship by the Social Science Research Council and a Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources by the Council on Library and Information Resources for the 2017 - 2018 academic year.
Nadeem Karkabi University of Haifa) & Yonatan Mendel (Ben-Gurion University)
Dr. Nadeem Karkabi is a faculty member at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Haifa. In his research on the Palestinian alternative music scene, he has focused on the relations between pleasure and politics, humor and hope, and playful subjectivities and perceptions of self-liberation. Currently, he is working on intersecting aspects of language, ethnicity, religion and nationalism in the performance of Jewish-Israeli popular music in Arabic.
Jillian Fulton-Melanson (York University)
Jillian Fulton-Melanson is a PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology with training in ethnomusicology and music performance. Her research incorporates field sites located in Morocco, the greater Arab world and its diaspora communities in Canada, and focuses on identity politics, nationalism and transnationalism, violence, and subaltern queer collectives. Sonically, it is located within EDMC (Noise, techno, house) and traditional musics from the MENA region. Outside of academia, she actively performs at underground electronic music events, as well as collaborates and plays with Arabic folk musicians.
Melissa J Scott (University of California, Berkeley)
Melissa J. Scott is a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation examines how legacies of forced migration inform contemporary music-making in Jordan, contextualizing music programs for refugees within broader musical histories of diaspora. In her work, she further seeks to interrogate the reach and limits of “humanitarianism” as a regime of governance for cultural expressive practices, particularly within the context of ongoing displacement. She holds an MA in ethnomusicology from Berkeley (2016) and a BA in music from the University of Chicago (2013). Her dissertation research has been supported by a Fulbright-Hays DDRA from the U.S. Department of Education, an ACOR-CAORC Pre-Doctoral Fellowship with the American Center of Research in Amman, Jordan, and a Sultan Program Dissertation Fellowship from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She has also studied ‘ud and the Arabic language in Jordan, Oman, and California, and from 2017–2018 she was a fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) at the American University in Cairo.
Maho Sebiane (EHSS, France)
Anthropologist and Ethnomusicologist Researcher at the CRAL (EHESS-CNRS, France) and research collaborator at CREM-LESC (France) and CEFAS (Kuwait), Maho Sebiane is currently works on music, ritual practices and heritage-making in the Western Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf sub-region. After a PhD at the Université de Paris Nanterre specialized in Ethnomusicology (PhD in 2015), Maho Sebiane studied musical life and ritual possession in connection with the slavery legacy in rural areas of Eastern Arabia (Qatar, UAE and Oman). His research led him to study Heritages festivals and heritage-making in the Gulf since the emergence of the nation-states of the Gulf. His current research aims to study the multiple processes involved in the reconfiguration of musical and ritual practices by crossing the different methodologies of ethnomusicology, anthropology, ethnolinguistics and history.
Christopher Witulski (Bowling Green State University)
Christopher Witulski is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Ethnomusicology at Bowling Green State University. He is the author of The Gnawa Lions: Opportunity and Authenticity in Moroccan Ritual Music (2018, Indiana University Press) and Focus: Music and Religion of Morocco (2019, Routledge Press), two books focusing on changes in sacred performance practices in contemporary Morocco and across North Africa. In the fall 2021 academic semester, he will be a Scholar in Residence at BGSU’s Institute for the Study of Culture & Society, where he will be completing research on a project titled “Music, memory, and change in Arab America.”
Ulrike Präger (Boston University)
Ulrike Präger is a senior scientist at the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, co-publishing and authoring a compendium titled Handbook Music and Migration: Theories and Methodologies. She recently taught at the University of Chicago, and also is an instructor in Boston University's Online Education Program. Her research lies at the intersections of ethno/musicology and migration studies, focusing on how and why sonic phenomena, such as musical practices, repertoires, and sonic objects, act as nuanced tools for investigating interrelations between mobility, place, sociality, and political expression. She is currently working on a project titled Publicity and Representation: Music in Medializing and Politicizing Post-Migration. Her research was recently supported by a fellowship from the University of Konstanz. Before the Salzburg position, Ulrike taught at the University of Illinois, Boston University, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and was tenured faculty at the Academy for Social Pedagogy in Munich, Germany, where she oversaw the music studies program. Ulrike also performs as a soprano soloist and chorister with ensembles in Europe and the United States. She holds a Ph.D. in Musicology/Ethnomusicology from Boston University and degrees in Voice/Voice Pedagogy and Music and Dance Pedagogy from the University Mozarteum Salzburg.
Keynote Speakers' Bios
Prof. Virginia Danielson (Harvard University)
Virginia Danielson is an Associate of the Harvard Music Department and a Visiting Scholar at New York University Abu Dhabi. She formerly served as the Director of Libraries at New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus and as the Richard F. French Librarian of the Loeb Music Library at Harvard University and the Curator of the University’s Archive of World Music. An ethnomusicologist by training, Danielson is the author of the award-winning monograph ‘The Voice of Egypt:’ Umm Kulthum, Arabic Song and Egyptian Society in the 20th Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997) and co-editor of The Middle East, volume 6 of The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music (New York: Routledge, 2002). She has authored numerous articles on musics of the Middle East, women in Middle Eastern music, and Muslim devotional music. With Issa Boulos and Anne K. Rasmussen, she has edited a volume entitled Music in Arabia: Perspectives on Heritage, Mobility, and Nation, forthcoming in 2021 from Indiana University Press.
Prof. Jonathan H. Shannon (NYUAB)
Anthropologist and musician Jonathan Shannon has spent over 25 years researching and writing about music and culture in Syria, Morocco, Spain, and Turkey. The author of two monographs -- Among the Jasmine Trees (2006), Performing al-Andalus (2015) -- an ethnographic novel -- A Wintry Day in Damascus (2012) -- and over 30 articles on Arab and Mediterranean music, he is currently writing a book entitled Sounding Home that draws on research with Syrian musicians in Turkey and across Europe. He is currently teaching at New York University Abu Dhabi, where he is Visiting Professor of Anthropology, Head of the Music Program, and Associate Dean for Academic Operations.
The event is organized by Dr. Maria M. Rijo Lopes da Cunha and Associate Prof. Søren Møller Sørensen from the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies (IKK) of the University of Copenhagen and supported by the Danish Institute in Damascus.
Concert by Badia Bouhrizi
On Friday, 4 December at 17:00, the Tunesian singer-songwriter and composer Badiaa Bouhrizi will be introduced followed by
Q & A.
Badiaa Bouhrizi was awarded the AKMI Award 2019 for Music as Social Justice and Influence.
At 18:30 Badiaa Bouhrizi will give a concert.