The annual SEM meeting in coming up and there are a number of sessions on the program related to Arab music, Islamic traditions, and the Middle East. Here are some to keep an eye out for. (Check back for updates and email Beau Bothwell with any additions or corrections.)

Wednesday, October 21

Pre-Conference Symposium Musical Activism and Agency: Contestations and Confluences

10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Roundtable One: Music, Environment, Health, and Displacement

Chair: Judith Klassen (Canadian Museum of History)

  1. Rebekah Moore and Gede Robi Supriyanto: “‘Making a Hole in a Stone’: The Peril and Potential of Music Activism to Safeguard Indonesia’s Biodiversity”
  2. Michael Frishkopf: “Music for Global Human Development”
  3. Eric Martin Usner: “Teaching in Place”
  4. Klisala Harrison: “Music of Independence and Self-determination in Greenland: Colonial Histories, Climate Futures”
  5. Laura Risk: “Share the Arts, Share the Planet: Lessons from the Sustainable Touring Arts Coalition”

1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Roundtable Two: Sites of Resistance

Chair: Anna Hoefnagels (Carleton University)

  1. Nicolas Royer-Artuso and Ülfet Sevdi: “New Oriental Music: Experimental Musicin the Middle East Following 9/11”
  2. Joshua Brown: “We are Not a Crime: Embodiment and Absence in Contemporary Spanish Protest Movements”
  3. Rebecca Draisey-Collishaw and Kip Pegley: “Ensounding the Election: The Politics of Playlists during Canada’s 2019 Federal Election”
  4. Liz Przybylski and Joshua Thunder Little: “Lakota Hip Hop and Online Activism”
  5. Darci Sprengel: “Troubling Resistance Narratives Ten Years after the ‘Arab Spring’”

4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Roundtable Three: Confronting Extractionism: Responsible Research Ethics and Professional Practices

Chair: Margaret Walker (Queen’s University)

  1. Ioanida Costache: “Re-Mapping the Field: Positionality, Power, and Privilege in Ethnographic Methods”
  2. Matt Stahl and Olufunmilayo B. Arewa: “Royalty Accounting and Resistance”
  3. Bruno Deschênes: “Appropriation or Transpropriation?”
  4. Kate Galloway: “On the Silences and Soundings of Extraction in Environmental Sound Art”

Thursday, Oct. 22

Thursday 10:00 – 11:30am

1E Jewish Diasporas and Repertoires

Chair: Edwin Seroussi, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

  • 10:00 “Adeus Vila de Belmonte”: Music and Identity among Portuguese Crypto-Jews Revisited Judith Cohen, York University
  • 10:30 The Resurgence of Yiddish Folksong Mark Slobin, Wesleyan University
  • 11:00 The Pereira Scroll: Giving Voice to a Moroccan Torah

1J - Music and the “Hidden Histories” of Archives

Chair: Peter Toner, St. Thomas University

  • 10:00 The Role of Archives in the Negotiation of the Lebanese Maronite Tradition: The Case of the Funeral Ritual Guilnard Moufarrej, United States Naval Academy
  • 10:30 Amateur Archivists and the Hidden Histories of American Popular Music José Neglia, University of Hong Kong
  • 11:00 Cultural Selection, Archival Knowledge, and Musical Tradition: A New Brunswick Case Study Joshua Green, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick Peter Toner, St. Thomas University

1D Case Studies for the Digital Realm

Chair: Ruadhán Woods, Troy University

  • 10:00 Sonic Bias and Ecological Idealism in Commercials from the Digital Age Megan Murph, University of South Carolina Upstate
  • 10:30 An Ethnographic Approach to the Role of “Culture” in Anghami and Spotify Darci Sprengel, University of Oxford
  • 11:00 The Thing with Vaporwave: Reassessing Deconstruction Siel Agugliaro, University of Pennsylvania

Thursday 2:00 – 4:00pm

2A Creative Collaborations and Fusions

Chair: James McNally, University of Illinois at Chicago

  • 2:00 “Therapy by Peruvians for Peruvians”: Mestizaje, ‘fusion aesthetics’, and Negotiation of Belonging in Lima’s Independent Music Scene Alissa Vik, NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
  • 2:30 Disrupting the Political Binary: 1960s Samba-Jazz and Brazilian Nationalism Felipe Guz Tinoco, Washington University in St. Louis
  • 3:00 Falafel Jazz: The Politics of Genre and Culture Noam Lemish, York University
  • 3:30 “High Art in the Street”: The Tunisian-Libyan Malouf Slam Collaborative Jared Holton, University of California, Santa Barbara, Ghassen Azaiez, High Institute of Music, Sfax, Tunisia

Saturday, October 24

10:00 – 11:30am (Session 5)

5H Human Rights, Music and Sound: Ethnomusicological Activism in Contexts of Urban Poverty, the Law and Climate Change

Chair: Klisala Harrison, University of Helsinki

  • 10:00 Human Rights in Musical Moments Klisala Harrison, University of Helsinki
  • 10:30 Environmental Rights Futures: Climate Prediction and the Soundworlds of the KhoeSan of Namibia Angela Impey, SOAS University of London
  • 11:00 Palestinian Sounds and the Terrorist Imaginary: Sonic Lawfare, Human Rights, and Activist Ethnomusicology

5A Music Across Displacement

Chair: Svanibor Pettan, University of Ljubljana

  • 10:00 Here and There: Identity Through Music, Dance and Cultural Practices in Refugee Camps Mark Parselelo, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • 10:30 Musical Connections: The Imaginative Role of Music in the Lives of Young Refugees and Newcomers Tiffany Pollock, York University
  • 11:00 The Sound and Silence of Displacement and Resettlement: Syrian Refugees to Canada Gale Franklin, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Sunday, October 25

10:00am-12:00pm (Session 6)

6C Affective Engagements and Musical Performance in the Muslim World

Chair: Virginia Danielson, Harvard University

Sponsored by the Society for Arab Music Research

  • 10:00 Affective Mixture: Pleasure and Pain in Islamic Performance Practices of Western India Brian Bond, The Graduate Center, CUNY
  • 10:30 The Underground Conservatory of Azerbaijan: Affect, Intertextuality, and Islam in Private Musical Gatherings Polina Dessiatnitchenko, Harvard University
  • 11:00 Drums of War in Times of Peace: Ḥamās as Musical Emotion in Arab Oman Bradford Garvey, Amherst College
  • 11:30 Sounding Pain, Performing Mourning: Embodying Affective Modalities and Nascent Religious Identity in Shāh Jo Rāg Pei-ling Huang, Harvard University

2:30-4:00pm (Session 7)

7C Music and Commerce

Chair: Timothy Taylor, UCLA

  • 2:30 “Snare the soul of nature with your non-materialist self ”: Consumer Capitalism and Eco-spirituality in 21st Century Baul Music in Bangladesh Golam Rabbani, Queen’s University
  • 3:00 The Cost of Admission: Production, Performance, Circulation in Beirut’s Alternative Music World Nour El Rayes, University of California, Berkeley
  • 3:30 Ivete Sangalo Day: Booking Brazilian Dreams in Orlando Cody Case, University of Florida

7I Musical Mobility and Circulation

Chair: Gordon E. Smith, Queen’s University

  • 2:30 “It’s a party, don’t call it a lila”: Commodification and the Misappropriation of Gnawa Cultural Heritage Maisie Sum, University of Waterloo/Conrad Grebel
  • 3:00 Copyright, Popularized Folk Music, and the Semiotics of Musical Creativity in Turkey David Fossum, Arizona State University
  • 3:30 Infrastructure of the Extraordinary: Western Classical Music, Elites, and Resistance in Contemporary Istanbul Erol Koymen, University of Chicago

Wednesday, October 28


Society for Arab Music Research Meeting

Thursday, October 29

10:00 – 12:00pm (Session 8)

8L Roundtable: Intersectional Listening Positionality

Chair: Matt Sakakeeny

  • Dyaln Robinson, Queens University
  • Nadia Chana, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Cecily Nicholson, City of Surrey
  • Matt Sakakeeny, Tulane University
  • Allie Martin, Dartmouth College
  • Shayna Silverstein

Friday, October 30

10:00 – 11:30am (Session 10)

10E Dance Club Worlds

Chair: Kathryn Alexander, University of Arizona

  • 10:00 Can Music Ever be Truly Transnational? The Case of Japanese Techno in Europe Noriko Manabe, Temple University
  • 10:30 Arabian Noise: Social Violence and Indeterminacy Performed in Morocco’s Techno Underground Jillian Fulton, York University
  • 11:00 Unsavory Trade: Surveillance Technology and Nightclub Intimacy Larisa Mann, Temple University

10L Aurality of Oppression and Resistance in Istanbul

Chair: Nil Basdurak, University of Toronto

Sponsored by the Anatolian Ecumene Special Interest Group

  • 10:00 Claiming the Public Space: Street Music Practices of Syrian Migrant Musicians in Istanbul Evrim Hikmet Öğüt, Sinan Fine Arts University
  • 10:30 Beyond Sound: Hearing the Voices in Silent Protests Sinem Arslan, University of Toronto
  • 11:00 Sound in Islamic Populist Propaganda: Female Voice, “Ezan” and Public Morality Nil Basdurak, University of Toronto

2:00-4:00pm (Session 11)

11G Imagined as the Terrorist Personified: Anti-Muslim Racism and the Inaudibility of Muslim Experience

Chair: Suzanne Cusick, New York University

  • 2:00 Internalized Prejudice, Shifting Narratives: The Contemporary Erasure of Islam in Iraqi Kurdish Retellings of Music History Jon Bullock, University of Chicago
  • 2:30 Enforced Sound: Islamophobia, Criminalized Identities, and Compulsory Sound-making in China’s Uyghur Region Elise Anderson, Uyghur Human Rights Project
  • 3:00 The Social Death of Uttering Allah in America: Reclaiming Criminalized Worship Practices in Popular Music Spaces Aliah Ajamoughli, Indiana University-Bloomington
  • 3:30 Discussant: Michael Figueroa, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill