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Performing Self: Between Tradition and Modernity in the West Bank

With Professor Sylvia Alajaji
September 18th, 2015
12:00 PM

  Archived

Friday, Sept. 18

11:00-noon

Forum for Scholars and Publics Seminar Room, 011 Old Chem

A light lunch will be served beginning just before this event.

Co-sponsored with the Duke Islamic Studies Center (DISC).

This talk will examine the ways the music of the Palestinian soundscape has become implicated in the trappings of the identity politics of the region. When identity operates as a site of contestation, the channels through which it is mediated—such as music and dance—become sites of contestation themselves.  Thus, at issue here is not whether or not these musics are implicated but rather how each genre—from folklore to hip-hop—answers for, symbolizes, and epitomizes Palestine and how this burden of representation plays out among the different strata of Palestinian society.

Sylvia Alajaji

Franklin and Marshall College

Dr. Alajaji is an Associate Professor and Chair of Music at Franklin & Marshall College. She received her PhD in Musicology from University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music. She specializes in the music of the Middle East and is particularly interested in the intersections of music, popular culture, and politics in the West Bank and the Armenian diaspora in Beirut. Her research is based on extensive fieldwork conducted throughout the Middle East and United States.