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Conference on Jewish Contributions to Middle East Music

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Distinguished faculty experts from around the world will gather at the University of Arkansas to discuss the role played by Middle Eastern Jews in the region's music, from Morocco to Iran, on March 28-29.

The focus of the conference will be on the crucial part that Middle Eastern Jews played and continue to play in the development of music in the region.

The conference, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 28 in the Gearhart Hall auditorium (GEAR 26) with a keynote lecture by Jonathan Glasser, associate professor of anthropology at the College of William & Mary, entitled "'More Than Friends?' On Muslim-Jewish Musical Intimacy in Algeria and Beyond."

Following the keynote lecture a performance by Monajat, singer Galeet Dardashti's most recent multi-sensory musical project, will take place in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m.

The conference will continue Friday, March 29, with sessions from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Honors College Second Floor Study Lounge (GEAR 258).

8:30 AM

Conference Welcome

9:00 AM

Perils and Pleasures of Singing to the Neighbors - Joel Beinin, Stanford University

9:45 AM

Israeli Transnational Cyber-Music Encounters with the Muslim World: Rita Jahan Farouz and A-WA - Galeet Dardashti, Jewish Theological Seminary

10:30 AM

Coffee Break

10:45 AM

Salima Pasha (Murad) – Doyenne of Iraqi song, and Mas‘uda al-Bambayliyyi – Daqqâqa (drummer, singer): The legacy of two Iraqi Jewish professional women musicians, Baghdad, c1910–1950 - Sara Manasseh, Independent Scholar

11:30 AM

From Koy-Sanjaq to Shtula: On the Forgotten Frontiers of the Judeo-Islamic Musical Intersections - Edwin Seroussi, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

12:30 PM

Lunch Break

1:15 PM

Music, Space, Time and Power in Jewish Morocco - Vanessa Paloma Elbaz, University of Cambridge

2:00 PM

Music, Nostalgia, Afro-Convivencia: Notes from the Kasbah - Hisham Aidi, Columbia University

2:45 PM

Coffee Break

3:00 PM

Algerian Jewish Musicians and the Politics of Recognition - Jonathan Glasser, College of William & Mary

3:45 PM

Recording the Maghrib: Jews and the Early Commercial Music Industry in North Africa - Chris Silver, McGill University

4:30 PM

Discussion and Farewell

All conference events are free and open to the public. Visit for more information on speakers and lecture topics.

Special thanks to our co-sponsors, the Department of Music, the Fulbright College Humanities Program, the Fulbright College Jewish Studies Program, and the University of Arkansas Honors College.