Faculty at William & Mary make incredible contributions to academia with their research. In this blog series, we interview faculty with recent publications for insight into their scholarship.
Dr. Anne K. Rasmussen, Professor of Music and Ethnomusicology and Bickers Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, discusses her new book, Music in Arabia: Perspectives on Heritage, Mobility, and Nation, co-edited by Issa Boulos and Virginia Danielson.
In 2-3 sentences, describe your scholarship to someone unfamiliar with the field:
Contributors to Music in Arabia bring a critical eye and ear to the contemporary soundscape, musical life, and expressive culture in the Gulf region. Including work by leading scholars and local authorities, this collection presents fresh perspectives and new research addressing why musical expression is fundamental to the area's diverse, transnational communities. The volume also examines music circulation as a commodity, such as with the production of early recordings, the transnational music industry, the context of the Arab Spring, and the region's popular music markets. As a bonus, readers can access a linked website containing audiovisual examples of the music, dance, and expressive culture introduced throughout the book.
What was the most exciting/interesting part of this project for you?
Bringing together diverse perspectives from scholars and practitioners in North America, Europe, and the Arabian Gulf to produce an entirely new and fresh collection of essays was a massive undertaking at times. The division of labor among our co-editors was productive and satisfying as there were endless details of editing, translation, the management of graphics and communications involved in brining the project to fruition.Who might be interested in reading this book?
Scholars of ethnomusicology, the Arab world, the Middle East, anthropologists of the Muslim world, people with an interest in the Arabian Gulf, also known as the Persian Gulf will find this book to be required reading. Music in Arabia also contributes to Indian Ocean Studies and the so called "blue humanities" which attempts to challenge the "myth of continents" by thinking about the flows of people and cultures that is facilitated by both water and land.
Check out Music in Arabia: Perspectives on Heritage, Mobility, and Nation from the Swem Library stacks.