Pocodisco: The Sonic Performativity of Grief, Grievance and Joy in Diaspora
November 2, 2021 (Tuesday) — 5:15 pm to 7:30 pm
Penn Music Building
201 S. 34th Street, Room 101
Through a performance ethnography of two long-standing SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa) club nights--"1002 Nights" in San Francisco and "Discostan" in Los Angeles--this talk develops the idea of "sonic performativity" as a jubilant expression of diasporic melancholia evident in spaces I term "pocodiscos" or postcolonial discos that commemorate postcolonial liberation struggles of the latter 20th century.
I am an anthropologist, feminist, queer and critical race theorist, born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. My work sits at the intersection of sound, the senses, film and performance studies with an emphasis on diaspora and psychoanalysis. I am the author of Modernity’s Ear: Listening to Race and Gender in World Music (NYU Press, 2015) and Switched-on Bach (Bloomsbury Academic, 33 1/3, 2019). I am currently completing my third book, tentatively titled “We See with the Skin: Zora Neale Hurston’s Synesthetic Hermeneutics”. I have previously published in the Radical History Review, American Quarterly, Current Musicology, Feminist Media Histories, Hypatia, Feminist Studies, GLQ, Theater Survey, and Sounding Out!.
This event is part of the Department of Music’s main Colloquium Series, which showcases new research by leading scholars in music and sound studies and composers both in the United States and internationally.