Music, Gender, and Sexuality in the Middle East (MET2137.01)

Joseph Alpar

This course will examine the construction and experience of gender and sexuality in the Middle East through a musical lens. Drawing on research in ethnomusicology, queer studies, gender studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and other interdisciplinary fields, we will study music-making and other modes of performance as processes of representation, assertion, and sometimes transgression of sexuality and gender identities. We will question assumptions about femininity and masculinity in the region from the Ottoman period to the present, highlighting historic and contemporary modes of performance (music, dance, theater) that create and strengthen a range of feminine, masculine, non-binary, and trans identities and spaces. We will also pay attention to Islamist mobilization, the experiences of LGBTQ performers and listeners, family, weddings, women’s labor, and the role of women musicians in recent uprisings and social change.

Learning Outcomes:
•Gain familiarity with interdisciplinary scholarship on music, gender, and sexuality in the Middle East.
•Look at specific examples of performance from the Ottoman period through the 20th and 21st centuries that highlight different sexual and gender identities.
•Examine key trends in the field through specific case studies.
•Recognize important ethnomusicological resources (encyclopedias, journals, discographies, databases, etc.) and know where to find them.
•Analyze historical and contemporary topics through in-class discussion and written assignments.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Corequisites: Attendance at relevant music events on campus (dates to be provided at the beginning of the term).
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 3:40PM - 5:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 14
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Ethnomusicology , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Society Culture and Thought
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