Current Institutional Affiliation
Doctoral Candidate, University of California, Berkeley

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2013
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Music, University of California / Berkeley
The Poesis of Musical Remembering: Andalusian Resonances in Contemporary Spain and Morocco

This ethnography explores contemporary, intercultural musicmaking practices of Moroccan musicians living in Granada, Spain and the Tangier-Tetouan region of northern Morocco, alongside those of their Spanish collaborators. Steeped in historic Arabo-Andalusi genres that connect Spain and Morocco, yet musically innovative, how might we consider their efforts as a poesis of musical remembering, a creative deployment of the past in the present? Given the divergent backgrounds of the practitioners, what knowledges, skills, and sensibilities do they require, sustain, and transmit? Finally, what is produced or mobilized—and what effaced—socially, culturally, and politically, in the sonic wake of these spatio-temporal encounters? What does it mean, in essence, to remember musically? These questions are addressed through the framework of three overlapping modalities of memory—socio-cultural, interpersonal, and embodied-sensory. Through this research I aim to develop a multifaceted theoretical conception of the cultural work of remembering. Remembering in this view constitutes a problematic, both an ethnographically observable tension between creative agencies and social obligations, as well as a multiform analytic. As a flexible theoretical paradigm, remembering thus provides an opening through which to link material and phenomenological approaches within anthropology of the senses, ideas about the centrality of the body in philosophy of mind, questions about musical knowledge and skill in ethnomusicology, and concepts of performativity in poetic and narrative discourse as taken up by linguistic and cultural anthropology.