by Pamela Young, Published March 04, 2010
YPSILANTI - Youth and popular music in the Arab World will be the next topic in Eastern Michigan University’s lecture series, “Perspectives on the Middle East,” Monday, March 8, 7 p.m., in Ballroom B at EMU’s Student Center
Guest speaker Ted Swedenburg, professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas, and an expert in popular music, will provide a rare look at Arab youth and current tastes in music. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Swedenburg has an extensive background in popular culture, world music, transnational identities and cultural studies. He has explored border music of the Middle East, and the Middle Eastern-inflected music of the West. He also is known for his work on Franco-Algerian Rai music, Islamic African-American rap and Mizrahi dance music in Israel. His most recent fieldwork has been on the popular music of Nubians in Egypt.
Swedenburg is an active researcher. His latest book, “Radio Interzone,” is scheduled to be released by Duke University Press. Previous books include, “Palestine, Israel and the Politics of Popular Culture, edited with Rebecca Stein (2005,)”; “Memories of Revolt: The 1936-39 Rebellion and the Palestinian National Past (2003)”; and “Displacement, Diaspora and the Geographies of Identity, edited with Smadar Lavie (1996)”.
Swedenburg is on the editorial committee of Middle East Report, and active with the King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the University of Arkansas’ J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.
Swedenburg received his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Texas in 1988. His dissertation, a study of popular memories of the 1936-39 revolt in Palestine, dealt with the elderly living in Palestinian villages in the Galilee and the West Bank. He has taught at the University of Washington-Seattle and at the American University in Cairo. He joined the University of Arkansas in 1996.