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Apr 15 Wed

Unsettling Repertoires: Armenian POWs in Musicology’s Colonial Past

lectures-symposia, world-music

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Lecture via Zoom by Melissa Bilal, Distinguished Research Fellow at UCLA Center for Near East Studies and Lecturer in the Department of Ethnomusicology

Unsettling Repertoires: Armenian POWs in Musicology's Colonial Past

During WWI, The Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission recorded the voices of detainees from various backgrounds captive in Prussian camps. Some of these prisoners of war were Armenian soldiers fighting in the Russian army. In this lecture, by examining the sound recordings and printed documents kept in the archives, I will critically discuss the legacy of the Armenian repertoire produced in internment camps.

Melissa Bilal is a Distinguished Research Fellow at UCLA Center for Near East Studies and a Lecturer in the Department of Ethnomusicology. Dr. Bilal earned her Ph.D. in Music (Ethnomusicology) from the University of Chicago, her MA and BA in Sociology from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. She has previously taught at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, the American University of Armenia, and Boğaziçi University. Her recent publications include Voice Imprints: Recordings of Russian Armenian POWs in German Camps, 1916-1918 (Berlin Staatliche Museen, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Forthcoming, 2020); “Lullabies and the Memory of Pain: Armenian Women’s Remembrance of the Past in Turkey” (Dialectical Anthropology 2019, 43/2); My Heart is like those Ruined Houses: Gomidas Vartabed's Musical Legacy (in Turkish, with Burcu Yıldız, 2019). Together with Dr. Lerna Ekmekcioglu, she co-authored A Cry for Justice: Five Armenian Feminist Writers from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey (1862–1933) (in Turkish, 2006), co-launched the Annual Feminist Armenian Studies Workshop while a Visiting Researcher of History at MIT, and is currently collaborating on the book and digital humanities project Feminism in Armenian: An Interpretive Anthology and Digital Archive.

Part of the Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy Colloquium Series, sponsored by The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology


Topic: Dr. Melissa Bilal: "Unsettling Repertoires: Armenian POWs in Musicology's Colonial Past"
Time: Apr 15, 2020; 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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