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Spectacular Beats: The Live Digital Sounds of Syrian Dance Music

Spectacular Beats: The Live Digital Sounds of Syrian Dance Music

Date(s) - 04/12/2024
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

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Georgetown University Department of Performing Arts


Free to Attend USD
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Georgetown University Dept. of Performing Arts

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“Spectacular Beats: The Live Digital Sounds of Syrian Dance Music”As Syrian beats resonate across dance floors, music producers arguably amplify the powerful somatic relationship between listeners, bodies, and audio technology through the production and performance of dabke, a popular dance music. Based on interviews with Syrian musicians and studio producers, as well as in-depth ethnographic fieldwork in Syria, this talk explores how listening and dancing to Syrian dabke music shapes and is shaped by both the digital logic of music production and live improvisatory processes of musical performance.

Shayna M. Silverstein is assistant professor in the Department of Performance Studies and faculty member of the Middle Eastern and North African Studies program at Northwestern University. Silverstein’s teaching and scholarship broadly examine the politics and aesthetics of sound, movement, and performance in contemporary Middle Eastern cultural production. Her first book, Fraught Balance: The Embodied Politics of Dabke Dance Music in Syria will be published by Wesleyan University Press in Spring 2024. Silverstein has also published an award-winning article in the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, and an audiography in [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image. Her publications and research have been supported by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Fulbright Program, as well as the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities and Buffett Institute for Global Affairs at Northwestern University. She currently serves on the Editorial Board of Northwestern University Press, the Editorial Advisory Board for the Sound Studies series of Bloomsbury Press, and the Society for Ethnomusicology Advisory Council.


Department of Performing Arts

Center for Contemporary Arab Studies

Department of Anthropology

Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies

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