Melissa received her BA in Music from the University of Chicago. Her current research focuses on the relationship between classical Arab music pedagogy and humanitarianism in Jordan.
Melissa was recently a CASA fellow at the American University in Cairo for the 2017-18 year. She is also an oudist and performs regularly with the Aswat Ensemble in Oakland and Berkeley’s Disoriental. Her primary oud teachers are Omar Abbad (Jordan) and Jamal Benbrahim (Morocco), but she has also had lessons with Tareq Jundi (Jordan), Charbel Rouhana (Lebanon), and Muhammad Qadri Dalal (Syria) on oud, and Loay Dahbour (Palestine) on percussion.
Levantine and Gulf music, critical anthropology of development, humanitarianism, theories of place and place-making, critical refugee studies, secularism and secularity, affective labor, phenomenology, sound studies, sound and violence, temporality, late Ottoman studies