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Melissa J. Scott

I study and teach topics on music in the Middle East. My undergraduate honors thesis at the University of Chicago focused on the history of jazz in Turkey. My PhD dissertation will address the relationship between Arabic music and humanitarianism in Jordan. In 2019-2020 I will pursue ethnographic fieldwork supported by a Fulbright-Hays DDRA and an ACOR-CAORC Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. I also perform on oud in Jordan and the United States, and co-founded and direct Disoriental at UC Berkeley.

During the 2017-18 academic year, I was a CASA fellow at the American University in Cairo, where I studied Arabic literature and Egyptian dialect while pursuing an internship at a local music center. I have also studied Arabic in Oman (CLS), Jordan (FLAS), and California.


Levantine and Gulf music, anthropology of humanitarianism, critical refugee studies, secularism and secularity, theories of place and place-making, sound and violence, late Ottoman studies