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Melissa J. Scott

I teach and study topics in music and sound in Arab-majority societies. My dissertation examines the role of music in displacement in Amman, Jordan. My undergraduate honors thesis at the University of Chicago focused on the history of jazz in Turkey. I am also an oudist and perform with Disoriental at UC Berkeley and Awtar Amman in Jordan.

My fieldwork research is supported by a Fulbright-Hays DDRA and an ACOR-CAORC Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. 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, gift-exchange, late Ottoman studies