Singing Across Divides: Music and Intimate Politics in Nepal

Singing Across Divides: Music and Intimate Politics in Nepal

Wednesday@Noon Lecture

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
12:10–1 p.m.
Arts Building Music Rehearsal Hall, ARTS 157

Anna Stirr, Associate Professor, University of Hawaii-Manoa

Singing Across Divides examines how forms of love and intimacy are linked to changing conceptions of political solidarity and forms of belonging, through the lens of Nepali dohori song. The book describes dohori: improvised, dialogic singing, in which a witty repartee of exchanges is based on poetic couplets with a fixed rhyme scheme, often backed by instrumental music and accompanying dance, performed between men and women, with a primary focus on romantic love. This talk will address how urban dohori performances strive to recreate rural performance spaces with a cosmopolitan flair. It will address how performers negotiate issues of honor, in part by relying on rural, indigenous paradigms of social exchange and their associated aesthetics of verbal art and musical sound.

Anna Stirr is Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. She is the author of Singing Across Divides: Music and Intimate Politics in Nepal (Oxford University Press, 2017). She holds a BA in music and religious studies from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, and an MA, MPhil, and PhD in ethnomusicology from Columbia University. She has also taught at Oxford University, Leiden University, and the New School. Her research focuses on music, dance, language, intimacy, and politics in South Asia, particularly in Nepal and the Himalayan region. She performs Nepali folk music as a singer, flutist, and percussionist.

Free and open to the campus
Information: (951) 827-3245 | |

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