Farzaneh Hemmasi | فرزانه حمصی
Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology
University of Toronto Faculty of Music
80 Queens Park West
Toronto, ON M5S 2C5
- Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, ON. 2019 – Present.
- Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON. 2013 – 2019.
- Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities. Penn Humanities Forum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. 2011-2012.
- Visiting Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology. Hunter College, City University of New York, NY. 2010-2011.
- Ph.D. in Musicology (Ethnomusicology Program), Columbia University, 2010.
Dissertation Title: “Iranian Popular Music in Los Angeles: Mobilizing Media, Nation and Politics.” Supervised by Ana María Ochoa Gautier.
Awarded distinction, an honour reserved for the top ten percent of dissertations in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
- M.Phil. in Musicology (Ethnomusicology Program), Columbia University, 2005.
- M.A. in Musicology (Ethnomusicology Program), Columbia University, 2003.
- B.A. in History, Oberlin College, 1997.
Research Grants (selected)
- Connaught Community Research Partnerships Grant. “Keeping Kensington ‘Kensington’: Value and Affordability in Toronto’s Kensington Market,” 2020-2022. Partnership with community organizations Friends of Kensington Market and the Kensington Market Business Improvement Area, and the University of Toronto Ethnography Lab.
- Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant. “Toronto Music City: The View from Kensington Market,” 2018-2020.
- Connaught New Researcher Award, University of Toronto, 2014-2016.
- Connaught/Provost’s Office Fund for Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Recruitment Support, University of Toronto, 2013-2015.
- Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, Wolf Humanities Forum, University of Pennsylvania. 2011-12.
Awards and Scholarships (selected)
- Hamid Naficy Book Award for Tehrangeles Dreaming (Duke UP 2020). Presented by the Association for Iranian Studies on behalf of the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies at San Francisco State University, 2022.
- University of Toronto Faculty of Music Teaching Award, 2018.
- Distinction for Doctoral Dissertation, Columbia University, 2010.
- Middle East Institute Graduate Dissertation Write-Up Fellowship, Columbia University, 2009-2010.
- Mellon Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow, Institute for Social and Economic Policy and Research, Columbia University, 2007-2009.
- Lane Cooper Fellowship for dissertation writing, Columbia University, 2007-2009.
- Columbia University Teaching Fellow. 2001-2006, 2008-2009.
- Tehrangeles Dreaming: Intimacy and Imagination in Southern California’s Iranian Pop Music. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020.
- Recipient of the Hamid Naficy Book Award.
- Forthcoming: “Doing Our Essential Work.” MUSICultures, 49, 2022.
- “‘One Can Veil and Be a Singer!’ Performing Piety on an Iranian Talent Competition.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, 3:13, Nov 2017, 416-437. |Resources|
- “Iran’s daughter and mother Iran: Googoosh and diasporic nostalgia for the Pahlavi modern.” Popular Music 36:2, 2017, 157-177. |Resources|
- “Rebuilding the Homeland in Poetry and Song: Simin Behbahani, Dariush Eghbali, and the Making of a Transnational National Anthem.” Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture 15:3, 2017, 192-206. |Resources|
- “Intimating Dissent: Poetry, Popular Music, and Politics in Pre-Revolutionary Iran.” Winter 2013. Ethnomusicology 57:1, 57-87. |Resources|
- “Az Irāni tā jahāni: pāp-e fārsi zabān ru miyāyad.” (“From Iranian to ‘World’: Persian-Language Pop Crosses Over.”) Mahoor Music Quarterly 10:38, 2008, 36-50. (Iran’s preeminent peer-reviewed musicological journal, http://www.mahoor.ir)
- “Googoosh’s Voice: An Iranian Icon in Silence and Song.” In Vamping the Stage: Female Voices of Asian Modernities, edited by Andrew Weintraub and Bart Barendegt (University of Hawai’i Press), 2017, 234-257. |Resources|
- “Iranian Popular Music in Los Angeles: A Transnational Public beyond the Islamic State.” In Muslim Rap, Halal Soaps, and Revolutionary Theater: Artistic Developments in the Muslim Cultural Sphere, edited by Karin Van Nieuwkerk. University of Texas Press, 2011. |Resources|
Media & Public Speaking
- “The Problem with Music.” Public lecture for Big Ideas at U of T: Celebrating 50 Years of the Connaught Fund. University of Toronto Convocation Hall, November 30, 2022.
- “From Cultural Critique to Community Engagement: An Introduction to the Kensington Market Soundscape Study.” Ethnography Lab website blog post. November 3, 2022. https://ethnographylab.ca/2022/11/03/from-cultural-critique-to-community-engagement-an-introduction-from-the-kensington-market-soundscape-study-by-farzaneh-hemmasi/
- “Persian Pop in Tehrangeles.” Interview with Naazley Boozari and Samira Singleton for the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies Del Beh Del Podcast. December 12, 2021. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-5-sounds-of-the-diaspora-persian-pop/id1552529562?i=1000543232983
- “Tehrangeles Dreaming: Intimacy & Imagination in Southern California’s Iranian Pop Music.” Interview with Prof. Aaron Hegler for the New Books Network Podcast. October 12, 2020. https://newbooksnetwork.com/farzaneh-hemmasi-tehrangeles-dreaming-intimacy-and-imagination-in-southern-californias-iranian-pop-music-duke-up-2020
- A Virtual Book Launch: Professor Farzaneh Hemmasi: Tehrangeles Dreaming. With Professor Amy Malek of the Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies. https://iran.princeton.edu/virtual-conversations/book-launch-tehrangeles-dreaming
- “Voice and Revolution.” Interviewed by Prof. Kevin O’Neill for University of Toronto’s Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies podcast “Between, Across, and Through.” https://audioboom.com/posts/7438258-voice-and-revolution
- Moderator for Canadian Music Week Music Cities Summit panel “Making Space in the Public Realm: How Public Spaces Can Contribute to Scenes and Strategies.” http://musiccitiessummit.com/panel-details/?panel_id=1118&cat=28
- “Musical Movements, Historical Deposits.” A Conversation between Farzaneh Hemmasi and Leila Pourtavaf on Jumana Manna’s film and exhibit A Magical Substance Flows into Me. Mercer Union Centre for Contemporary Art, Toronto. http://www.mercerunion.org/events/musical-movements-historical-deposits-farzaneh-hemmasi-and-leila-pourtavaf/
Invited Lectures (Selected)
- “Doing Our Essential Work.” Canadian Society for Traditional Music Keynote Presentation, Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Online, October 2020.
- “Tehrangeles Dreaming: Postrevolutionary Expatriate Politics in Southern California’s Iranian Pop Music.” University of Toronto Department of Anthropology Colloquium Series, Toronto, ON, December 2019.
- “The Ethnomusicology of Elites: Encounters with Iranian Pop Stars.” Harvard University Department of Music Barwick Colloquium Series, Cambridge, MA. April 2019.
- “Encounters with Iranian Pop Stars: Reflections on the Ethnography of Elites.” Eastman School of Music Graduate Colloquium Series, Rochester, NY. April 2019.
- “Performing Suffering in Popular Music, Public Culture, and Scholarship.” University of California Berkeley Department of Music Colloquium Series, Berkeley, CA. November 2018.
- “Elite Intersectionality and Popular Music Celebrity.” NYU Music Studies Colloquium Series, New York, NY. April 2018.
- “Music and the Marketing of Kensington Market.” University of Toronto Anthropology Department’s Ethnography Lab Speaker Series, Toronto. February 2018.
- “Addressing the Travel Ban’s Effects on Graduate Students.” Academic Freedom, Academic Activism: The Case of the Muslim Ban. University of Toronto Department of the Study of Religion, Toronto. January 2018.
- “Culture after Islamism: The Politics of Impiety in Iranian Diasporic Popular Music.” Iranian Popular Music and Society: New Directions. Yale University, Hartford, CT. January 2018. Video.
- “New Time, New Rhythm: Sonic and Political Change in 20thCentury Iran.” Rhythms of Social Change: Time, Rhythm and Pace in Performance. Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto. January 2017.
- “‘Remitting’ Recovery: Dariush’s Transnational Celebrity Activism.” Jackman Humanities Institute Working Group on “Im/migration, Mobilities, Circulation,” University of Toronto Department of Anthropology. November 2016.
- “Dead Stock: Cultural Remnants in Tehrangeles.” Lecture for U of T Ethnomusicology Roundtable “Tales from the Field” Session. April 2016.
- “Baba Karam in the Blood: Iranian Music, Movement, and Memory.” Popular Music, Dance and Memory: An Inter/Cross-/Trans-Disciplinary Dialogue. University of Chichester Research Dialogue Series. Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom. April 2016.
- “Poetry Above All? Politics, National Identification, and the Contemporary Mediation of Iranian Sung Poetry.” Communities of Song: Performing Sung Poetry in the Modern World Conference. University of North Carolina. Chapel Hill, NC. October 2015.
- “Historical and Contemporary Music and Rituals of Nowruz, the Iranian Vernal New Year.” Invited Speaker and Programming Coordinator for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ Nowruz Celebration. Boston, MA. March 2012.
- “Dance and Dissent: Iranian American Popular Music in Transnational Perspective.” City University of New York Graduate Center’s Middle Eastern and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC) Seminar Series. CUNY Graduate Center, New York, New York. March 2011.
- “Doing Ethnography Now?” Participant in live-streamed session at the American Anthropological Association’s Raising Our Voices 2020 program, online, November 2020.
- “Tending the Urban Musical Ecosystem: Cultural, Economic, and Scholarly Cultivation in Policy and on the Ground.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Online, October 2020.
- “Personalizing the Trump Travel Ban.” Contribution to Roundtable on “Ethnomusicology in the Age of Trump.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Denver, CO. November 2017.
- “Suffering Together, Healing Together: Addiction, Recovery, and Intimacy in Transnational Iranian Music and Television.” Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Minneapolis, MN. November 2016.
- “Fellow Sufferers: Addicts, Fans, and Ordinary Citizens in Iranian Popular Music Activism.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Washington, DC. November 2016.
- “Nostalgia for the Music Industry: The View from Iranian Los Angeles.” British Forum for Ethnomusicology. Chatham, Kent, United Kingdom. April 2016.
- “Poetry Above All? Politics, National Identification, and the Contemporary Mediation of Iranian Sung Poetry.” Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting. Austin, Texas. October 2015.
- “Living and Dying the Rock and Roll Dream: The Politics of ‘Making It’ as an Iranian Underground Musician.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Pittsburgh, PA. October 2014.
- “Of Singing and Suffocation: Performances of Power and Powerlessness among Female Vocalists in Exile.” Biennial Meeting of the International Society of Iranian Studies, Montreal, Canada. August 2014.
- “Listening to and through: Pre-Revolutionary Musiqi-ye Pop and the Politics of Ambiguity.” Biennial Meeting of the International Society of Iranian Studies, Istanbul, Turkey. August 2012.
- “From a Distance: Voice, Dance, and Display among Female Iranian Vocalists in Exile.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Philadelphia, PA. November 2011.
- “Musical Circulation as Communicative and Political Action: Listening to Irangeles in Transnational Space.” Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, New Orleans, LA. November 2010.
- “‘Living in Every Persian Body’: The Rhythmic Definition of Iranian Los Angeles.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Los Angeles, CA. November 2010.
- “Intimating Dissent: Political Poetry and Popular Song in Pre-Revolutionary Iran.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Mexico City, Mexico. November 2009.
- “Between Iraq and a Hard Place: Iranian Youth, Popular Music and the Perils of Representation.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Middletown, CT. November 2008.
- “From MP3 to ‘Reality’: Technological Mediations of Difference and Diaspora at the Iranian Intergalactic Music Festival.” Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, DC. November 2007.
- “‘I Will Build You Again, Homeland’: The Transnational Circulation of Vatan in Iranian Popular Song.” Annual Meeting of the Middle Eastern Studies Association, Montreal, Quebec. October 2007.
- “‘The Iranian Music Revolution Has Been Uploaded’: Technologically Mediated Interactions at the Iranian Intergalactic Music Festival.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Columbus, OH. November 2007.
- “From Iranian to ‘World’: Persian-Language Pop Crosses Over.” Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Iranian Studies, School of Oriental and Asian Studies, London, U.K. August 2006.
- “Sound and (Its) Movement: Exiles’ Music in Iran.” Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC. November 2005.
- “Moving Bodies, Moving Images: Khordadian and Exile Music and Dance in Iran.” Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Tucson, AZ. November 2004.
- “The Utopian Potential of a Deep House Party.” Annual Meeting of the Society of Ethnomusicology, Miami, FL. November 2003.
Graduate courses at University of Toronto
MUS1075 – Music and Sound in the Middle East
MUS1057 – Performing Politics: Individuality and Collectivities in Music and Dance
MUS1271 – Music and Circulation
MUS1099 – Kensington Market Sound and Music Research
Undergraduate courses in University of Toronto Faculty of Music
HMU111 – Introduction to Music and Society
HMU345 – Global Popular Music
HMU435 – Topics in Ethnomusicology: Voice, Identity, Celebrity
HMU433 – Topics in Ethnomusicology: Introduction to Ethnomusicology
HMU245 – World Music
HMU435 – Topics in Ethnomusicology: Music, Identity & Social Change
HMU359 – Music and Power in the Middle East
Undergraduate courses in University of Toronto Arts & Sciences
MUS212 – Music, Sound, & Power in the Middle East
MUS306 – Popular Music in North America
Doctoral Supervisions in Ethnomusicology
- Nil Basdurak, “Listening to the Contested Spaces of Neoliberal Islam: Sound, Identity and Power.”
- Hadi Milanloo, “The Music and Lives of Iranian Women Classical Instrumentalists.”
- Alia O’Brien (Co-supervisor with Josh Pilzer), “Dynamics of Remembrance: The Practical Politics of Sound and Silence among Toronto’s Jerrahi Sufis.”
- Hamidreza Salehyar, “Mourning Rituals, Popular Music, and Shi’a Agency in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
- Nadia Younan, “Refugee Nation: Cultural Trauma, Collective Memory, and Expressions of Resilience in the Transnational Assyrian Community.”
M.A. Major Research Paper Supervisions
- Dennis Lee, “‘Evil Rise’: The Integration of Death Metal into Mainstream Indonesian Society.”
- Tamara Rayan, “Home without the Homeland: The Musical Lives of the Palestinian Toronto Diaspora.”
- Kayla Chambers, “Sound Bodies, Colonial Bodies, Missing Bodies: Tanya Tagaq and the Affective Politics of Performance.”
Kensington Market Sound and Music Research Project
Supervise numerous ethnomusicology graduate students in a group ethnography of sound and music in Toronto’s Kensington Market. See Kensington Market page for projects.