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Farzaneh Hemmasi

Assistant Professor Music & Ethnomusicology,
University of Toronto (Faculty of Music)
Toronto, ON, Canada
Farzaneh Hemmasi is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at University of Toronto. Her interests concern popular music, celebrity, transnational media publics, the politics of popular culture, and music in urban environments. Her general research area is Iranian popular music, transnationality, media, and politics, and her publications cover topics including the postrevolutionary political metaphorization of the Iranian female singing voice; Iranian twentieth century "New Poetry" and popular music; and the Iranian expatriate cultural industries in Southern California. In 2017, she began a collaborative ethnographic project with University of Toronto graduate students on music, sound, and cultural policy in Toronto's Kensington Market.

Prof. Hemmasi received her doctorate, with distinction, from Columbia University in 2010. She has held fellowships with the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Humanities Forum and Columbia University’s Middle East Institute as well as its Institute of Social and Economic Policy and Research. Her publications have appeared in the Journal of Middle East Women's Studies (2017), Popular Music (2017), Popular Communication (2017), Ethnomusicology (2013), and Mahoor Music Quarterly (2008). She also contributed to the edited volumes Vamping the Stage: Female Voices of Asian Modernities (University of Hawaii Press, 2017) and Muslim Rap, Halal Soaps, and Revolutionary Theater: Artistic Developments in the Muslim World (University of Texas Press, 2011). Her book manuscript on Iranian popular music in Los Angeles is under contract with Duke University Press.

At University of Toronto, Prof. Hemmasi was twice awarded research funding from the Connaught Foundation. In 2015 she founded the Faculty of Music's first Iranian Music Ensemble, led by percussion virtuous Pedram Khavarzamini. In 2017, she organized the Jackman Humanities Institute-supported symposium and conference "Rhythms of Social Change: Time, Rhythm, & Pace in Performance." She was also a co-organizer of the cross-faculty JHI Working Group "Critical Approaches to Middle East Studies: Subjects, Culture, Political Formations." Prof. Hemmasi regularly presents her work at the meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the American Anthropological Association, and the International Society for Iranian Studies, among others. Prior to arriving at University of Toronto, she taught ethnomusicology at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and Hunter College in the City University of New York.