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Roshanak Kheshti (UC-Berkeley): "Pocodisco: The Sonic Performativity of Grief, Grievance and Joy in Diaspora"

Abstract: Through a performance ethnography of two long-standing SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa) club nights--"1002 Nights" in San Francisco and "Discostan" in Los Angeles--this talk develops the idea of "sonic performativity" as a jubilant expression of diasporic melancholia evident in spaces I term "pocodiscos" or postcolonial discos that commemorate postcolonial liberation struggles of the latter 20th century.

Roshanak Kheshti is an anthropologist, feminist, queer and race theorist, born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Her work sits at the intersection of sound, the senses, film and performance studies with an emphasis on diaspora and psychoanalysis. She is the author of "Modernity's Ear: Listening to Race and Gender in World Music" (NYU Press, 2015) and "Switched-on Bach" (Bloomsbury Academic, 33 1/3, 2019). She is currently completing her third book, tentatively titled "We See with the Skin: Zora Neale Hurston's Synesthetic Hermeneutics." She has previously published in the Radical History Review, American Quarterly, Current Musicology, Feminist Media Histories, Hypatia, Feminist Studies, GLQ, Theater Survey, and Sounding Out!

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