Advisory Board

Prof. Rachel Beckles Willson (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Rachel Beckles Willson is a writer and musician who works at the intersections of composition, performance, history and politics. Her research has centered on 19th to 21st-century Hungary, Palestine and, most recently, Sicily; she has published three monographs as well as specialist articles in the sub-disciplines of analysis, historical musicology and ethnomusicology. Rachel is recipient of numerous substantial research grants from the AHRC, the British Council, the British Academy, the Humboldt Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust. She was Director of the Humanities and Arts Research Centre 2013-2016.

Prof. Manuela Cortés García, (Universidad de Granada)

Manuela Cortés García is an Arabist, musicologist and translator, based at the Department of History and Science of Music at the Universidad de Granada. Previously, she has held appointments at the University of Cairo, the Instituto Cervantes in Baghdad and Cairo. She received her doctorate in Arab and Islamic philology at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (1996) and Masters degrees in Arab and Hebrew culture and Musical Heritage from the Universidad de Granada. She is a member of the Network of Experts in Heritage; the Technical Commission of the Alcazaba (Almeria, 2001–2007) and the Scientific Commission for the Masters in Musical Heritage (at the Universidad de Granada), as well as a member of the editorial board for four musical journals. She has published six books in musicology, as well as being editor of three books and translator for four collections of Arabic poems. She has published 86 articles in music and literature. She regularly participates in national and international conferences.

Dr Ruth Davis LTCL, LRAM BMus (Hons) (London), MFA, PhD (Princeton)

Ruth Davis studied piano and violin at the Royal Academy of Music before taking the BMus degree at King's College London. She pursued graduate studies in ethnomusicology and historical musicology at the University of Amsterdam and at Princeton University where she was awarded her PhD in 1986. She was appointed to the first University position in ethnomusicology in the Faculty of Music in 1983, since when she has also directed studies in music at Corpus Christi College. Her research concentrates primarily on urban music of North Africa and the Middle East. She has carried out original field research in mainland Tunisia, the Tunisian island of Djerba, England (street musicians; Kurdish exile musicians), Peru, Iraq and Uzbekistan. She has published extensively in books and leading international journals such as Ethnomusicology, Yearbook for Traditional Music, The World of Music, Asian Music, Musica Judaica, The Maghreb Review, Early Music, publications of various study meetings of the International Council for Traditional Music, and in Popular Music and the Musical Times where her contributions have also been editorial. She has presented numerous programmes on Middle Eastern, North African and Central Asian musical traditions for BBC Radio 3, and she is a regular contributor to Gramophone and Songlines.Her recent publications include articles on 'Maqam' (modal systems of North Africa, West and Central Asia) and on Tunisian urban and Sufi traditions for the revised New Grove; and articles on Patronage and Policy, Notation, the Baron Rodolphe d'Erlanger and Music of the Jews of Djerba for the Middle East volume of the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. She is currently producing an edition of the pioneering ethnomusicologist Robert Lachmann's research on musical traditions in Palestine in the 1930s; the edition will include a compact disc of Lachmann's historic field recordings, restored through computer enhanced digital technology in collaboration with Simon Godsill, Fellow in Engineering.

Prof. Dwight Reynolds, PhD (Univ. Pennsylvania)

Dwight Reynolds received his Ph.D. from the Department of Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. His areas of academic interest are Arabic language and literature, autobiographies, performance studies, oral and musical traditions of the Middle East and ethnographic fieldwork. His publications include Heroic Poets, Poetic Heroes: The Ethnography of Performance in an Arabic Oral Epic Tradition(Cornell UP, 1995), Interpreting the Self: Autobiography in the Arabic Literary Tradition (UC Press, 2001), and Arab Folklore: A Handbook (Greenwood Press, 2007).

Prof. Jonathan H. Shannon, B.A. (Stanford), PhD (CUNY)

Jonathan Shannon is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in aesthetics, musical performance, and cultural politics in the Arab world and Mediterranean. He has conducted ethnographic field research in Syria, Morocco, Spain, and France and is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including from SSRC, Fulbright-Hays. Professor Shannon was a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2008-2009. He has been teaching at Hunter College since 2001.