Amira Hassnaoui is a scholar, activist and researcher whose work aims to incite discussions on certain marginalised music practices, mainly trance healing music performed by various communities in Tunisia. By bringing awareness to these practices, she strives to advocate for these forms of art to be recognised academically and artistically.

Hassnaoui is an associate teaching assistant at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and an editor at Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies. She is also a committee member and coordinator of the UCLA graduate symposium series Chew on This, a programme that provides space for graduate students to present their artistic, academic and choreographic work.

Hassnaoui has lectured at several US universities and presented her work in conferences and workshops at the Chouftouhonna Tunis International Feminist Art Festival (2018); American Folklore Society (2016); Midwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology (2016) and Ray Browne Popular Culture Conference (2016), among others. She was elected President of the Graduate Student Senate and the Graduate Women’s Caucus at Bowling Green State University (2016–2017). She also served as co-chair for the university’s Popular Culture Colloquium Series and was a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee (2016–2017).

Hassnaoui received the Stoddard O’Neil Fund Thesis Research Award, Bowling Green State University (2016) and was selected as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant by the U.S. Department of State to teach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2014).

She received a master’s degree in English literature and civilisation from the Superior Institute of Human Sciences, Tunis (2014) and a second master’s degree in critical cultural studies from the Department of Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University (2017). She is currently pursuing a PhD at UCLA.

Born in 1988 in Tunis, Hassnaoui lives and works in Los Angeles.

SAF participation:
Ma3azef Symposium on Arabic Music (2019)

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Ma3azef Symposium on Arabic Music

Ma3azef and Sharjah Art Foundation have invited leading writers, musicians and critics to consider a number of pressing questions pertaining to Arabic music today.