Farzaneh Hemmasi is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at University of Toronto. Her interests concern popular music, celebrity, transnational media publics, and the politics of popular culture. Her general research area is Iranian popular music, transnationality, media, and politics, and her publications cover topics including Iranian twentieth century "New Poetry" and popular music; the postrevolutionary political metaphorization of the Iranian female singing voice; and the Iranian expatriate cultural industries in Southern California.
Prof. Hemmasi received her doctorate, with distinction, from Columbia University in 2010 and 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 Ethnomusicology (2013), Mahoor Music Quarterly (2008), and the edited volume Muslim Rap, Halal Soaps, and Revolutionary Theater: Artistic Developments in the Muslim World (University of Texas Press, 2011). In 2017 and 2018, four more publications will appear in the journals Popular Music, Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, Popular Communication, and the edited volume Vamping the Stage: Female Voices of Asian Modernities (University of Hawaii Press). She is completing a book manuscript on Iranian popular music in Los Angeles.
At University of Toronto, Prof. Hemmasi was twice awarded research funding from the Connaught Foundation, for which she was profiled in the Connaught Edge Magazine (link). 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 is 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.
Prof. Hemmasi teaches undergraduate courses on music and sound in the Middle East; North American popular music; contemporary celebrity; and music and social movements. Her graduate courses include Music and Circulation; Performing Politics; and Music and Sound in the Middle East. She has supervised and/or is currently working with masters and doctoral students whose research concerns on topics ranging from Shiite ritual in Iran to the music Tanya Tagaq to Sufi practices in the Greater Toronto Area.
"Iran’s Daughter and Mother Iran: Googoosh and diasporic nostalgia for the Pahlavi modern." Forthcoming in 2017. Popular Music, 36(2).
"Simin Behbahani, Dariush Eghbali, and the Transnational National Anthem: Rebuilding the Homeland in Poetry and Song." Forthcoming in 2017. Popular Communication.
"Googoosh's Voice: An Iranian Icon in Silence and Song." Forthcoming in 2017. In Vamping the Stage: Female Voices of Asian Modernities, edited by Andrew Weintraub & Bart Barendregt. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
“One Can Veil and Be a Singer!”: Performing Piety on an Iranian Talent Competition. Forthcoming in 2018. Journal of Middle East Women's Studies.
“Intimating Dissent: Poetry, Popular Music, and Politics in Pre-Revolutionary Iran.” Winter 2013. Ethnomusicology 57:1.
“Iranian Popular Musics in Los Angeles: A Transnational Public beyond the Islamic State.” 2011. Invited chapter in the peer-reviewed volume Muslim Rap, Halal Soaps, and Revolutionary Theater: Artistic Developments in the Muslim Cultural Sphere, edited by Karin Van Nieuwkerk. University of Texas Press.
“Az Irani ta jahani: pap-e zaban-e farsi ru miyayad” (“From Iranian to ‘World’: Persian-Language Pop Crosses Over.”) Mahoor Music Quarterly Volume 10, No. 38, Winter 2008. (Iran’s preeminent peer-reviewed musicological journal, http://www.mahoor.ir.)