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Dr. Farzaneh Hemmasi


Dr. Farzaneh Hemmasi, capture taken from an interview with Claire Latosinsky.


Dr. Farzaneh Hemmasi (in Persian orthography فرزانه حمصی ) is as Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include Iranian popular music, the politics of popular culture, and transnationality. Her book, Tehrangeles Dreaming: Intimacy and Imagination in Southern California’s Iranian Pop Music, published in April 2020, examines the postrevolutionary pop music of the Iranian diaspora in Los Angeles as a site of transnational identity creation.

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 the edited volumes Vamping the Stage: Female Voices of Asian Modernities and Muslim Rap, Halal Soaps, and Revolutionary Theater: Artistic Developments in the Muslim World, as well as in journals including Ethnomusicology, Mahoor Music Quarterly, Popular Music, Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, and Popular Communication.

In 2015, Prof. Hemmasi founded the Faculty of Music's first Iranian Music Ensemble, led by percussion virtuoso 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." In the summer of 2020, Prof. Hemmasi was co-chair of the Faculty of Music’s Anti-Racism, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (AREDI) Workgroup.

In this Interview

Access to Information, Anti-Racism, Black Lives Matter, Calls to Actions, Classism, Colonialism, COVID-19, Cultural Biases, Diversity, Diversity in Institutions, Economic Disparity, Elitism, Ethnicity, Eurocentrism, Identity, Mental Health, Misogyny, Music Pedagogy, Performative Diversity, Police Violence, Racism, Representation, Surveillance, Tokenization, Visibility, White Fragility

Trigger Warnings:

This interview includes mentions of the death of George Floyd.


On November 19, 2020, Dr. Farzaneh Hemmasi participated in an interview with Claire Latosinsky (member of the Faculty of Music Anti-Racism Alliance).

View interview in full screen.

Dr. Farzaneh Hemmasi