Ted R. Swedenburg

Ted R. Swedenburg


(ARSC)-Arts & Sciences


Phone: 479-575-4839

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Dr. Swedenburg received his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Texas in 1988. His dissertation, a study of popular memories of the 1936-39 revolt in Palestine, was based chiefly on interviews with elderly peasants living in Palestinian villages in the Galilee (Israel) and the West Bank. The book based on his dissertation, Memories of Revolt: The 1936-39 Rebellion and the Palestinian National Past, was published in 1995 by the University of Minnesota Press. He taught at the University of Washington-Seattle between 1988 and 1991 and at the American University in Cairo from 1992 to 1996. He joined the University of Arkansas in 1996. Since then he has also done stints as a visiting professor at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and at Georgetown University. He currently is co-editer of an Indian University Press book series, Public Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa (http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/index.php?cPath=1037_3130_3698).

Since finishing his first book his research has primarily focused on popular music. Dr. Swedenburg is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Interzone Radio, that deals with Middle Eastern “border” musics and Middle Eastern-inflected musical genres that have been embraced in the West. Topics that he has written about include: the music of the Egyptian uprising (2011); rap by US Five-Percenters; Nubian music from Egypt; Israeli Mizrahi (Jewish-Arab) dance music; rai music in Algeria and France; Andalusian music by Jewish Algerian artists; Islamic hip-hop and dance music in France and the UK; Moroccan gnawa; and Arabic music in the US, post-9/11.

Dr. Swedenburg teaches a variety of courses on the Middle East; race, nationalism and ethnicity; gender; and popular culture.


Ph.D. University of Texas


  • Memories of Revolt: The 1936-39 Rebellion and the Palestinian National Past . Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995. Reprinted by University of Arkansas Press with new afterword, 2003.
  • Palestine, Israel and the Politics of Popular Culture. Co-edited with Rebecca Stein. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.
  • Displacement, Diaspora, and Geographies of Identity. Co-edited with Smadar Lavie (eds.). Durham: Duke University Press, 1996.

2. Journal articles and book chapters (selected)

  • “Beur/Maghrebi Musical Interventions in Contemporary France: Rai and Rap,” Journal of North African Studies 25(1): 108-126, 2015.
  • “Dana International (Yaron/Sharon Cohen) and Queer/Mizrahi Perspectives.” In  Nadia Valman and Laurence Roth, eds., The Routledge Companion to  Contemporary Jewish Cultures, pp. 236-45. London: Routledge, 2014.  
  • “Egypt's Music of Revolt: From Sayyid Darwish to DJ Haha.” Middle East Report 265: 39-43, 2012.
  • “Imagined Youths.” In Jeannie Souwers and Chris Toensing, eds. The Journey to Tahrir: Revolution, Protest, and Social Change in Egypt, pp. 285-294. London: Verso, 2012. (Reprint of 2007 article in Middle East Report - http://www.merip.org/mer/mer245/imagined-youths).
  • “Palestinian Rap: Against the Struggle Paradigm.” In Walid El Hamamsy and Mounira Soliman, eds. Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa: A Postcolonial Outlook, pp. 17-32. London: Routledge, 2012.
  • “Khaled, Cheb.” In Henry Louis Gates and Emmanuel Akyeampong, eds. Dictionary of African Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • “Troubadours of Revolt.” Middle East Report 258 (Spring): 18-19, 2011
  • “Fun'Da'Mental's Jihad Rap.” In Asef Bayat and Linda Herrera, eds., Being Young and Muslim: New Cultural Politics in the Global South and North, pp. 291-307. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • “White Devil as Expert Witness.” In Anne Meneley and Donna Young, eds., Auto-Ethnographies of Academic Practices, pp. 143-156. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2005.
  • “Against Hybridity: The Case of Enrico Macias/Gaston Ghrenassia.” In Rebecca Stein and Ted Swedenburg, eds., Palestine, Israel and the Politics of Popular Culture, pp. 231-256. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.
  • “Popular Culture and the Question of Power: Towards a Rethinking of Palestine and Israel” (with Rebecca Stein). In Rebecca Stein and Ted Swedenburg, eds., Palestine, Israel and the Politics of Popular Culture, pp. 1-23. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.
  • “The ‘Arab Wave’ in World Music after 9/11.” Anthropologica 46(2): 177-188, 2004.
  • “Nubians in Cairo.” In Virginia Danielson and Dwight Reynolds, eds., Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 7: “The Middle East,” pp. 641-645. Hamden, CT: Garland Publishing, 2001.      
  • “Islamic Hip-Hop vs. Islamophobia: Aki Nawaz, Natacha Atlas, Akhenaton.” In Tony Mitchell, ed., Global Noise: Rap and Hip Hop Outside the USA, pp. 57-85. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2001.
  • “Saida Sultan/Danna International: Transgender Pop and the Polysemiotics of Sex, Nation, and Ethnicity on the Israeli-Egyptian Border.” In Walter Armbrust, ed., Mass Mediations: New Approaches to Popular Culture in the Middle East and Beyond, pp. 88-119. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
  • “Between and Among the Boundaries of Culture: Bridging Text and Lived Experience in the Third Timespace” (with Smadar Lavie). Cultural Studies 10(1): 154-179, 1996.
  • “Arab Noise and Ramadan Nights: Rai, Rap and Franco-Maghrebi Identity” (with Joan Gross and David McMurray). In S. Lavie and T. Swedenburg, eds., Displacement, Diaspora, and Geographies of Identity, pp. 119-155. Durham: Duke University Press, 1996.
  • “Prisoners of Love: With Genet in the Palestinian Field.” In Carolyn Nordstrom and Antonius Robben, eds., Fieldwork under Fire: Contemporary Studies of Violence and Culture, pp. 24-40. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1995.
  • “Homies in the 'Hood: Rap's Commodification of Insubordination.” New Formations 18: 53-66, 1992.
  • “Seeing Double: Palestinian-American Histories of the Kufiya.” Michigan Quarterly Review  31(4): 557-577, 1992.
  • “Occupational Hazards: Palestine Ethnography.” In George Marcus, ed., Rereading Cultural Anthropology, pp. 69-76. Durham: Duke University Press, 1992. (Reprint of article originally published in Cultural Anthropology, 1989.)
  • "Popular Memory and the Palestinian National Past." In Jay O'Brien and William Roseberry, eds., Golden Ages, Dark Ages: Imagining the Past in History and Anthropology, pp. 152-79. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.
  • “The Palestinian Peasant as National Signifier.” Anthropological Quarterly  63(1): 18-30, 1990.
  • “The Role of the Palestinian Peasantry in the Great Revolt (1936-39).” In Edmund Burke III and Ira Lapidus, eds., Islam, Politics, and Social Movements, pp. 169-203. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.