SAGES Fellow to give talk on “Improvisation and Transgression: Musicians of the Harem”

Lisa NielsonThe Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities will host a talk by Lisa Nielson, “Improvisation and Transgression: Musicians of the Harem,” on Thursday, Oct. 24 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Clark Hall, Room 206.

Nielson, the Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow, will discuss the Western perception of the harem, or women’s quarters, and assumptions about the residents and their lifestyle remains a persistent Orientalist fantasy. She will share her research regarding how musicians had the unique ability to negotiate both physical and social boundaries surrounding the harem.

Through a comparison of different cultural contexts, Nielson will discuss historical uses for harem musicians as well as their frequent appearance in Orientalist representations of the harem.

The event isfree and open to the public; registration is recommended.