Skip to main content

All of our events are open to the public! No matter who you are, you are welcome and we’d love to see you there.

To get updates from the Center, sign up for our biweekly newsletter “The Eurofile.”

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Asylum-Seeking, Song-Writing, and the Mobile Phone among Young Africans in Sicily

February 12, 2020 @ 5:15 pm - 6:00 pm

Arguments about immigration developed in Europe since 2015 have frequently engaged with the mobile phone. But while this small object’s capacity to facilitate people’s movement through space is now clear, its role in musical processes, particularly in the same communities of people on the move, is more rarely discussed. Prof. Beckles Willson’s interest is in thinking about the phone in both fields – movement and musical practice – and her presentation will draw on her activist fieldwork in eastern Sicily (2017-2019) with male minors who had recently arrived, unaccompanied, from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and parts of Africa.

Prof. Rachel Beckles Willson is a writer and musician who works at the intersections of composition, performance, history and politics. Her research has centered on 19th to 21st-century Hungary, Palestine and, most recently, Sicily; she has published three monographs as well as specialist articles in the sub-disciplines of analysis, historical musicology and ethnomusicology. Rachel is recipient of numerous substantial research grants from the AHRC, the British Council, the British Academy, the Humboldt Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust. She was Director of the Humanities and Arts Research Centre 2013-2016.

Co-sponsored by African Studies Center, Center for European Studies, Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, Department of Music. Reception to follow.

For more information, please contact Andrea Bohlman (


February 12, 2020
5:15 pm - 6:00 pm


Person Recital Hall
181 East Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States
+ Google Map
Comments are closed.