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Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) Rap Music in Israel: A Bridge between East & West

Photo for Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) Rap Music

Photo: Cover art from single by Subliminal (TACT Records Israel)

Visiting Assistant Professor Uri Dorchin will explore the significance of Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) music in the formation of Israeli rap.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM
Bunche Hall, Room 10383
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About the Talk

Since its foundation Israel has regarded itself as a European outpost in the Middle-East. Accordingly, Muzika Mizrahit, i.e. oriental music made by Jews of Arab descent, was traditionally excluded from the local mainstream. One musical scene that constantly challenges this approach is that of Israeli rap. Why does the most American-oriented genre - local practitioners of which exemplify the diversity in Israeli society - constantly feature Mizrahi musical elements? In this talk, Dr. Dorchin will analyze the layers of symbolic meaning Israeli rappers attach to Mizrahiut (identifying with or being a Mizrahi Jew), including a type of local "blackness" associated with marginality, and a positioning between East and West.


About the Speaker

Dr. Uri Dorchin is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies for the 2019-20 academic year and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at the Academic College in Zefat, Israel. In 2018-19, Dorchin served as the Israel Institute Visiting Assistant Professor at the Nazarian Center. He previously held the Efroymson Fellowship for Visiting Israeli Scholars in the department of Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (JINELC) at Washington University in St. Louis. Dorchin received his Ph.D. in Sociology and Anthropology from Ben Gurion University of the Negev in 2009.

Dorchin’s research explores cosmopolitan cultural interactions and the implications of these in contemporary Israeli society. More specifically, his work calls attention to the significance of popular culture and mass media to fluid affiliations among Israelis (citizens and non-citizens) across national, ethnic, and racial categories of belonging. His recent research has focused on Israeli rap and hip hop music.

He is the author of the book Real Time: Hip-Hop in Israel/ Israeli Hip Hop (Tel Aviv: Resling, in Hebrew) and numerous articles, including “Flowing Beyond Sectarian Ethno-politics: Ethnography of Jewish and Arab Rap in Israel" (Ethnopolitics, 2017).

Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Ethnomusicology, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures