Kira Weiss is a Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology at UC Santa Barbara with an emphasis in Global Studies. Her research focuses on the adoption of the violin family in traditional Egyptian Arab music ensembles in the context of national discourses regarding identity and heritage, postcolonialism, affect, and modernity.
Kira’s research focuses on debates over the use of the violin, cello, and bass in Egyptian Arab music ensembles. These debates provide a window into broader shifts in Egyptian cultural politics and national narratives over the last century as well as changing perceptions of identity and heritage.
Kira’s work is historical, ethnographic, and practice-based. As a cellist, she approaches her work from the standpoint of a musician and has studied with several of the most prominent cellists in Arab music in the U.S. and Egypt. Kira is currently conducting doctoral research in Cairo with fellowships from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and the American Research Center in Egypt.
Learn more about Kira’s research in this short video (also available with closed captions):