Holy Cross Senior Earns Award for Project on Tunisian Revolution and Music

February 25th, 2013 by 

Lucia Westin, a member of the class of 2013 at the College of the Holy Cross, expanded her already vast knowledge of music this past summer after traveling to Tunisia, the smallest country in North Africa, through the College’s Andrew W. Mellon Summer Research Program. As a research fellow, Westin joined music librarian Alan Karass on a trip to the Middle East to research the country’s history, music and culture. Her project, “Tunisian Music: A Soundtrack of a Revolution, Voice of the People” was recently recognized at the National Collegiate Research Conference at Harvard, where her presentation was one of only 10 to win an Honorable Mention out of 200 conference participants. 

A French and music double major, Westin was particularly qualified to journey to Tunisia, where the official language is Arabic, but French is widely spoken.  While there, she studied the relationship between music and the country’s participation in the Arab Spring, a revolutionary wave of protests, demonstrations and wars. “As music in a movie heightens emotions,” explains Westin, “so did the music of Tunisian artists.”

In Tunisia, Westin interviewed professional musicians and actors, government officials, and educators in order to come to a better understanding of the country’s politics, government, potential for social change, and popular music sensibility. “Tunisian music played a role in the revolution,” Westin continues. “The revolution, in turn, impacted the musical scene.”

Alan Karass, the music librarian at the College, has been traveling to Tunis, Tunisia’s capital, since the summer of 2006. In 2011, he began to bring students from Holy Cross with him because of the many possibilities for music-related research. Reflecting on Westin’s work, he says, “Musicians often complimented her on her thoughtfulness, her interview style, and thorough understanding of the topic.”

Westin has applied to return to Tunisia this summer in order to study the challenges Tunisian musicians face in the dissemination of their art. A native of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, she also plans to go to law school in the country next year.   

The Andrew W. Mellon Summer Research Program at the College funds student-faculty research projects in the humanities and social sciences.

For additional information, please contact Cristal Steuer at 508-793-2419.

| More
Music, Music news, News

Comments are closed.

Sort By:
11/25/15 Two-Time Super Bowl Champion Bill Curry to Join Best-Selling Author Steve Almond for Working Writers Series
11/25/15 Holy Cross Hosts Annual Tree Lighting and the Time-Honored Tradition of the Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols
11/25/15 ‘The Curse of Black Friday’
11/24/15 Holy Cross Community Celebrates Retirement of Beloved Employee
See All
See All

Featured Videos

See video
Video: The Splendor of Autumn on Mount St. James

Watch Video >
See video
Photo Gallery, Video: Campus Conversations and Discussion Connect Students with Distinguished Alumni

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Holy Cross Faculty Offer Multidisciplinary Analysis of Pope’s Encyclical on Environment

Watch Video >

What’s Happening on Campus


Men's Ice Hockey vs. Niagara University

See More >

Men's Ice Hockey vs. Niagara University

See More >

Men's Basketball vs. Harvard University

See More >

Katrina Then and Now: Artists as Witness

See More >

Holy Cross in the News


Holy Cross Accounting Program Ranks No. 3 in Massachusetts

Accounting Degree Review

The College of the Holy Cross’ accounting program ranks No. 3 in Accounting Degree Review’s “Top 10 Undergraduate Accounting Programs in Massachusetts.” According to...


‘Women in Business conference: Holy Cross alumna at Vanity Fair says degree is key to success’

Telegram & Gazette

“Earning a liberal arts degree is the smartest thing a person can do to become successful in the business world,” said Aimee Bell ’88 to the Worcester Telegram...


Economist Magazine Places Holy Cross in Top 3 Percent of ‘Best Value’ Ranking

The Economist

The College of the Holy Cross is No. 36 among 1300 public and private institutions reviewed by the Economist in its first-ever best value rankings, putting the College in the...