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
Tags
Categories
Music, Music news, News

Comments are closed.

Sort By:
or
04/22/15 Working for Worcester to Improve Recreational Spaces Across the City
04/22/15 ‘Using Wikipedia: a scholar redraws academic lines by including it in his syllabus’
04/22/15 ‘Two Members of College Community featured on National Catholic Website’
04/21/15 Wall Street Journal Columnist Jason Riley to Give Talk on Race Relations and Law Enforcement
See All
See All

Featured Videos

See video
Video: Students Celebrate Purple Pride Day

Watch Video >
See video
Video: Alumni Couples Share Their Tales of Love

Watch Video >
See video
Holy Cross Launches Groundbreaking Web Resource for Exploring Catholic Practice Around the World

Watch Video >
More

What’s Happening on Campus

04/27/2015

'Trans/Japan: Discourses on transsexuality, disability, and sexuality in contemporary Japan.'

See More >
04/29/2015

Artists-In-Residence Concert

See More >
05/01/2015

Brentano String Quartet: Mini-performance and demonstration

See More >
More

Holy Cross in the News

04/22/15

‘Two Members of College Community featured on National Catholic Website’

Crux

Two members of College of the Holy Cross community were recently featured on Crux, the Boston Globe’s national website on Catholicism. Mathew N. Schmalz, associate...

04/15/15

Holy Cross Community Members Prepare for the Boston Marathon

As participants finish their final week of training and Boston readies itself for thousands of spectators, College of the Holy Cross community members are preparing...

03/19/15

‘The 50 Best Private Colleges for Earning Your Degree On Time’

Money

According to Money, a subsidiary of TIME.com, the College of the Holy Cross ranks No. 12 in the top 50 best private colleges for earning your degree on time and No. 101 for...