Sidra Lawrence

Dr. Sidra Lawrence

Assistant Professor

2131 Moore Musical Arts Center

Research/Teaching Interests: 
My research interests include: postcolonial feminist theory, African feminisms, the performing body as a site of resistance, and critical race theory. My teaching interests include postcolonialism and ethnomusicological representation, performance ethnography, race, gender, and sexuality in musical performances, and the music of Africa. 

Recent Publications:
Sounds of Development? Race, Authenticity, and Tradition among Dagara female musicians in Northwestern Ghana" in African Music

Bio: Sidra Lawrence is an Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Bowling Green State University. She received a PhD in Ethnomusicology and a doctoral portfolio in women and gender studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research, based on ethnographic work in the border region of Ghana and Burkina Faso, explores the connections between racialized gender ideologies, musical performance, and the sexed body. In her book manuscript, It’s just this animal called culture: Transnational Feminism and the Politics of Everyday Solidarities, Lawrence investigates the mobilization of cultural authenticity as a means to regulate Dagara women’s bodies. Focusing on micro-narratives of empowerment, she argues for a re-theorization of resistance that does not depend upon globalized notions of oppression and feminist action. Her work has been supported by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the West African Research Association. She has received awards for her presentations from the Society for Ethnomusicology African Music Section, and the Section on the Status of Women. She has presented her work at several national and international conferences including, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the National Women’s Studies Association, the American Anthropological Association, the Netherlands Association for Gender Studies and Feminist Anthropology, and the University of Ghana’s conference on Intercultural Approaches in Higher Music Education. Her research has been published in the African Music Journal; she has review articles in the African Music Journal and the Latin American Studies Review.

Recent Classes Taught:

Graduate Courses

  • History and Literature of Ethnomusicology (Bowling Green 2014)
  • Intersectionality and Performance (Bowling Green 2014)
  • Musical Performances of Race, Gender, and Sexuality (Chicago 2013)

Undergraduate Courses

  • Black Music and the Politics of Space (Bowling Green 2015)
  • Area studies: Popular Music and Social Change in the African Diaspora (Bowling Green 2014)
  • Race, Politics, and Resistance: Music in the African Diaspora (Bowling Green 2013)
  • The Social and Cultural Study of Music (Chicago 2013)
  • Music of African Cultures (Bowling Green 2012)
  • Music of World Cultures (Bowling Green 2011, 2012, 2014)

Recent Awards:

  • 2014    West African Research Association Post-Doctoral Fellowship (West African Research Association)
  • 2013    National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, “Development Ethics: Questions, Challenges, and Responsibilities.” (National Endowment for the Humanities)
  • 2012    The University of Chicago Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ethnomusicology (University of Chicago)
  • 2011    Society for Ethnomusicology, Wong-Tolbert Section on the Status of Women Student Paper Prize. Awarded for presentation at the national conference.
  • 2011    Society for Ethnomusicology, African Music Section Student Paper Prize. Awarded for presentation at the national conference.
  • 2010    Woodrow Wilson Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellowship (The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation)

Recent Presentations:

  • 2014    “The Revolution will not be Subsidized: Globalizing Feminist Politics and What’s Wrong with Equality.” Faculty Scholar Series, College of Musical Arts, Bowling Green State University. (March 5th).
  • 2014    “Counter-narratives of Empowerment: Challenging Current Models of Measuring Progress.” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., (December 7th).
  • 2014    “Under White Men’s Eyes: Racialized Eroticism, Ethnographic Encounters, and the Maintenance of the Colonial Order.” National Women’s Studies Annual Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico, (November 13th).
  • 2013    “Locating the Body: Mediating Desire, Race, Sexuality, and Gender in Field Research.” Society for Ethnomusicology 58th Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, Indiana, (November 15th).
  • 2012    “It’s Just You and Me (and your community): Erotic Subjectivity, Power, and Race in Anthropological Fieldwork.” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California. (November 16th).
  • 2012    “Be na Laar ni na: The Politics of Sisterhood, Global Feminist Networks, and International Development as Examined in Dagara Female Song Texts.” National Women’s Studies Association Annual Meeting, Oakland, California. (November 9th).
  • 2011    “Bound by Cultural Codes: Mediating Intimate Partner Violence in Ethnographic Research.” National Women’s Studies Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia. (November 12th).