Ambient Sufism: Ritual Niches and the Social Work of Musical form

an image of the book cover for Ambient Sufism: Ritual Niches and the Social Work of Musical form (University of Chicago Press, 2020) by Richard C. Jankowsky. The book cover shows a Sufi dancing with fire at an 'Isawiyya ceremony.

We are pleased to announce the launch of a companion site to Dr. Richard C. Jankowsky’s recently published book entitled Ambient Sufism: Ritual Niches and the Social Work of Musical form (University of Chicago Press, 2020). It is available at https://sites.tufts.edu/ambientsufism/.

Dr. Richard C. Jankowsky is Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music at Tufts University. In his book, he presents a study of the intertwined musical lives of several ritual communities in Tunisia, illuminating the virtually undocumented role of women and underrepresented minorities in invoking the healing powers of long-deceased Muslim saints through music-driven trance rituals. The companion site serves as a way for readers to engage more closely with the musical examples examined in the book.

The development of the site was supervised by Anna Kijas (Head, Lilly Music Library). Mohammed Emun (Tufts Class of 2020) worked on the design elements and formatted the content on the site. Andrea Schuler (Librarian for Digital Collections, Tisch Library), staff in Resource Management & Repository Services, and Chelcie Rowell (Head of Digital Scholarship, Tisch Library) provided guidance during the planning and development stages, in particular around issues related to metadata and long-term preservation.

The audio and video examples featured on the site, along with descriptive metadata, are accessible in the Tufts Digital Library, a centrally-managed repository for digital content created by members of the Tufts community where they will be preserved. The site is built in WordPress and is hosted by Tufts University.

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