Emerging Scholars: Remembrance and Reconstruction of Jewish Monastir’s Musical Life
March 19 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pmFree
Emerging Scholars Lecture with Tara Jordan, department of music.
“Mi, Monastir”: Remembrance and Reconstruction of Jewish Monastir’s Musical Life
Remote event via Zoom.
This remote event requires registration on Eventbrite in order to receive the Zoom link.
Co-sponsored by the Dept. of Music.
This lecture, entitled “Mi, Monastir”: Remembrance and Reconstruction of Jewish Monastir’s Musical Life, will examine the sonic memorialization practices of two contemporary Monastirli musicians: Sarah Aroeste and Daniel Elias. Each of these New York-based musicians memorialize the lost Jewish community of their grandparents via their musical performances, which incorporate recordings of their ancestors and range from strict historically informed recreations to explicitly twenty-first century reimaginings of Monastir’s historical repertoire. For a community rapidly fading from living memory, the work of Aroeste and Elias forms a new Monastirli culture for the descendants of Monastirli Jews to grasp—one that is informed by and serves as a musical witness to the past but that speaks to the present, and that honors those who have come before.
Tara Jordan is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of North Carolina and holds a Bachelor of Music from Furman University and a Master of Music from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her dissertation, entitled “Mi Monastir: Remembrance and Reconstruction of Interwar Monastir’s Jewish musical life,” examines the role that music played in the cultural life of the Monastirli Jewish community from 1912 until 1943 through a combination of archival and oral historical approaches, collected from archives and diasporic communities throughout the United States and North Macedonia. In studying a community destroyed by the Holocaust, the project seeks to recover the cultural life of Monastir (now known as Bitola) through music, revealing larger linguistic, religious, and secular trends of this formerly thriving Sephardic Jewish center. Her research has been supported by the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, the American Musicological Society, and the UNC Department of Music. In 2023-24, she holds a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies.