MESA Graduate Student Paper Prize

Paola Cossermelli Messina

The New School 

2016 Winner

Paola Cossermelli Messina

Paola Cossermelli Messina

Reclaiming the Stage: Oral Histories of Iranian Women Musicians

As an original and significant work of scholarship, Paola Cossermelli Messina’s “Reclaiming the Stage: Oral Histories of Iranian Women Musicians” stood out against a strong field of competitors in terms of its compelling thesis, ample evidence, and remarkably clear and organized writing. Cossermelli Messina argues that Iranian women musicians are engaged in a perpetual conflict with attempts to define them externally, both by a restrictive government and the Western gaze, and that they have identified their music-making as a source of resistance in that context. She arrives at her conclusions through extensive research, documenting the accounts of Iranian women musicians, and thereby illustrating their attempts to navigate the post-1979 Iranian political, social, and cultural spheres through elements of their personal lives and creative pursuits. It is an excellent example of how to blend theory with original field work, and Cossermelli Messina is to be commended for her contribution.

2016 Review Committee
Chuck Haberl (Chair), Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Ellis J. Goldberg, University of Washington
Maryam Griffin, University of California at Davis


Return to List

Stay Connected

MESA offers several ways to stay connected: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, as well as listservs and trusty email notifications. To find out more, please follow the link below.

Connect Now