Thursday, Oct. 13

Aurality and the Craft of Deathwork among Migrants in Southern Turkey

Thursday, October 13, 8:00 pm–9:30 pm
Promenade A

Sponsored by the Mediterranean Studies Section


Over the last decade, the number of people who have been forced to flee their homes has risen sharply and is currently estimated at more than 82.4 million. The Mediterranean region in particular has witnessed increasing waves of migrants braving treacherous waters in search of asylum from political persecution, violence, social injustice, and economic instability. While reporting on these issues often foregrounds panic, xenophobia, and the stereotypical “other,” narrative and expressive culture serve to humanize the refugee experience. Denise Gill, an ethnomusicologist at Stanford, focuses on sound and critical listening among female deathworkers in southern Turkey. Her most current project, Aurality and the Craft of Deathwork, reflects on her experiences working among fellow gassâles engaged in ritual cleansing, shrouding, reciting to, and caring for the bodies of migrants who have perished in transit.