SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Dr Ilana Webster-Kogen

BA (Columbia); MMus, MA, PhD (London); SFHEA
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications



Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Hugo Hadji, Listening to New Ra├»: Algerian identities in the 21st century.
  • Robbie Campbell, Dyslexia, Sensory Ethnomusicology, and Chopi timbila Xylophone Music in Mozambique
  • Sam Grant, Metal Music and its Relationship to Folk Music and National Identity in the Middle East
  • Vicky Tadros, Listening, Khaleeji-Style


Ilana Webster-Kogen's work focuses on music, diaspora and ethnicity in the urban Middle East. Her first book, Citizen Azmari: Making Ethiopian Music in Tel Aviv, will be published in 2018 by Wesleyan University Press, for which she conducted fieldwork in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem among Ethiopian immigrants and newer Eritrean asylum seekers. She argues in the book that for migrants from the Horn of Africa, music stands in for political speech as an effective tool for managing personal and communal status in an exclusive state.

Ilana's second book project, launched in 2017 with a seed corn grant, examines the musical life of Manshiyya, a neighbourhood on the Tel Aviv-Jaffa border that was razed following the 1948 war. She examines successive waves of residence on its margins, from Palestinians to Mizrahi immigrants to new waves of Algerian Jews from France. She argues that this particular borderland exposes the fault lines of ethnicity and class that shape the right to urban space in the Middle East's most intractable conflict.

Additionally, Ilana has been working for several years on a longitudinal study about the Ethiopian diaspora, having conducted fieldwork in north America and Abu Dhabi. She continues her research into the transnational networks of Ethiopian migrant musicians as an additional strand of her investigation of ethnicity and migration in a region most commonly known for the outflow of migrants. Her writing appears in the Journal of African Cultural Studies (2013), Ethnomusicology Forum (2014), and African and Black Diaspora (2016).


Authored Books

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Webster-Kogen, Ilana (2018) Citizen Azmari: Making Ethiopian Music in Tel Aviv. Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press.


Jump to: Authored Books | Articles |

Webster-Kogen, Ilana (2016) 'Bole to Harlem via Tel Aviv: Networks of Ethiopia's Musical Diaspora.'. African and Black Diaspora: an International Journal, (9) 2, pp 274-289.

Webster-Kogen, Ilana (2014) 'Song Style as Strategy: Nationalism, Cosmopolitanism and Citizenship in The Idan Raichel Project's Ethiopian-influences Songs'. Ethnomusicology Forum, (23) 1, pp 27-48.

Webster-Kogen, Ilana (2013) 'Engendering Homeland: migration, diaspora and feminism in Ethiopian music'. Journal of African Cultural Studies, (25) 2, pp 183-196.


This list was last generated on Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 12:00 Europe/London.