Global Mediterranean Studies Seminar: Fumio Koizumi and the Cultural Politics of Music in Modern Egypt


In January 1964, the Japanese ethnomusicologist Fumio Koizumi arrived in Cairo, Egypt. He had been invited by the local government to serve as an organizer and judge for Egypt’s first International Folk Arts Festival. But Koizumi also remained for another three months to conduct research on Egyptian music, traveling up and down the Nile to record folk songs, children’s games, Coptic hymns, Sufi ceremonies, new orchestral works, and much more. The extensive project resulted in the six-disc set entitled Songs along the Nile (Nairu no Uta, 1966). This talk explores Koizumi’s visit to examine an overlooked era of collaborations between Egypt and Japan in the 1960s. Drawing on his recordings, travel notes, and other archival documents, I show how Koizumi became enmeshed in Egypt’s state-sponsored cultural activities. My analysis frames this figure within a broader series of mid-century global flows that help us understand the ways in which Egypt displayed itself to others and through others.

Date / Time Sat 18 May 2024 2:00–4:00 pm
Venue Room 306 (ILCAA) + Online meeting
Registration (Please register through the link below by May 16.)
Language English
Organizers NIHU Global Area Studies Program: The Global Mediterranean at ILCAA; TUFiSCo
Contact emi-gto★ (Emi Goto)
Please change ★ to @.


2:00-2:10 pm Introduction (Emi Goto, ILCAA, TUFS)
2:10-3:00 pm “Fumio Koizumi and the Cultural Politics of Music in Modern Egypt” (Nicholas Mangialardi, Williams College)
3:00-4:00 pm Discussion


Dr. Nicholas Mangialardi is a scholar of Arabic literature and music whose research focuses on modern Egypt. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies at Williams College (USA). His publications have appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, the Arab Studies Journal, and the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication. His recent work explores cultural exchanges between modern Egypt and Japan through the lens of literature and popular culture.