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Thursday, 28 January 2021

Jedba, Jinns, and Hāl: Bodily Modalities of Mental-Emotional Health and 'Musico-thérapie' in Algeria

EPISODE 105 

Jedba, Jinns, and Hāl: Bodily Modalities of Mental-Emotional Health and 'Musico-thérapie' in Algeria


In this podcast, Dr. Tamara Turner illustrates the inextricable relationship between mental-emotional health, sound, and consciousness through a spectrum of 'psychological' states that are locally mapped in Algeria as bodily modalities: jedba, hāl, and bori. These three bodily modalities constitute a wide and fluctuating spectrum of musically-cultivated, ritual trance dancing seen in various contexts from weddings and festivals to 'Sufi' hadrat, particularly among the Dīwān of Sīdī Bilāl tarīqa. Drawing from in-depth ethnographic fieldwork on Morocco and Algeria, Dr. Turner shows how notions of 'music' exceed social, symbolic, and aesthetic valence because sound and music are thought about medicinally as vibrating agents in ongoing health maintenance.

 

A cultural anthropologist, Dr. Tamara Turner is a researcher at the Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Her research is at the intersection of psychological anthropology, musical and performance practice, and affect studies. She specializes in North African Sufism, anthropology of religion and medicine, and the links between cultural notions of affect, consciousness, and mental-emotional health. Her doctoral thesis was the first research to thoroughly document the musical repertoire, practice, and history of Algerian dīwān, a nocturnal trance ritual of the Bilaliyya Sufi Order that emerged out of the trans-Saharan slave trade. As a musician as well as a scholar, she studied with ritual musicians and experts, attending and documenting dīwān rituals across Algeria from the Mediterranean coast to the Saharan Desert. Analytically, Dr. Turner's work investigates the critical role of emotions and affects in rituals in general, particularly as they pertain to varieties of altered states of 'consciousness,' social and trans-personal pain and suffering, and memory. In 2017, her doctoral thesis won an Elsevier Outstanding Thesis prize. Her research in Algeria and Morocco has previously been funded by various grants from King's College London, the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, the Centre d'Études Maghrébines en Algérie, and the West African Research Association.

 

This episode is part of “Health and Humanities in the Maghrib” a lecture series by the American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS), organized by the Centre d'Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT) and the Centre d'Études Maghrébines en Algérie (CEMA), in close collaboration with the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM). It was recorded on the 1st of October 2020 between Berlin, Oran, and Tunis. Dr. Robert P. Parks, CEMA Director, moderated the lecture and debate.




Download the Podcast:  Feed  iTunes  / Podbean

We thank Dr. Tamara Turner, Ethnomusicologist and Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Center for the History of Emotions, for her interpretation of Sidna Ali, from the  diwan repertoir.  

 

Realization and editing:  Hayet Lansari, Librarian, Outreach Coordinator, Content Curator (CEMA).

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Suggested Bibliography

 

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Ayoub, Mahmoud M. 1978Redemptive Suffering in Islam: A Study of the Devotional Aspects of Ashura in Twlever Shi'ism. Vol. 10. Walter de Gruyter.

 

Becker, Judith. 2004. Music, Emotion, and Trancing. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

 

Berliner, Paul. 1981. The Soul of Mbira: Music and Traditions of the Shona People of ZImbabwe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

 

Boddy, Janice. 1989. Wombs and Alien Spirits: Women, Men, and the Zār Cult in Northern Sudan. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

 

Boss, Pauline. 1999. Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

 

Bowker, John. 1975. Problems of Suffering in Religions of the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

 

Brennan, Teresa. 2004. The Transmission of Affect. New York: Cornell University Press.

 

Csordas, Thomas J. 1993. "Somatic Modes of Attention." Cultural Anthropology 8(2): 135-156.

 

Damasio, Antonio R. 1999. The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness. New York: Harcourt Brace and Company.

 

Das, Veena. 1997. "Language and Body: Transactions in the Construction of Pain." In Arthur Kleinman, Veena Das, and Margaret Lock, Eds. Social Suffering. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

 

Davies, James. 2011. "Positive and Negative Models of Suffering: An Anthropology of Our Shifting Cultural Consciousness of Emotional Discontent." Anthropology of Consciousness 22(2): 188-208.

 

Dermenghem, Émile. 1954. La culte des saints dans l'Islam maghrébin. 2e éd. Paris: Gallimard.

 

Desjarlais, Robert R. 1997. Shelter Blues: Sanity and Selfhood Among the Homeless. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

 

Emoff, Ron. 2002. Recollecting from the Past: Musical Practice and Spirit Possession on the East Coast of Madagascar. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.

 

Friedson, Steven M. 1996. Dancing Prophets: Musical Experience in Tumbuka Healing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

 

Geurts, Kathryn Linn. 2002. Culture and the Senses: Bodily Ways of Knowing in an African Community. Berkeley: University of California Press.

 

Jankowsky, Richard C. 2010. Stambeli: Music, Trance, and Alterity in Tunisia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

 

Kapchan, Deborah. 2007. Traveling Spirit Masters: Moroccan Gnawa Trance and Music in the Global Marketplace. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.


Khiat, Salim. 2014. "Divinités des mythes soudanais: Circulation de concepts dans les cultes de possession en Algérie. In T. F. Deubel, S. M. Youngstedt, and H. Tissières, Eds. Saharan Crossroads: Exploring Historical, Cultural, and Artistic Linkages Between North and West Africa. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


______. 2006. "La conférerie noir de Baba Merzoug: La sainteté présumée et la fête de l'équilibre." Insaniyat no. 31(March): 113-134.

 

Kleinman, Arthur, Veena Das, and Margaret M. Lock. 1997. Social Suffering. Berkeley: University of California Press.

 

Lewis, Ioan M. 1971. Ecstatic Religion: An Anthropological Study of Spirit Possession and Shamanism. Middlesex: Penguin Books.

 

Neher, Andrew 1962. "A Physiological Explanation of Unusual Behavior in Ceremonies Involving Drums." Human Biology 4: 151-160.

 

Pâques, Viviana. 1964. L'arbre cosmique dans la pensée populaire et dans la vie quotidienne du nord-ouest africain. Paris: Institut d'Ethnologie.

 

Pinto, Sarah. 2011. "The Dance: Medicine and the Idea of Movement." Somatosphere: Science, Medicine, and Anthropology. (October 7).

 

Racy, Ali Jihad. 2003. Making Music in the Arab World: The Culture and Artistry of Tarab. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

 

Roseman, Marina. 1993. Healing Sounds from the Malaysian Rainforest: Temiar Music and Medicine. Berkeley: University of California Press.

 

Rouget, Gilbert. 1985. Music and Trance: A Theory of the Relations between Music and Possession. Translated by B. Biebuyck. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Stoller, Paul. 1989. Fusion of the Worlds: An Ethnography of Possession Among the Songhay of Niger. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

 

______. 1995. Embodying Colonial Memories: Spirit Possession, Power, and the Hauka in West Africa. New York: Routledge.

 

Throop, C. Jason. 2010. Suffering and Sentiment: Exploring the Vicissitudes of Experience and Pain in Yap. Berkeley: University of California Press.

 

Trnka, Susanna. 2008. State of Suffering: Political Violence and Community Survival in Fiji. New York: Cornell University Press.

 

Turner, Tamara Dee. 2020. "Music and Trance as Methods for Engaging with Suffering." Ethos 48(1): 69-87.

 

______. 2020. "The Right Kind of Hāl: Feeling and Foregrounding Atmospheric Identity in an Algerian Music Ritual." In Friedlind Riedel and Juha Torvinen, Eds. Music as Atmosphere. Affective Sounds and Collective Feelings. London: Routledge: 113-130.

 

______. 2017. "Algerian Diwan of Sidi Bilal: Music, Trance, and Affect in Popular Islam." PhD. diss., King's College London.

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