Elizabeth Matsushita

 Elizabeth Matsushita

Contact Information

309 Gregory Hall
810 S. Wright Street
M/C 466
Urbana, IL 61801
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Research Interests

  • Egypt and North Africa
  • British and French Empire
  • Colonial Knowledge Production
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Music

Research Description

My dissertation focuses on musicology and musical policy in colonial Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria, and their connections to race, ethnicity, gender, colonial ideology, and anti-colonial disruptions. Specifically, I look at how the French constructed the North African racial and ethnic landscape via the study and representation of its musical genres and, in turn, how projects of knowledge production, preservation, and renovation in indigenous music bolstered colonial narratives and supported the exercise of colonial power. I also investigate North African contributions to musical and musicological projects that spoke against or circumvented colonial knowledge, and the material effects of both musicological knowledge production and musical policy on the local population.


  • B.A. Music Theory and Composition, University of California, Davis, 2007
  • M.A. History, San Francisco State University, 2011


  • Fulbright IIE Grant, Morocco, Spring-Summer 2018
  • Graduate College Dissertation Travel Grant, Tunisia, Summer 2017
  • AIMS Jeanne Jeffers Mrad Graduate Student Travel Award, Fall 2017
  • American Research Center in Egypt Fellow, 2016-2017 (declined)
  • Bastian Transnational Fellow, Summer 2014
  • Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellow, Center for Global Studies (Arabic), 2013-2014 and 2015-2016
  • Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellow, European Union Center (Arabic), 2014-2015


  • HIST 100: Global History (Teaching Assistant)
  • HIST 256: Britain and the World since 1688 (Instructor)
  • HIST 258: 20th Century World to Midcentury (Instructor)