Assistant Professor (Ethnomusicology)

Figueroa Web

Michael A. Figueroa (Assistant Professor) is an ethnomusicologist whose work resides at the intersection of music and political consciousness in Middle Eastern and African American contexts. His work argues a place for musical interpretation and performance in how people construct their notions of space, place, and society. To this end, his current book (in process) looks at the role of musicians in framing the territorial conflict in Israel/Palestine after the Six-Day War of 1967, with a focus on the contested city of Jerusalem. His other research and teaching interests include music and poetry, performance studies, black music historiography, global popular music, critical theory, diaspora studies, media and technology, and the analysis of timbre.

He earned a B.A. in Musicology from Northwestern University (2006) and a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Chicago (2014). His research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the American Musicological Society, and a Fulbright-IIE fellowship.

At UNC, he is also affiliated with the Department of Asian Studies, Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, and Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Cultures.

  • Office: Hill Hall 209
  • Phone: (919) 962-0906
  • Email:

Hearing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; Humans and Machines in Musical Modernity; Introduction to Black Music; Introduction to World Musics; Music and Globalization in the Middle East; Music and Historiography in Israel/Palestine; Music and Poetry; Music and Politics; Resources and Methods of Musicology; World Musics in Theory and Practice