Christopher Witulski

Bowling Green State University

My research focuses on changes in sacred performance practices in contemporary Morocco. The book manuscript, under contract with Indiana University Press, explores how gnawa musicians in Fez negotiate domestic listeners’ tastes, global markets, and the aesthetics required for productive ritual. My recent and accepted publications are in Ethnomusicology Forum, the Journal of North African Studies, the Yale Journal of Music and Religion and the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies.

Other interests of mine include theoretical approaches to popular and world music, fieldwork and research in West Africa, and the relationship between ethics and aesthetics in popular manifestations of religious music.


I am an active performer of Arabic music on ‘ud, banjo, and violin, having performed with the UCSB Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, the FSU Middle East Ensemble, in the Fez Festival of Sacred Music, and across Morocco.

I also pick up the banjo for old time clawhammer and my bass for funk gigs, when opportunities arise. I performed regularly on violin and viola in Florida and Georgia with the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra, the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra.


My online courses recently won awards for excellence in course design and online teaching at Florida State for their engaging environments where students tackle complex tasks with classmates over the course of the semester. Whether making a music video, an ethnographic documentary, or planning musical activism around contemporary issues like racial inequality, students are innovating based on primary source histories that inform technological creativity.

Undergraduate and graduate courses and ensemble work with Arabic music similarly contextualize the past to help students understand the many political, social, and artistic trends affecting musical communities around the world.

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Website designed by Christopher Witulski, © 2016