Adjunct Instructor

University of Alberta, Faculty of Extension; University of Colorado's Semester at Sea Spring 2020 Voyage

Courses Taught: 

Introduction to World Music

Grammar for Effective Writing


Shumaila Hemani is an Ethno-musicologist with research interests in Islam, South Asia, media, gender, and nationalism. She has conducted fieldwork in Pakistan and Tajikistan, and currently working on a book: “Raagi Faqirs at the Edge of Modernity in Contemporary Sindh” about a subaltern group of Sufi singers who sing the tradition of poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, the Shah-jo-Raag, who are questioning their authority, status, and participation in modernity as a result of transformations in post-colonial Sind within the pre-capitalist/pre-modern Muslim political-economy, called the waqf.  

Before joining the faculty in April 2019 at the Faculty of Extension, Hemani taught at the Department of Music at University of Alberta and also invited to teach three Ethnomusicology courses: Exploring World Music: Ritual and Soundscapes: Music as Human Practice at University of Colorado-Boulder’s Semester at Sea Spring 2020 Voyage. As part of this program, she would be conducting field-plans about Islamic soundscapes in Casablanca, Morocco, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and related to music, race, and modernity in Cape Town, South Africa. She received her BSc. From Lahore University of Management Sciences, a graduate diploma in Islamic Studies from the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, UK, and her MA and Ph.D. in Music from the University of Alberta in Canada.  

Her other research projects include analyzing Pakistan’s cultural policy towards performing arts, in particular, music, from 1965-2009, and a historical study of the formation of the Aga Khan bands in colonial India. Her work has been presented internationally at numerous conferences, including the Society for Ethnomusicology (2009, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019), International Council of Traditional Music (ICTM) (2015), Canadian Society of Traditional Music (CSTM) (2014), Indian Musicological Society (2014), and has been invited for guest lectures and presentations in France, the US, the UK, and in different parts of Canada.   

Hemani served as the Editor-in-Chief of Intonations, Graduate Music Journal between 2016-18, as well as involved in student governance from 2016-18. Hemani has published in the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures and has a Revise-and-Resubmit from the Ethnomusicology journal.  

Hemani is a recipient of various international scholarships, honors and awards, including: Laura Bassi Editing Press Scholarship, First Prize at the Society for Ethnomusicology conference (recognizing an outstanding conference paper), State of Kuwait Award in Islamic Studies, Cultural Diversity Award, Flore Shaw Graduate Award in Music, Frank Henderson Prize in the study of Religion, Institute of Ismaili Studies’ Graduate and Doctoral Scholarship, and travel awards including Maud Karpeles Travel Award (ICTM), Music and Religion, Society for Ethnomusicology’s travel award, Graduate Student Association, Department of Music and Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research’s travel awards.