Current Position: 

Department of Communications & Design (Writing and Editing Program)                                         

Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta, and                                                                             

Semester at Sea, Spring 2020 Voyage                                                                                  



Ph.D.               Department of Music (Ethnomusicology), University of Alberta, Edmonton, 2019  

                        Dissertation: Raagi Faqirs at the Edge of Modernity in Contemporary Sindh 

                        Committee: Regula B. Qureshi, Michael Frishkopf, Mojtaba Mahdavi 

M.A.               Department of Music (Ethnomusicology), University of Alberta, Edmonton, 2011 

M.A.               Department of Islamic Studies, Institute of Ismaili Studies, London (UK), 2008 


B.Sc.               Department of Humanities, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan, 2006 


Book Chapters 

2018                Peacock, David; Ballamingie, Patricia; Lydon, Maeve; Hemani, Shumaila; and Koller, Katalin E. “Embedding an Ethnic of Community Engagement in Post-Secondary Institutions.” In Community First: The Impact of Community Engagement. 

2017                “Music: Pakistan” In Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. General Edited by Suad Joseph. Brill Online. 

Journal Articles 

“Bringing Home, a Lesson on Discipline:” Martial Masculinity in the Formation of the Aga Khan Bands in Colonial India. Submitted to Public Culture.  

“Mimicry or Agency? The Aga Khan Marching Bands in Colonial India.” Ethnomusicology, Editor Ellen Koskoff (Revise and Resubmit)  

Book Reviews 

2015                “The Story of Kathak: A Review of Margaret Walkers’s India’s Kathak Dance in Historical Perspective.” The Review. 

In Preparation  

“Governing the Sufi Sound on Coke Studio: Raagi Faqirs’ Subalternity in Contemporary Sind.” Yale Journal of Music and Religion. 

“Raagi Faqirs’ karistyle of singing the Shah jo Raag- A Subaltern tradition within Contemporary Sindh.” Asian Music.  

“An Analysis of the Shah-jo-Raag Tradition.” Analytical Approaches to World Music 



2017                First PrizePaper, Society for Ethnomusicology: Music and Religion Subsection “A Dialogic Musical Analysis of Shah-jo-Raag—Shah Latif Bhitai’s surs in Post-Colonial Sind, Pakistan.”  

2018                Laura Bassi Editing Press Scholarship  

2016                Frank Henderson Award in Studies of Women and Religion 

2015                The State of Kuwait Award in Islamic Studies  

2013-17          The Institute of Ismaili Studies Doctoral Award  

2006-10           The Institute of Ismaili Studies Graduate Studies Award 

2000-06           Aga Khan Services Education, Pakistan, Humanities  

Music Performance 

2019                Canada’s Music Incubators’ Artist Entrepreneurship Fellowship        

2015                Cultural Diversity Award from the Edmonton Arts Council  

2015                The Banff Arts Centre, World Music Residency Fellowship  

2014                Flore Shaw Graduate Award in Music, Alberta, Canada  

2009                The Varagur Vaikunta and Sarada Srinivasan Memorial Prize 

Academic Work 

2019                Ric Trimillos Travel Award, Society for Ethnomusicology  

2017                Music and Religion, Society for Ethnomusicology Travel Award  

2017                Faculty of Graduate Research Travel Grant 

2012-17           Department of Music, Travel Award 

2016                The Ginan Studies Association’s Conference Travel Award  

2016                The Institute of Ismaili Studies PhD Workshop Travel Award  

2015                Maud Karpeles Grant, International Council of Traditional Music  

2015                Conference Travel Award, Sino-Indian Musical Exchanges, University of Michigan 

2014                Singing-Story-Tellers Conference Travel Award, University of Cape Breton 

2014                First Ismaili Studies Conference Travel Award, University of Chicago  

2012-14           Doctoral Recruitment Award 

2012-14           Graduate Student Association Travel Awards  

2012                Green and Gold Leadership and Professional Development Grant  


2019                “Hearing Intimate Exchanges within the Study of Sufi Sounds.” Regulafest, University of Alberta. July. 

2016                “Vocal Aesthetics in Singing the Shah-jo-Raag.” The Canadian Center for Ethnomusicology, University of Alberta. 

2015                "The Impact of Sindhi Modernity on the Shah-jo-Raag." The Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilization (ISMC). London, UK. October. 

2015                "Sindhi Modernity and the Shah-jo-Raag." The Canadian Center for Ethnomusicology (CCE), University of Alberta. November.  

2015                "Sindhi Nationalism and the Shah-jo-Raag." Institute for the study of Muslim Civilization (ISMC). London, UK. November. 

2015.               “Shi’ite Sufi Connections in the Tradition of Shah-jo-Raag in Sind, Pakistan.” Institute of Ismaili Studies. London, UK. October.  

2015                "The Impact of Sindhi Modernity on the Shah-jo-Raag."  The Canadian Center for Ethnomusicology (CCE), University of Alberta. November. 

2015                "Singing in the Feminine Voice: Sufi singing in Sind." The Annual Ginan Conference in London, UK. November.  

2014                “Singing Shah-jo-Raag in Sind, Pakistan.” Annual Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai Conference,” Karachi University, Karachi Pakistan. December. 

2012                “Vocal Timbres and Musical Narrative of Shah-jo-Raag.” International Conference on Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai. Bhitshah, Pakistan. December.  

2012.               “The Labor of singing Shah-jo-Raag,” Shah Abdul Lateef Conference, Karachi University, Karachi, Pakistan. January.  



Panels Organized 

2016                “Rethinking South Asian Musical Modernities through the Study of So-Called “Little Traditions” w/ Babiracki, Carol, Dinnerstein Noe, & Hemani, Shumaila. Society for Ethnomusicology, South Asian Performing Arts. Austin, Texas. 


2019                “‘I Am Not a Man or a Woman’: Abida Parvin’s Career and Generic Innovation in the Style of Sindhi Sufi Kafi in Pakistan.” (Lecture-Demonstration) Society for Ethnomusicology (Panel Sponsorship: Gender and Sexuality Taskforce). Bloomington, Indiana. November 

2019                “‘I Am Not a Man or a Woman’: Abida Parvin’s Career and Generic Innovation in the Style of Sindhi Sufi Kafi in Pakistan.” April Graduate Student Music Conference, University of Alberta.  

2018                “Music and Law in the Muslim World: The Traditional Rights of Religious Singers within the Political Economy of Waqf.” March. Early Legal Scholars’ Workshop, University of Alberta. 

2017                “A Dialogic Musical Analysis of Shah-jo-Raag—Shah Latif Bhitai’s Surs in Post-Colonial Sind, Pakistan.” Society of Ethnomusicology, South Asian Performing Arts. Denver, Colorado. October (First Prize, Music and Religion Subsection) 

2016                “Preserving the Sound of the Shah-jo-Raag.” Heavenly Acts Symposium, University of Alberta. November 

2016                “Singing in the Feminine Voice in the Shah-jo-Raag: A Performance Workshop.” Society for Ethnomusicology Conference. Washington D.C. November 

2016                “Is it Colonial or Khoja heritage? Re-thinking Khoja Heritage and Historiography through a Study of Ceremonial Marching Bands.” The First Khoja Studies Conference, Paris. December 

2015                “The Impact of Modernity on the Shah-jo-Raag.” Society for Ethnomusicology, South Asian Performing Arts Committee. Austin, TX. December 

2015                “Connections between Hindustani and Sindhi Traditions of Sur and Raag: Singing the Shah-jo-Raag in Sind, Pakistan.” Indian Musicological Society Conference. Mumbai, India. January. 

2015                “Choreographing Diplomacy: The Creators of the National Music and Dance Ensemble Representing Pakistan as 5000-year-old.” International Council of Traditional Music. Astana. July.  

2015                “Choreographing Diplomacy and Cordiality Between Pakistan and China.” University of Michigan’s Department of Music Conference “Lasting Echoes: Musical Exchanges Between China and India.” February 

2014                “Performing Folk Tales in the Sung Sufi poetry of Pakistan: A Lecture/Demonstration.” Featured Presentation, Singing Storytellers Symposium, University of Cape Breton. October 

2014                “Singers/Storytellers of a Sufi Ritual: Faqirs, the Mystical Bards Singing the Shah-jo-Raag in Sind, Pakistan,” Singing Storytellers Symposium, University of Cape Breton. Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.  October 

2014                “The Aga Khan Bands and the Agency of the Ismaili middle-class: Towards a post-structuralist approach in Ismaili Studies” The First Ismaili Studies Conference, University of Chicago, October 

2013                “Music and Moral Imagination: Musical Transmission in Pakistani context.” Graduate Student. Music Conference, University of Alberta. April. 

2013                “Official Mobilities: Pakistani Folk musicians at the Smithsonian Folk Festival in 1976.” Canadian Society for Traditional Music. May.  

2012                “Representing Pakistan Through Folk Dances.” Institute of Cultural Diplomacy’s Conference, Berlin. December 

2012                “The Political Use of Archaeology in the Folk-Dance Ensemble of Pakistan.” First International Conference of Archaeology. Bhambhore, Sindh. March 

2009                “Gendered Discourses in Maddoh.” Society for Ethnomusicology Conference (SEM), Mexico. November 

2009                “Preserving Women’s Voices: Feminist Reading of Oral Narratives of a Female Maddohkhonum from Badakhshan.” The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. May 

CAMPUS TALKS/Lecture Demonstrations 

Lecture Demonstrations 

2018                “Demonstration of Sufi Styles from Pakistan.” A Presentation to the Ismaili Community’s Bait-ul-Ilm. November 

2016                “Singing in the Feminine Voice: The Form and Structure of the Shah-jo-Raag.” Lecture and Performance to UT-Austin and Emory University (Visa issues led to cancellation of this tour). April.  

2016                “Music for a Better World:” A Khayal in Raag Bhairon.” International Week 2016 at The Convocation Hall, University of Alberta. January. 

2015                “Performance of a Sindhi Kalam of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai.” Margaret Greenham Theatre, Banff Arts Centre.  March 

2015                “Performance of a Sindhi Kalam with the musicians in residence at the Banff Arts Centre.” Rolston Hall, Banff Arts Centre. March 

2015                “Turkish and Persian musical pieces with the musicians in residence at the Banff Arts Centre.” The Club, Banff Arts Centre. March 

2014                “Performance of Hindustani Khayal and Sufi Kafi.” The Pakistan American Cultural Centre (PACC), Karachi. December 

2014                “Performing Folk Tales in the Sung Sufi poetry of Pakistan: A Lecture/Demonstration.” Featured Presentation at the Singing Storytellers Symposium, University of Cape Breton. October. 

2014                “Maydan-e-Ishq: A Musical Performance of North Indian/Pakistani classical and Sufi folk at the International Week. 2014.” Student Union Building Stage, University of Alberta. January. 

2014                “North Indian Classical and Sufi Music from India and Pakistan.” Guest Lecturer and performance at the Introduction to World Music Class. July. 

2016                “A Khayal From Pakistan: A Lecture Demonstration, performance and workshop at the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology about the musical form khayal.”  December. 


Semester at Sea, University of Colorado-Boulder 

Introduction to World Music: Ritual (Spring 2020)  

Soundscapes: Music as Human Practice (Spring 2020) 

Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta  

Grammar for Effective Writing, Spring 2019 

Workshops: Grant-Writing; Journaling for Emotional Resiliency, Summer 2019 

University of Alberta 

Introduction to World Music, Fall 2016 


University of Alberta, Teaching Assistant 

Introduction to World Music  

The West African Music Ensemble  

The Indian Music Ensemble(Vocal instructor) 


2018                Certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Centre for Race and Culture 

2017                Certificate in Course Design and Learning, Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Alberta                                     

2017                Smithsonian Certificate in World Music Pedagogy, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, MN 


Spr 2019-Present VOCAL MENTOR 


2013-15          Teaching Fellow, Center for Writers                                                        

Univ[1] [SH2] [SH3] [SH4] [SH5] [SH6] [SH7] [SH8] ersity of Alberta 

Facilitated workshops about Effective Writing, and advised  

undergraduate and graduate students in academic writing. 



University of Alberta 

Mentored an undergraduate student Penelopie David in researching microfilms at the University of Alberta’s library. 

Fall 2013         MENTOR, Undergraduate Research Initiative, University of Alberta 

Advised undergraduate students in framing their posters and presentations for the Graduate Music Conference in the Department of Music. 



Exhibitions and Archival Work 

Principal Researcher, The Aga Khan Bands in Colonial India  

2013-14           Archival Research at the British media websites online, the British Museum, and the Ismaili Special Collections in Mumbai and Karachi for the projects: The Aga Khan Bands in Colonial India. This work culminated in two journal articles and a proposed film and digital exhibit.  

Archival Researcher, Sounding China in Enlightenment Europe, Dr. Alex Rehding 

2011                Conducted archival Research at Harvard University’s Special Collections and Archives and Digital Augmentation for the theme: “Reception of Chinese Themes in the 17thcentury European Opera.” 

Principal Researcher, Representing Pakistan Through Folk Music and Dances 

2009                Conducted archival Research at the Lok Virsa, Pakistan, Radio-Pakistan, Pakistan Television Networks, the Institute of Sindhology, and Harvard Special Collections for: “Representing Pakistan Through Folk Music and Dances  

Research Assistant, World Music in Wonderland (WMiW), Dr. Michael A. Frishkopf 

2009-10                       Identified key albums from Smithsonian Folkwayslive! Collections from specific regions of Africa, South Asia, and Europe, and collected audio clips, ancillary artwork, metadata, and virtual landscapes and cityscapes within a collaborative research. This culminated in the"World Music in WonderlandWMiW”- a virtual reality groupware environment – derived from Smithsonian Folkwayslive! Collection.  



2016-2018       EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, Intonations (Graduate Music Journal), University of Alberta  

2018-19           PEER-REVIEWER, Editorial Board: Graduate Music Conference 2014-2017; Graduate Music Journal  

To Profession  

2017-18           MEMBER-AT-LARGE, the Society for Ethnomusicology's Student Union  

2015-present   LIASION OFFICER, Report on Pakistan, International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM)  

2015-2017       GRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE, General Faculty Council 

2016                GRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE, Arts Faculty Council 

2016                GRADUATE REPRESENTATIVE, McCallum Research Committee 

2009-present   MEMBER: Professional Associations (Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM); International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM)  

To Community 

2018                PUBLIC CONSULTANT, The Trudeau Foundation 

2012                EVENTS COORDINATOR, The Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology (CCE) 



MAR-AUG 2018       Community Service Learning (CSL), University of Alberta                       

Community First, A SSHRC funded collaborative Project  

(Between Carleton University, University of Victoria, and University of Alberta) 

2003-06                       PROGRAM DESIGNER and ADVISOR, Transparency International, Pakistan                                                                      

2003-05                       PRINCIPAL INSTRUCTOR, The Princeton Review, Pakistan                                                                          


Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) 

Canadian Society for Traditional Music (CSTM) 

International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) 

Artistic Contributions 

Media Interviews 

FEB 2016        Interview by Portia Clark. Radio Active. CBC Radio-Edmonton 

APR 2017       Paracha, Nadeem. “Reshaping Narratives.” Dawn Newspaper.Accessed at: 

APR 2018       Paracha, Nadeem. “Branding Pakistan.” Dawn Newspaper. 

Media Reviews  

JUN 2016       Islam, Sanam. “The Modern Mystic: Shumaila Hemani hasn't let being female prevent her from studying and performing ancient mystical Islamic poetry.” Edmonton Women’s Magazine. Accessed at: 

FEB 2016        Mckay, Samantha. “Sing-style poet among artists recognized for enriching Edmonton.” Edmonton Journal Online.  February 22, 2016. Accessed at: enriching-edmonton 

APR 2015.      Bonfield, Stephan. “Banff Centre World Music Residency program off to a strong start with uplifting final concert.” Calgary Herald. Accessed at:     world-music-residencyprogram- off-to-a-strong-start-with-uplifting-final-concert 

JAN 2015       Pakistan American Cultural Centre’s January newsletter 

JAN 2012       Khan, Muhammed H. Finer points of Bhitai`s poetry explored.” Dawn Newspaper. Accessed at: 

FEB 2016        Edmonton Arts Council Cultural Diversity Award Recipients: Accessed at: