Music in World Culture: Africa

This FIG engages in the process involved in advancing cross-cultural understanding through the art of African music-dance study

College Connections Faculty: Habib Iddrisu

Habib Iddrisu is a traditionally trained dancer, musician, and historian from Northern Ghana, born into the Bizing family of court historians and musicians of the Dagbamba/Dagomba people. Dr. Iddrisu has toured the world extensively with traditional singing and dance groups, and has diverse experience as a performer, teacher, choreographer, and scholar throughout the U.S.

In Ghana, Iddrisu was honored with the Ghana’s Best Dancer award, given by the Entertainment/Art Critics & Reviewers Association in 1993. Iddrisu also led several prestigious traditional music and dance groups, including the Youth Home Cultural Group, which Iddrisu founded when he was just fourteen years old.  He was the creative director and choreographer for the Norvisi Dance Group and lead drummer and choreographer of Abibigromma, the resident performance group for the University of Ghana. Iddrisu was sought after to choreograph such events as the welcoming ceremonies for President Bill Clinton’s visit to Ghana in 1998.

Since arriving in the U.S., Iddrisu earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in African History and Africana Studies from Bowling Green State University, and his PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. While studying, he taught and led performance groups at these universities. One group was selected by the National American College Dance Festival to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in Iddrisu’s version of South African gumboot dance. Iddrisu served as a Presidential Fellow at SUNY Brockport in African Studies and Dance from 2008–2010. He also taught courses at Lake Erie College, Cleveland State University, Pacific University, Reed College, Portland State University, SUNY Brockport, before coming to the University of Oregon.

As a scholar, Dr. Iddrisu’s research interests include West African Music and Dance Practice and Performance, Cultural Studies, Post-Colonial Independence History, Political Economy, Oral History, African Diaspora Studies, and the New Internationalism. He explores new viewpoints on tradition, globalization, and popular culture, looking at the difference in discourse and rhetoric coming from indigenous peoples to the international performance and scholarly community. Dr. Iddrisu is currently researching how indigenous performance practices change and adapt to new situations as these practices travel from village settings to national and international settings.

FIG Assistant: Taylor King


Summer Assignment

Hello Music in World Cultures: Africa FIG! For your summer assignment, please create a 1 to 2 minute video introducing yourself to Professor Iddrisu and I. We want this assignment to be an enjoyable and creative start to your first year at the University of Oregon - have fun with it!

Possible questions to answer in your video could include:

  • Where are you from?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What are some of your passions?
  • What are you looking forward to as you enter college?
  • What are some fun facts about you?
  • Why did you choose to join this FIG?

Overall, please don’t feel limited by the questions! You can answer as many or as few as you would like. Our goal is to get to know you all and to see what types of interests you have. When you have finished your video, please upload it to YouTube and send us an email with the video’s link.

We look forward to getting to know you all. Have fun and enjoy the last bits of your summer!

Week of Welcome FIG Meeting

The first meeting for the FIG is Friday, September 22nd at 11:00 am in Columbia 150. Please arrive on time as we will be relocating shortly after.