Document Type

Book Chapter


Explores the new ‘bad girls’ of Sudanese music as they defy national boundaries to bring women’s perspectives and critiques to a global audience. Performers such as Alsarah and Rasha have access to a world music stage to comment upon gender and racial hierarchies, chide Sudanese power brokers about their transgressions, and encourage a more inclusive and just society. Pushback against new voices have included charges in the public domain (e.g. YouTube comments) that these performances are haram and sullied by foreign influence. Emerging out of a larger ethnographic investigation of the Sudanese acoustics of diaspora, my feminist analysis of ‘bad girl’ musicians places their voices in a context of shifting patterns of global migration, national integration policies and the dispersal of families, contemporary expressions of Islamic “authenticity” and anti-Muslim sentiments, and gender and generational tensions among refugee and migrant Sudanese.

Publication Title

Bad Girls of the Arab World

Publication Date


First Page


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music, gender Studies, ethnomusicology, Middle East studies, women and gender issues in Islam, diaspora Studies, migration, music and migration, world music, diaspora and transnationalism, Sudan, women and gender Studies



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