Main content

Erum Naqvi

Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Erum Naqvi is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Purchase College. She is an interdisciplinary researcher working on the conceptual dynamics of art production in the Middle East. Her current research is based on field work in Iran and addresses conceptual issues surrounding Iranian performing arts, their cultural and political contexts, and their genealogical histories. She also works on culturally comparative aesthetics, with emphasis on improvisation, experimentation, and embodied creativity in the arts.

She teaches at the intersection of critical philosophy, politics, media studies, and visual and performing arts. Her teaching focuses on applying theoretical contexts to current affairs, popular culture, and arts industries, with emphasis on power structures and social justice. She teaches courses in gender and sexuality, critical race theory, critical aesthetics, and philosophy.

More About Me

Outside academia, Erum is a public arts and culture writer, and a non-profit performing arts curator. She has published/collaborated with Flung Magazine, The Philosopher’s Magazine, Hochschule Luzern Design & Kunst, Whitebox Art Center, Label Gray Arts, Art of Protest Collective, KAFLab Foundation, and a number of electronic and popular music artists performing in the New York area.

Details about her recent projects, collaborations, and publications are accessible on her website


“Beyond the Politics of Modernity: Postmodern Experiments in Contemporary Iranian Dance” Forthcoming in Popular Music and Society of Iran, N. Siamdoust, ed.

“Marginalized Voices in Iranian Dance and Musical Theater: Tales from the Motreb Genre” Forthcoming in Routledge Handbook of Improvisation.

“Reinventing Ruhowzi: Musical Experiments in Contemporary Iranian Theater” Forthcoming in Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication.

“The Curious Case of ‘Good Morning Iran:’ Music and Broadcast Regulation in the Islamic Republic” Forthcoming in P. Alperson, A, Kallio, and H. Westerlund, eds. Music, Education, and Religion: Intersections and Entanglements Indiana University Press, 2019.

“Gigging ‘Classical’ in Iran” Popular Communication 15, vol. 3, 2017, pp. 221-232.

“Happiness, Money, and Making it Work: Emerging Musicians and Iranian Classical Music” A. Baldassarre, ed. Musik 2017-2018, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, 2017, pp. 92-101.

“Teaching Practices in Persian Art Music” W. Bowman and A. Frega, The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Music Education, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 180-191.

Select Public Writing:

“Musical Aesthetics in Iran,” The Philosopher’s Magazine.

“Turks, Punks, and Hipsters in Berlin’s Neukölln District,” Flung Magazine.

“Ancient Greek Theatre in the Peloponnese,” Flung Magazine.

“Musicality, Pedagogy, and Regulation in Iranian Classical Music,” UniArts Helskinki.

“Romulo Sans: Artist Statement and Biography,” Sans in Media.

“Unveiled: Performing Middle Eastern Complexity” (press release) Beyond the Cloth: The Kafiye Project White Box Art Center and KAFLab Foundation.

“Repetition, Ritual, Repression” (program notes), Piece/Peace of Mine, Label Gray Arts.