Real World Music: Pilot Webisode


What music from the world really sounds like.

Welcome to the pilot webisode of Real World Music, brought to you by MIIS Radio out of the DLC. This segment focuses on presenting to you authentic sounds and musical compositions from places around the world, while remaining curious, respectful, and appreciative.

Sometimes clips are gathered from abroad, but the following 6 minute clip was recorded from an Arabic presentation on Monday, March 24th. Dwight Reynolds, a religious studies professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, visited MIIS and presented to a group of Arabic students, in Arabic, both a lesson in Islamic storytelling in North Africa and a musical composition on an instrument called the Rebab.

The rebab is very much like the violin or lute, but thinner, normally constructed from wood and a taught hide. Native to Yemen and the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, the instrument traveled through North Africa to Morocco during the Fatimid Caliphate of the early 10th century. Instrumentals on the rebab would usually be accompanied by a long, elaborate story called a Sirat, and the two sounds combined could entertain an audience for a few hours at a time, especially during the month of Ramadan. The rebab has since seen a revival in fusion musics around the world, but has for the most part remained out of the mainstream spotlight since the 12th century.

The recording started about a second late, but the music and composition are incredible. Professor Reynolds even pays homage to some of the founders of sirat storytelling like Beni Hilal during his performance.


Africa Chatter: Pilot Webisode


Listen, reflect, share.

Welcome to Africa Chatter. This segment is dedicated to reproducing the voices of the African Nations Club (ANC) for the sake of everyone in the MIIS community. This is a way for the ANC to spread its message, reassure the community that we are open to everyone, update the community on its proceedings, and educate people on what truly affects students interculturally.

In the pilot webisode we hear from ANC members Jessica Yoo, Josefina Lara, and Jarod Hightower-Mills. This particular conversation occurred before spring break, so most of our examples and references were from the J-Term trips to Peru and Rwanda and events and sentiments from the Fall term. Our discussion revolved around developmental enlightenment, specializing in exotic peoples, the relativity of the struggle, competitive voluntourism, the implication of development workers in the problems they intend to solve, and our peculiar intimacy with colonization.

Enjoy the clip and feel free to attend upcoming Let’s talk Africa gatherings.

Pro Bytes: Fusun Akarsu


In this segment of Pro Bytes we explore the fascinating world of Fusun Akarsu, visiting professor from the Bogazici University of Turkey. After having flown half way across the world to our tiny planet of California to teach and research intercultural communications at the Institute, Fusun settled comfortably into our MIIS community as a research mentor. Of course she teaches much more than intercultural research, but it’s her approach to teaching and learning that makes her unique. Her teaching style, though she admits is not as direct as MIIS students may be accustomed to, has been cultivated by working in tandem with brilliantly self-driven students in an environment known to be very fluid and evolving.

As a self-proclaimed student-of-life herself, she brings a very insightful yet curious demeanor to the classroom. Add in a touch of free spirit and plenty of cheerleading and she made for a rewarding classroom experience in my first term. And so, I simply had to pick her brain about her teaching style and understanding of the world – and the results might make you rethink your time here at MIIS! Click the embedded link below to listen in.


Pro Bytes: Peter Shaw


When I first heard Peter Shaw’s name come up in conversation I knew that he would be an interesting character to engage with, but I had no idea that I would eventually have the pleasure of interviewing the Professor of Pedagogical Magic himself for the institute radio station. Jeff Dayton-Johnson and I happened to be talking about where and how he decided to use podcasting to “flip” his classrooms when Peter came up. I remembered him saying that it was Peter who had designed so many the innovative and collaborative techniques employed across campus. So, considering the medium of podcasting for MIIS Radio it was only logical that Peter be the ideal pilot interview for its revival.

The following 10 minute segment is comprised of a series of highlights from our conversation spanning from community service learning projects, to language learning, to podcasting, to trekking across the Sahara “Mad Max/A-Team” style. I could tell you all about in writing but then what would be the point of the audio! Simply click the link below to listen in.