Faculty Biography - Ioannis (Yannis) Tsekouras

Faculty Biography - Ioannis (Yannis) Tsekouras

Ioannis (Yannis) Tsekouras


B.A. National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece)
M.M. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Room B200 Skokie

Other Information

Ioannis (Yannis) Tsekouras is an ethnomusicologist with a specialization on anthropology of music. He studies music and identity, with special emphasis on how music performance contributes to the spread and consolidation of collective narratives about history and ethnicity. He is also interested on music cognition, music and emotionality, music and the environment, the aesthetics of voice, vocal timbre, and on the relationship between music experience and social belonging. His regions of expertise are Southeastern Europe (the Balkans) and the Middle East, more specifically, Greece and Turkey.

Tsekouras holds a Ph.D. on musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His dissertation entitled “Nostalgia, Emotionality, and Ethno-regionalism in Pontic Parakathi Singing” is a musicological and anthropological study of music socialization among the Pontic Greeks or Pontians. The Pontians constitute a dynamic Greek ethno-regional group with a strong identity discourse, revered music traditions, and a traumatic history. Tsekouras examines the relations between Pontic music, identity, and the collective memory of the Pontic past through the analysis of one seminal genre of Pontic music performance, called parakathi. In addition, he provides important information about the genres, styles, techniques, and aesthetics of Pontic music.

Tsekouras is a member of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), of the American Anthropological Associa`tion (AAA), and of the Modern Greek Studies Association (MGSA). Since 2014, he has presented regularly on the annual internatinal SEM and AAA conferences. This year (2017) he will be presenting also in the MGSA’s bi-annual symposium. Tsekouras has also presented in the 2014 international conference “Ecomusicologies” and has given a number of invited lectures in universities and other institutions, both in USA and in his native country, Greece. Apart from his dissertation, Tsekouras has conducted anthropological research for the 2012 project “Video Life Stories of Migrants.” This research project, funded by EU and the university of Athens, involved the production of short documentaries about the life of migrants in Greece (a European Union country). Tsekouras was the coordinator of one of the teams involved in the project. In addition to all these, Tsekouras has co-edited a translation into Greek of Bruno Nettl’s book The Study of Ethnomusicology and has translated into Greek in its entirety Steven Friedson’s music ethnography Remains of Ritual.