Nasim Niknafs is Associate Professor of Music Education at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto where she also serves as the Associate Dean, Research and Coordinator of Music Education. Nasim’s research concerning social justice, activism, and politics of contemporary music education, cultural politics, and popular music has been widely published in international journals and edited volumes of music education including Philosophy of Music Education Review; International Journal of Music Education; Music Education Research; Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education; Music Educators Journal; Ethnomusicology and Cultural Diplomacy; Punk Pedagogies: Music, Culture, and Learning; Difference and Division in Music Education; The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical and Qualitative Perspectives on Assessment in Music Education; and Trauma and Resilience in Music Education: Haunted Melodies.
Concluding a longitudinal research project on the music education of rock musicians in Iran, Nasim is conducting a SSHRC-funded research project titled, Sanctuary City: Cultural Programs, Music Education, and the Dignified Lives of Refugee Newcomers in Toronto where she examines the cultural programs and music education practices developed for refugee newcomers by the municipal government, and arts organizations in Toronto. Nasim is also a co-principal investigator on an arts-based participatory research project funded by the School of Cities, University of Toronto, working with Dr. Laura Risk, Dr. Ely Lyonblum, Hayley Janes, and Adrian Berry titled, Sustainable pARTnerships: Collaboration and Reciprocity in Creative Cities where they bring together the cultural and academic sectors to jointly imagine strategies for thriving in a post-pandemic reality. To date, Nasim’s research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Connaught Fund, Digital Humanities Network, School of Cities, the University of Toronto’s SSHRC Institutional Grant, the Ontario Music Educators Association (OMEA)’s Aga Khan Initiative, and a Faculty Mobility Grant.
At the university level, Nasim has taught courses and seminars such as “Moral Economy of Death in Music, Education, and Pedagogy,” “Politics of Sound and Music Making,” “Multimodal Approaches to Music Teaching and Learning,” “Music and Contemporary Politics,” “Cultural Perspectives in Music Education,” “Advanced Topics in Research in Music Education,” and “(Un)Popular Music Education.” In addition to her research and teaching, Nasim is active in her field by serving at the editorial committees of the International Journal of Music Education (IJME), and the Canadian Music Educator (CME), and as a steering committee member of the Mayday Group, and International Society of Sociology of Music Education (ISSME). Currently, Nasim is guest editing Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education’s special issue on “Anti-Racism, Anti-Fascism, and Anti-Discrimination in and through Music Education.” Nasim holds degrees from Northwestern University, New York University, Kingston University, London, and the University of Art, Tehran.