Karl Haas
World Music
Karl Haas (Ph.D., Boston University, ’16; M.A. Tufts university, ’07; M.M. Boston Conservatory, ’02; B.Mus.Ed., Montana State University, ’00) is an ethnomusicologist whose research focuses on traditional performance, gender, and development in urban West Africa. Since 2006, he has been conducting research with the Dagbamba warriors of northern Ghana. His dissertation, Music, Masculinity, and Tradition, explores the relationship between performances of traditional music, local preservationist discourses, and the construction of masculinity in the first decades of the 21st century. More recently, Karl has been working on the place of music and dance in Dagbamba youths’ negotiation of tradition-based values and future-oriented narratives of development as they negotiate Africa’s growing “youth crisis.”

Karl’s research has been supported by grants and fellowships from Fulbright-Hays DDRA, the West African Research Association, and Boston University’s Center for the Humanities. His publications include an analytical analysis of metric orientation in Dagbamba warrior music and an historiographic essay which counters prevailing narratives of the relationship of the Asante and Dagbamba kingdoms in the 18th century. Karl has presented research at conferences of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the African Studies Association, and the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.