Associate Professor Nabeel Zuberi

BA (Hons) American Studies (University of Nottingham) 1987, MA Communication Arts (University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) 1990, PhD Radio-Television-Film (University of Texas at Austin) 1996


My research and teaching focus on communication technologies and media in music cultures past, present and futuristic. I’m interested in the production, circulation and consumption of recorded music in particular. I’ve written mainly about 20th and 21st century popular musics in the UK and US, mostly on issues of race, ethnicity and nationalism. I draw upon qualitative methods and critical approaches in media and communication studies, cultural studies, popular music studies, sound studies, the history of technology, digital music studies, social media studies, film and television studies, the sociology of music and ethnomusicology. I’m on the editorial boards of academic journals in communication, cultural studies, media studies and music studies. I teach across the Media, Film & Television, and Communication programs, though I have also contributed to teaching and research supervision for other disciplines and programs at the University of Auckland, including English, Ethnomusicology, Sociology, Politics and International Relations. I have had some education and experience in media production, mostly in arts journalism and music radio. I've co-hosted The Basement, a music radio show on BASE FM in Auckland since 2004. 

Research | Current

I'm currently writing a book on popular music, race and media since 9/11 to be published by Bloomsbury. 

I'm also researching popular music in the history and heritage of British South Asians.


2014. STRATTON, J. and ZUBERI, N. (eds.) Black Popular Music in Britain since 1945. Farnham: Ashgate.

2010. GOODE L. and ZUBERI, N. (eds.) Media Studies in Aotearoa New Zealand 2. Auckland: Pearson.

2004. GOODE, L. and ZUBERI, N. (eds.) Media Studies in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Auckland: Pearson.

2001. ZUBERI, N. Sounds English: Transnational Popular Music. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.


Recent Journal Articles/Book Chapters

2018. ZUBERI, N. ‘Racialising Music’s Past and the Media Archive.’ In Catherine Strong, Sarah Baker, Lauren Istvandity and Zelmarie Cantillon (eds.) Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage. New York: Routledge. pp 36-45.

2017. ZUBERI, N. ‘Listening while Muslim’. Popular Music 36(1): 33-42. [Open Publication Prize, International Association of Popular Music-Australia-New Zealand, 2018]

2016. MCCOURT, T. & ZUBERI, N. ‘Music and discovery’. Popular Communication: International Journal of Media and Culture 14(3): 123-126. Special issue on Music and Discovery, edited by Tom McCourt and Nabeel Zuberi [Authors listed alphabetically]

2015. ZUBERI, N. ‘War dubs.’ Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture (Special Issue on Echoes from the Dub Diaspora), 7(2):

2015. ZUBERI, N. ‘The transmolecularization of [Black] folk: Space is the Place, Sun Ra and Afrofuturism.’ In Sherryl Vint (ed.) Science Fiction and Cultural Theory: A Reader. New York: Routledge. pp 281-293.

2015. ZUBERI, N. ‘Bishi: Making ye olde England Indian.’ In Theresa Beyer, Thomas Burkhalter, Hannes Liechti (eds.) Seismographic Sounds: Visions of a New World. Bern: Norient. pp 295-296.

2014. ZUBERI, N. ‘New throat fe chat: the voices and media of MC culture’. In Jon Stratton and Nabeel Zuberi (eds.) Black Popular Music in Britain since 1945. Farnham: Ashgate. pp 185-201.

2014. STRATTON, J. and ZUBERI, N. ‘Black popular music in Britain since 1945: An introduction. In Jon Stratton and Nabeel Zuberi (eds.) Black Popular Music in Britain since 1945. Farnham: Ashgate. pp 1-10.

2014. ZUBERI, N. ‘Guantánamo, alla vamos: Fuera de lugar con The Smiths.’ In Fruela Fernández (ed.) The Smiths: Música, Política y Deseo. Madrid: Errata Naturae. pp 121-144.

2013. ZUBERI, N. ‘Vocalizing: MC culture in the UK.’ Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture (Special Issue on Afrofuturism), 5(2):

2011. ZUBERI, N. ‘The racialization of culture’. In Bruce M.Z. Cohen (ed) Being Cultural. Auckland: Pearson. pp 165-178.

2011. ZUBERI, N. ‘Diaspora’. In Michael Ryan, Gregory Castle, Robert Eaglestone, M. Keith Booker (eds.) Blackwell Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory. Oxford and Malden: Blackwell. pp 1040-1044.

2010. ZUBERI, N. ‘Guantánamo here we come’. In Sean Campbell and Colin Coulter (eds.) Why Pamper Life’s Complexities: Essays on The Smiths. Manchester: Manchester University Press.  pp 241-255.

2010. ZUBERI, N. ‘Worries in the dance: Post-millennial grooves and sub-bass culture’. In Andy Bennett and Jon Stratton (eds.) Britpop and the English Music Tradition. Aldershot: Ashgate. pp 179-192.

Teaching | Current

MEDIA 218 Popular Music on Screens

MEDIA 323 Popular Music on Screens

MEDIA 713 Media, Sound and Music

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD Supervision:

Lubna El-Elaimy, Citizen journalism, social media and the Arab Spring (associate supervisor with Luke Goode) 

Pik Man (Nickkita) Lau, Transcultural fandoms in China and Hong Kong: Gender, sexuality, celebrity politics and activism

Anna Majavu, Media representations of Africans in Aotearoa / New Zealand

Kim Wheatley, The fog of war and media 


Completed PhD Supervision:

2018. Ahmed Ghazal, Egyptian cinema and the 2011 Revolution

2014. Phoebe Fletcher, Screening the global war on terror: Revolutionary nationalisms in the contemporary American splatter film 

2013. Fokko Schulz, Distance music: From early telephony to tomorrow’s Internet  

2009. Michael Scott, New Zealand’s pop renaissance: a creative industry as ‘after neo-liberal’ social policy 

2009. Phoebe Li, A virtual Chinatown: the diasporic mediasphere of Chinese migrants in New Zealand 

2007. Carolyn Skelton, Travelling tales of location, identity and connectivity: a study of place and the television programme Xena: Warrior princess

2004. Helen Jane Moloney, Robin Hyde and Frank Sargeson: Liminal voices in New Zealand literature 

2002. Matthew Bannister, White man’s soul: Paheka masculinities in popular music of New Zealand/Aotearoa 

2001. Sarina Pearson, Lookin’ S. Pacific: moving imagery in Aotearoa New Zealand and Hawai’i


Current MA supervision:

Daisy McWedge, Gender capital and femininities in contemporary pop music


Completed MA supervision:

2018. Ahyoung Kim, Representations of Islamist Terrorism in Films (MA dissertation in Conflict & Terrorism Studies)

2017. Ben Hall,  Virtual and real spaces in sound recording (MA thesis)

2014. Matthew Chicoine, The Detroit way: Creative exchange and music culture 1950-2000 (MA thesis)

2013. Yingxi Lu. Chinese social media platforms and young migrants in New Zealand (MA dissertation)

2013.  Andrew Garnett, The Facebook construct: The user and surveillance (MA thesis)

2012. Camilo Diaz-Pino, Growing up after the end: Representations of post-apocalypse in contemporary children’s television animation (MA thesis)

2012.  Nandan Bhat. Camp, the abject and the Hindi courtesan film (MA dissertation)

2011. Sol Chae, Changing forms, access and values of images of self: From still photograph to Facebook (MA dissertation)

2011. Helen King, Young Muslim women, media and social networks in Auckland (MA thesis)

2009. Brent Simpson, Community radio on Waiheke Island: A case study (MA thesis)

2008. Wajeehah Sabahat, Pakistan’s friendly dictator: The military presidency of Pervaiz Musharraf in Newsweek and The Economist (MA dissertation)

2008. Judy Smith, Björk, buskers and songbirds: Realism and revision in the musical genre (MA thesis)

2008. Pamela Whitfield, Race, class and the American dream in Hollywood dance themed youth film 2000-2008 (MA thesis)

2007. Georgina McWhirter, Black camp: Rethinking minstrelsy, trash talk shows and the ghetto fabulous (MA dissertation)

2007. Yu Zhijuan, Music in Feng Xiaogang’s Films (BA(Hons) dissertation)

2005. Yasmin Aluf, Quentin Tarantino and contemporary film authorship (MA thesis)

2004. Kris Zemke, Outkast and minstrelsy; Googoosh and the Iranian diaspora (MA research portfolio in Ethnomusicology)

2004. Enas Al-Janabi, Al-Jazeera and the war on Iraq (MA dissertation)

2004. Nicholas FitzHerbert, Indymedia and the anti-globalisation movement (Postgraduate Diploma in Arts dissertation)

2003. Una Cruickshank, Media and the War on Terror from 9/11 to the War on Iraq (MA thesis)

2003 Keri Whaitiri, Of other sounds (MA thesis)

2002. Catherine Langabeer, Carefully stealing pieces of me: issues of technology and authenticity in the music of Matthew Herbert (MA thesis)

2001. Vicky Bogle, Female electronic musicians in Auckland (MA dissertation)

2001. Emma Kelly, Making a scene: location, identity and dance music (MA thesis)

2001. Stephen Jewell, Number eight wired: a history of New Zealand dance music and club culture 1970-2001 (MA thesis)

2000. Catherine Foster, Past perfect: an examination of Jane Foster's writing in The Weekly News from 1953-1960 (MA thesis)

2000. Ben Howe, Getting older: the construction of place, history and identity in New Zealand independent music (MA thesis in Ethnomusicology)

1999. Pamela Morrow, Gravity keeps screwing it up: the single white female in American television comedy (MA thesis, co-supervision with Shuchi Kothari)

1999. Roy Martyn, Shooting heroin: heroin in 90s films (MA thesis)


Postgraduate Advisor (MA, BA Hons, PGDipArts) in Media, Film & Television

Areas of expertise

  • Popular music and sound studies
  • Critical race studies
  • British cultural studies
  • American studies
  • South Asian and African diaspora cinema and media

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Contact details

Alternative contact

direct line +64 9 923 7722

Primary office location

HSB - EAST - Bldg 201E
Level 5, Room 536
New Zealand