Margaret Hiebert BEISSINGER

Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A.



Romani musicians (lăutari), music-making, culture; Pentecostal conversion, identity; performance; ethnicity, gender



  • BEISSINGER, M. H. – RĂDULESCU, S. – GIURCHESCU, A. (Eds.) (2016). Manele in Romania: Cultural Expression and Social Meaning in Balkan Popular Music. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (1991). The Art of the Lăutar: The Epic Tradition of Romania. New York: Garland Publishing.

Website Publications

Articles and Chapters

  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2020). Wedding Repertoire in Southern Romania: Political, Social, and
    Cultural Identity. In: The Music of Lăutari in Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe, L. Mellish, (Ed.) (forthcoming).
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2018). Gender, Ethnicity, and Education in Lăutar (Romani Musician)
    Families in Romania: Personal and Professional Strategies for 21st -Century Life Choices. In:
    Romani Studies 28(1): 5–40.
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2016a). Romani Performance and the Music of Celebration: Traditional
    Weddings in Pre-and Post-1990 Southern Romania. In: Von Hora, Doina und Lautaren, Einblicke 2 in die rumänische Musik und Musikwissenschaft, (Forum Rumänien), Th. Kahl, (Ed.). Berlin: Frank und Timme (pp. 129–41).
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2016b). Professionalization among young Romani musicians: strategies of music-making in contemporary Romania. In: Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe: New Scopes of Research and Action, L. Mellish, N. Green, M. Zakić, (Eds.). Belgrade: Faculty of Music, (pp. 107–12).
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2016c). Romani Performance and the Music of Celebration: Traditional
    Weddings in Pre-and Post-1990 Southern Romania. In: Romanian Studies Association of
    America Newsletter
    XXVII(II): 1–9.
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2012). Romani (Gypsy) Poetry. In: The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 4th ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, (pp. 1207–8).
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2010). Schimbarea identităţilor în România postcomunistă: convertirea la penticostalism în rândurile lăutarilor romi. In: Spectrum. Cercetări sociale despre romi, S. Toma, L. Fosztó László, (Eds). Cluj-Napoca: Editura Institutului pentru Studierea Problemelor
    Minorităţilor Naţionale, (pp. 267–79).
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2007). Muzica Orientală: Identity and Popular Culture in Post-Communist Romania. In: Balkan Popular Culture and the Ottoman Ecumene: Music, Image, and Regional Political Discourses, D. A. Buchanan, (Ed.). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, (pp. 95–141).
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2006). Roma. In: Encyclopedia of World Folklore and Folklife, Vol. 3, W. M. Clements (Ed.). Westport, CT: The Greenwood Press, (pp. 395–408).
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2005). Romani (Gypsy) Music-Making at Weddings in Post-Communist
    Romania: Political Transitions and Cultural Adaptations. In: Folklorica: Journal of the Slavic and East European Folklore Association X(1): 39–51.
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2003). The Performance of ‘Oriental Music’ in Contemporary Romania. In: Ethnic Identities in Dynamic Perspective, S. Salo, C. Prónai, (Ed.). Budapest: Gondalat Ethnic and National Minority Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, (pp. 229–36).
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2001). Occupation and Ethnicity: Constructing Identity Among Romani
    (Gypsy) Musicians in Romania. In: Slavic Review 60(1): 24–49.

Works in Progress

  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2020a). Lăutari and the Dynamics of Marriage: Tradition and Change
    among Romani Musician Families in Southern Romania. In: Martor. The Museum of the
    Romanian Peasant Anthropology Review
    , Vol. 25 (forthcoming).
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2020b). Roma Making Music: Performing Culture in Contemporary Romania (a study of Romani musician families in southern Romanian society: culture, occupation, performance, and repertoire, based on ethnographic fieldwork) (forthcoming).
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2020c). Religious Faith and Identity in Contemporary Romania: Pentecostal Conversion among Traditional Romani Musicians (forthcoming).

Book Reviews

  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2019). Ioana Szeman, Staging Citizenship: Roma, Performance and
    Belonging in EU Romania
    . In: Feminist Review 122(2): 211–12.
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2014). Featured Review of Carol Silverman, Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora. In: Slavic Review 73(1): 158–61.
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2005). Gilad Margalit, Germany and its Gypsies: A Post-Auschwitz Ordeal. In: Monatschefte für deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur 97(1): 148–50.
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2002). Alaina Lemon, Between Two Fires: Gypsy Performance and Romani Memory from Pushkin to Post-socialism in Slavic and East European Journal 46(3): 632–33.
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (1999). Irén Kertész-Wilkinson, The Fair is Ahead of Me: Creativity and Social Context in a Hungarian Vlach Gypsy Song. In: Romani Studies 9(2): 141–43.

Selected Invited Lectures and Papers on Religion and Roma

  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2017a). Religious identity among Balkan Roma: Old and new communities of faith. Aristotelian University, Thessaloniki/Charles University, Prague Summer Seminar, Thessaloniki, Greece, June 18–30.
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2017b). Balkan Romani Musicians and the Evangelical Church: Occupation, Faith, and Identity. Gypsy Lore Society Annual Meeting, Nicosia, Cyprus, August/September.
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2015). Pentecostal Faith and Identity in Romania: Religious Conversion among Traditional Romani Musicians. Sociology & School of Sociology and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, November 2015.
  • BEISSINGER, M. H. (2009). Born-Again Romani Musicians: Evangelical Faith and Shifting
    Identities among Roma in Post-Communist Romania
    , Romanian Institute for Research on
    National Minorities conference: Two Decades of Scholarship: Romani Studies in Romania
    (1989–2009), Cluj-Napoca, Romania, October.