Newsletter No. 17 from 6th of May 2013

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

In this edition of our newsletter you will find initial information on our next study day, a brief report from our conference Music in Detention, and some information on members of the group.


The next MCS study day will take place on 18 June from 12:15 to ca. 4 p.m. The Study Day is an opportunity to discuss relevant and new publications in our field of research.
Study Days are open to all: for organisational reasons we do ask, however, that you register by sending an e-mail to by Friday, 14 June. 

Details of the texts to be discussed at the Study Day will be provided in the next newsletter. 


The international conference “Music in Detention” took place in Göttingen on 15-16 March 2013. We welcomed researchers and guests from across Europe, North America and the Middle East to discuss various aspects of the use of music in detention centres, prisons, and prison camps. 
Papers presented at the conference covered a wide historical period from the Middle Ages to the present, with a particular focus on the twentieth century. A topic of particular interest was the use of music in connection with torture, although there were also several papers looking at the use of music by political prisoners particularly as a source of emotional and psychological strength and as a means of resistance in detention. The conference also raised the issue of the boundaries between forced and voluntary musical practices in detention, which are not always clear-cut. The role of music in creating, consolidating and expressing a number of different types of power structures in the specific context of detention is clearly a topic where more study is needed. 
The conference also stimultated discussion on a number of other points. These included the emotional strain experienced by researchers working on related topics in the longer term, as well as the ethical issue of how best to approach work on music and torture, particularly when working with survivors. It was noted that more work needs to be done on the subject of aural conditions of detention in general, not least since many prisoners express their difficulty in dealing with prolonged silence and not just prolonged noise.  
A full report on the conference will be available on our website in due course.  


Lisa-Maria Hallenberger has just joined the group as our new student assistant. As well as general admin tasks, Lisa will be helping us with our research on incidences of the use of music in the context of torture and CID punishment.
Dr. Anna Papaeti is currently on leave until Spring 2014. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Anna again for all her work organising the conference Music in Detention!

Further information on the Research Group can be found on our website:
Research Group "Music, Conflict and the State"

Best wishes

The Research Group "Music, Conflict and the State"