Newsletter No. 8 from 8th of June 2011
Dear colleagues and friends,
In this edition of the MCS newsletter you will find information on an upcoming presentation, a brief report on our workshop “Music Torture: Research Perspectives” and updates on our work on the topic generally, and information about our Study Day on 24 June. We are also pleased to announce the introduction of a new system to enable researchers and students to access the books held by the research group.
1. MUSIC AND CHILD SOLDIERS IN THE SIERRA LEONEAN CIVIL WAR: PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION, 15 JUNE 2011
In winter 2011, group member Cornelia Nuxoll conducted extensive fieldwork in Sierra Leone on the role of music in the life of child soldiers and young combattants during the civil war in the early 1990s. She will present some initial results of this research as part of the regular research colloquia organised by the Department of Musicology, on Wednesday 15 June 2011 at 6 p.m. The event takes place in the lecture room (Hörsaal) of the Department, address please see below. The presentation will be in German and is open to all.
2. MUSIC TORTURE: RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES
On 29 April, with generous support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, the group hosted a workshop aimed at established the state of research and research priorities for work into the use of music in connection with torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. In terms of participant numbers, this was our largest event to date, a fact that reflects the general level of interest in this topic. The workshop combined contributions from practitioners in the fields of human rights advocacy (Stefan Kessler, Amnesty International Germany) and of treatment and rehabilitation of torture victims (Sibylle Rothkegel, International Academy for Innovative Pedagogy, Psychology and Economics (INA)) with case studies from researchers working on instances of the use of music in connection with torture: Juliane Brauer (MPI for Human Development Berlin) discussed examples from the concentration camps Sachsenhausen and Auschwitz, Anna Papaeti (University of Göttingen) presented initial findings of her research into music torture during the Greek Junta, and Suzanne G. Cusick (New York University) shared her latest research into the experiences of former inmates of US detention camps. Perspectives for future research from the field of music psychology and music and medicine were discussed by Gunther Kreutz (University of Oldenburg). The workshop also featured an advanced screening of the film “Musik als Waffe / Songs of War” by Tristan Chytroschek, which deals extensively with the origins and use of music during interrogation by US military and intelligence agencies, and with the development of sonic warfare.
An important finding of the workshop was that there is still not enough understanding of the nature and impact of music in the context of torture, which may lead to difficulties for survivors of this type of torture in seeking legal redress, applying for asylum, or gaining access to appropriate therapies. A priority for further work in this area is therefore to generate and distribute information on forms and impacts of this form of torture. As well as moving forward with work in this area, the group is seeking to expand the knowledge basis in the form of a database of known examples. Initial research done in advance of the workshop indicated a larger that expected range of examples of the use of music in connection with terror and CID punishment. Further details on our work in this area can be found on our website at
http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/207622.html where a longer report on the workshop will be published in the next few weeks.
3. MCS STUDY DAY, 24 JUNE 2011
On 24 June, from 10 p.m. to approx. 4 p.m., we will hold an informal study day to discuss some recent publications in the field of music and conflict from an ethnomusicological perspective. Since the exact location of the study day will depend on numbers, we would greatly appreciate if those interested in attending could register by 15 June 2011 by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org We will then send further details, including on the texts to be discussed, all of which are available in the MCS library.
4. MCS LIBRARY NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
With immediate effect, we are delighted to offer a new service to users of the library of the Department of Musicology, and other interested parties: The literature held by the group is now available for general use, on a day-by-day basis, and only in library of the Department of Musicology. Books must be ordered by telephone at least 24 hours in advance, and access cannot be guaranteed. For more information and a current literature list, please see http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/216534.html
5. LAST BUT NOT LEAST - "A FESTIVE SOIRÉE OF MUSICOLOGY IN GÖTTINGEN", 17 JUNE 2011
To mark the joint inaugural lecture given by Professors Birgit Abels, Andreas Waczkat and M. J. Grant, the Department of Musicology will host an evening of events and concerts on 17 June 2011 from 5 p.m., to which you are all cordially invited! More information is available here (English available soon): http://www.uni-goettingen.de/de/214832.html
Further general information on the research group is available under
The Research Group "Music, Conflict and the State"