Music, Sound, and Power in Contemporary Places of Detention

20 Feb 2020
Tom Western (University of Oslo/University of Oxford)

This two-hour seminar featured lectures by Tom Western (University of Oslo/University of Oxford) and Áine Mangaoang (University of Oslo) on the significance of music for those in carceral spaces, including prisons and refugee camps.

Contemporary signs indicate we will soon be living in an age of mass incarceration. Recent years have witnessed a growth in academic investigation into the sonic qualities and musical experiences of those in carceral spaces, particularly prisons. But incarceration takes many forms beyond that of the “prison as punishment” model today as the carceral trend in using detention for immigration purposes continues to rise around the world. With this in mind, the presenters posed a number of thought-provoking questions, including: how can a focus on music and sound facilitate interrogations of politics and power in contemporary places of detention and containment? And how might musicians, music researchers, ethnographers, and anthropologists advocate for social justice by reaching out to and building alliances with communities that are impacted by these carceral trends?  

The seminar was hosted by ISS21 in association with the School of Applied Social Studies, the Department of Sociology and Criminology, the Department of Music and the MusConYP

Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

Top Floor, Carrigbawn/Safari Building, Donovan Road, Cork, T12 YE30