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Music and Prisons in Global Perspective @ Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting (New Mexico)

  • HOTEL ALBUQUERQUE AT OLD TOWN 800 Rio Grande Boulevard Northwest Albuquerque, NM, 87104 United States (map)

5A: Music and Prisons in Global Perspective 

Public Policy Session Live-Stream Link
Elizabeth Tolbert, Johns Hopkins University, Chair

Alison Frater, Chair of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance (UK), Keynote 

Alexander McLean, Founder of the African Prisons Project, Keynote 

Áine Mangaong, University of Oslo (Norway) Respondent
Maria Mendonca, Kenyon College (UK) Respondent
Anna Papaeti, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (Greece) Respondent

What might ethnomusicologists have to contribute to discussions on music in prisons at the level of public policy, and what can we learn from colleagues in other settings? The participants have all done work on music in prisons or other detention environments, and will discuss the challenges and successes of their work to date. The purpose is to engage with activists, policy makers, and academics to find common ground that might serve as a platform for building an international focus for promoting the transformative value of music in settings of detention. Alison Frater, Chair of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance in the UK, will present her organization’s policy and advocacy work in directly lobbying the government and working in a cross government initiative with prison ministries and departments responsible for arts and culture. Alexander McLean of the African Prisons Project will share reflections on the role music plays in prisons in Uganda and Kenya, including the “condemned choirs” CD and will consider the role of sacred music in prison churches, including Taize worship in African prisons. Respondents will engage with the keynote speakers’ issues in terms of their own work: Aine Mangaoang will discuss music in prisons in the Philippines and Norway, Maria Mendonça will discuss gamelan music in prisons in the UK, and Anna Papaeti will provide a historical perspective with music in contexts of detention during cold war Greece. The goal is to promote discussion among a wide interdisciplinary audience and to encourage activist work in ethnomusicology. 

Location: Franciscan Room

NOTE This session will be available online through the following link:

The Society for Ethnomusicology is offering live and archived video-streams of selected sessions from its 2018 Annual Meeting in Albuquerque. These streams are provided as part of an effort to increase access, nationally and internationally, to the content of our meeting. Below is a schedule of the video-streamed sessions. All streaming times listed are Mountain Standard Time (GMT-7).