CFP: “Music as Resistance to Genocide” International Workshop — 26 October 2015, Los Angeles (Deadline: March 1, 2015)

CFP: “Music as Resistance to Genocide” International Workshop — 26 October 2015, Los Angeles
Deadline: March 1, 2015

CALL FOR PAPERS: International Workshop “Music as Resistance to Genocide”

Organized by the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research in collaboration with the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

26 October 2015, Los Angeles, CA

The Center for Advanced Genocide Research at the USC Shoah Foundation in collaboration with the Thornton School of Music announce the international workshop “Music as Resistance to Genocide” at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

For this international workshop, which will take place at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on 26 October 2015, we seek applications from scholars of any discipline for papers focused on the general question: “What role does music play for individuals or groups of people to effectively resist and prevent genocide or other forms of mass violence?”

We invite papers which address the following research questions: When does Music playing or composing constitute resistance towards mass violence?  Can music support resistance?  How do we classify oppositional music? How does music which was originally not written as an oppositional act become resistance? Are certain kinds of music more oppositional than others?  Do individual or group music activities have more impact, and can they help stop the violent radicalization of a genocidal society? Which cultural traditions support the development of musicians and/or music opposed to violence?   Does hidden or private music playing have the same impact as public performances?

We appreciate case studies on individual musicians during genocides (ranging from colonial genocides of the 19th century to more contemporary examples as Guatemala and Rwanda) as well as more analytical work on the role of music within one genocidal state—such as orchestras or music groups as one kind of resistance groups in various societies—and also on group resistance in countries that did not turn genocidal, such as South Africa.  Since the aim of the workshop is to enhance the understanding of how to resist genocidal processes, we also seek contributions that will discuss music and resistance from a theoretical standpoint, drawing on resources from disciplines such as psychology, sociology, history, philosophy, anthropology, etc.

The workshop will include paper presentations and discussions as well as musical performances.

The USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research ( is dedicated to advancing new areas of interdisciplinary research on the Holocaust and other genocides. One area of research addresses the fundamental question of what enables people to oppose or resist racist ideologies, state discrimination practices, or the active participation in mass atrocities. Other research interests include Research on Violence, Emotion and Behavioral Change and Digital Genocide Studies.

The USC Thornton School of Music is one of the premiere music schools in the United States and has been at the forefront of Holocaust education for many years.  It was the first music school in the United States to offer courses in music related to the Holocaust and other genocides, and it was represented on the California Legislature citizens committee that helped draft successful legislation mandating the teaching of genocide awareness in California schools.

The University of Southern California provides unique research resources: the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive with nearly 52,000 interviews from survivors and eyewitnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides, The Lion Feuchtwanger collection, a new Holocaust and Genocide studies collection, and private papers of persecuted musicians such as the Hanns Eisler papers.

Please send a CV and a one-page abstract of the proposed paper

before 1 March 2015 to