Call for papers for International Conference Soundscapes of Trauma


International Conference Soundscapes of Trauma: Music, Violence, Therapy
Athens, 23-25 May 2019 | Panteion University, Athens, Greece

Co-organized by SIMM, Brussels (

Titled Soundscapes of Trauma, the conference explores negative and positive uses of music and sound in detention, incarceration, and warfare. Music has been intrinsically linked with repression, punishment, and warfare, as well as therapy and survival in situations of detention, war, and conflict zones. Music torture and sonic weapons are only a few examples that are by no means limited to contemporary times. At the same time, there is a growing scholarship on the beneficial effects of music in war and/or detention (e.g. prisons, refugee camps, immigration centres), showing how it can bridge ethnic/social differences, encouraging community building.

The conference encompasses a broad range of historical periods to contemporary times. Thoroughly interdisciplinary, it welcomes papers from across disciplines including musicology, ethnomusicology, history, trauma studies, social anthropology, medical humanities, human rights and international law, and psychoanalysis. Practitioners, human rights organizations and activists are invited to submit proposals, as the conference emphasizes the pressing need for inter-sectoral dialogue between academics, researchers, and practitioners working with survivors or detainees in prisons, refugee camps, and immigration centres, among others. Topics may include:

  • Sound, music, war, and conflict
  • Soundscapes of detention
  • Music and ‘re-education’
  • Music, torture, justice
  • Music, sound, and human rights
  • Sound, trauma, memorialization
  • Music, traumatic memory, testimony
  • Music in prisons
  • Music in refugee camps
  • Music programmes in sites of detention
  • Music therapy for trauma survivors

The conference language will be English. Proposals for 20-minute papers should be submitted in the form of a 250-word abstract accompanied by a 100-word biographical note, contact information, and professional affiliation; independent scholars are welcome to submit. Proposals for panel sessions should include a 300-word statement explaining the panel’s rationale as well as paper abstracts and biographical notes of speakers. Proposals should be submitted by e-mail to Dr Anna Papaeti at: by Friday, 21 September 2018. Acceptance notifications will be sent by Friday, 2 November 2018.


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