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Sociology Seminar Series: Music and Hope

Sociology Seminar Series: Music and Hope

Music and Hope | Tia de Nora (Exeter University, UK) and Gary Andsell (freelance music therapist and researcher)


Hope is an activity that is accomplished and developed through recourse to cultural materials including music. This talk examines hope in critical context and considers music as it works to support hope and hoping. We describe how engagement with music can remdiate experiential time and orientation to ongoing scenic realities, using examples from our ongoing AHRC Care for Music project, and from our previous research project on music and mental health. We consider how engagement with music can facilitate imaginative redefinition of situations and how hoping needs to be understand in relation to pragmatic problem solving. We describe what it can mean to speak of hope as a means for empowerment. Bearing in mind that hope can be exploited, we suggest that  it is nonetheless an important resource for activism and for processes of change. 


Gary Ansdell is an experienced music therapist, trainer and researcher. He currently has academic and teaching positions at the universities of  Exeter, Bergen and Limerick, and is an Associate of Nordoff Robbins, UK, where he is Convenor of the MPhil/PhD programme. His books include How Music Helps in Music Therapy and Everyday Life (Routledge 2014) and Musical Pathways in Recovery (Routledge 2016). He is a Co-Investigator with Tia DeNora, Wolfgang Schmid and Randi Rolvsjord on the AHRC Care for Music Project.

Tia DeNora teaches at the University of Exeter and is a Professor II at the University of Bergen. Her most recent book is Hope: The dream we carry (Palgrave Macmillan 2021). She has worked with Gary Ansdell since 2005 and with him co-edits the Routledge Series on Music & Change.

Register here to receive zoom details 2 days before the seminar begins

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences