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Music, conflict and memory

Exploring music’s relationship with conflict around the world, and its enduring presence in cultural memory.

With interdisciplinarity at its heart, this research strand explores the role of music in constructing identities, and in stoking and commemorating conflict, including at and in response to the battle of Gallipoli in France during World War I, and among Republican communities in Northern Ireland.

Past work in this area has brought our School into collaboration with other schools at the University, including the Schools of Modern Languages, Welsh, and Journalism, Media and Culture.


Current projects in this strand include Dr Rachel Moore’s exploration of the role of music in shaping ‘Allied’ identity during the First World War.

Past projects have included Sounding Dissent by Dr Stephen Millara study of Irish rebel songs, which was awarded at High Commendation in the British Association for Irish Studies Book Prize 2021.

Professor John Morgan O’Connell has worked extensively in this area of research, publishing the monograph Commemorating Gallipoli through Music in 2017, and contributing a chapter, ‘Free radical: music, violence and radicalism’, to the Journal of Popular Music Studies.