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Working Title of PhD: ‘A language we all understand’? A practice-led exploration of the role of musical communication in re/integration of people who have migrated and people who have offended

Year commenced PhD study: 2017

Institution/Organisation: University of Glasgow

Funding Source: College of Social Science, University of Glasgow

Full or part-time: Full-time

PhD Supervisors: Prof Fergus McNeill, Prof Alison Phipps, Dr Jo Collinson-Scott, Ms Alison Urie

Synopsis of PhD:
‘A language we all understand?’ is an interdisciplinary doctoral project drawing on criminology, migration studies, applied linguistic and communication studies, and popular musicology. It is situated within the 3-year ESRC/AHRC-funded project ‘Distant Voices’, a practice-based collaborative action research project that aims to explore and practice re/integration after punishment through creative collaboration. This PhD adds a new strand to the Distant Voices project, seeking to explore the integration of migrants and asylum seekers through a similar lens. Kirkwood and McNeill (2016) note many similarities between the types of stigma and marginalisation faced by migrants and people with convictions.

This PhD takes a participatory and practice-based approach and the research will involve creative music workshops with groups of people who have lived experience of imprisonment and/or migration, working in partnership with various community organisations. The process of collaborative songwriting is seen here as a form of translation, and as such the work finds part of its theoretical underpinning in translation theory. In addition to a thesis, the final PhD submission will include recordings of songs created as part of the research process. A podcast called ‘Our Chance of Becoming Human’ documents some of the learning of the PhD as it progresses.

Keywords (for web searches, e.g. organised crime, violence etc): social integration through the arts, migration, translation theory



University of Glasgow


SCCJR, Ivy Lodge, 63 Gibson Street
University of Glasgow

Research Themes

Globalisation, Harm and Social Justice

Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice

No Publications Available

No Projects Available

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