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PMC Lecture Series
Start Date: 1/25/2013Start Time: 7:00 PM
End Date: 1/25/2013End Time: 9:00 PM
This event recurs on a custom schedule.   Click here to see the series dates.

Event Description:

Music and Political Change in Myanmar

Recent years have witnessed tremendous political unrest in Burma/Myanmar. Minority separatist movements, economic stagnation, chronic detention of political prisoners and a multitude of other obstacles have plagued the history of this once prosperous nation. The detention of pro-democracy icon and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi between 1990 and 2010 compounded a crisis of political legitimacy and brought this forgotten country back into international news circles. Now in 2013, Myanmar is redefining itself—the military dictatorship has stepped aside, political prisoners have been released, the economy is recovering and Aung San Suu Kyi is a member of parliament.
Focusing on a wide variety of cases, supplemented by numerous audio and video examples, this presentation questions what role music has played in this tumultuous history. Not simply reflective of society, the role of music in Myanmar’s politics is not neutral but has been tied to the policies of the oppressing dictatorship and the pro-democracy resistance movements. From national unity festivals to monastic revolutions and from education policy to pro-democracy Internet campaigns, music has been a tool to both justify oppression and demand liberation and has been an active force in Myanmar’s struggles.

Gavin Douglas is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Head of the Music Studies Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He holds a BMUS degree (performance classical guitar) and a BA degree (philosophy) from Queen’s University (Canada), a MM (ethnomusicology) from the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD (ethnomusicology) from the University of Washington, Seattle. His research interests include aesthetics, nationalism, politics, and globalization. Douglas’s primary research area is in Burma/Myanmar where he has studied the role of music in both reinforcing and challenging the authority of the state. His recent work focuses on the ethnic minorities of the highlands and on Buddhist musical practice. His book Music in Mainland Southeast Asia explores cultural diversity, political trauma and globalization across Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The Price Music Center Lecture Series has become the way diverse cultures and their musics are brought to our department, our campus, and our students. Second only to CenterStage, the PMC Lecture Series is The Way The Arts are able to show Diversity Initiatives to the greater community. More and more, the value of the PMC Lecture Series is proving to be an extraordinary gift to this university and its students.

Please join us for these exciting events in our Series:
September 21- Laith Ulaby (Music and the Arab Spring)

January 25- Donna Kwon (North Korea)

March 21- Gavin Douglas (Myanmar-Aung San Suu Kyi)

Location Information:
Thompson Hall

Thompson Hall - Thompson Hall

Thompson Hall - Thompson Hall
Room: Studio Theatre
Contact Information:
Name: Music Department
Phone: 919-515-2981
Admission Information:
$10 Public, $8 Senior Citizens, Students, NCSU Faculty & Staff, $5 NCSU Students, children under 12 free with ticketed adult. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call Ticket Central at 919-515-1100.
Event URL:

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