Dr. Morag Josephine Grant

Curriculum Vitae

Morag Josephine Grant, geboren 1972 in Lanarkshire, Schottland, studierte Musik und Musikwissenschaft in Glasgow, London und Berlin. Mit einer Dissertation über europäische serielle Musik der 1950er Jahre erlangte sie 1999 ihren Doktortitel am King’s College, London. 2005 erhielt sie ein Stipendium der DFG, um die globale Kulturgeschichte des schottischen Liedes „Auld Lang Syne“ zu erforschen. Von 2008 bis 2014 war sie Juniorprofessorin für Musikwissenschaft und Leiterin der Forschungsgruppe „Musik, Konflikt und der Staat“ an der Universität Göttingen. Die Gruppe erforschte den Einsatz von Musik zur Befürwortung, Ermöglichung und Begleitung von gewaltsamen Reaktionen in Konfliktsituationen. Zuvor lehrte Dr. Grant an der Humboldt-Universität und am European College of Liberal Arts in Berlin. Von November 2014 bis September 2015 war sie Fellow am Käte Hamburger Kolleg „Recht als Kultur“.


  • Musiksoziologie und historische Musikanthropologie
  • Musik und Gewalt, mit Schwerpunkt auf Krieg, Genozid und Folter
  • Theorie und Ästhetik neuerer und experimenteller Musik
  • Soziale Funktionen von Gruppenliedern
  • Musik und Menschenrechte
  • Musik in Schottland


Music, Conflict and Human Rights

The links between musical activities and practices, and traditional, ancient and modern systems of law and justice, are significant, multi-faceted, and widespread. As a social musicologist I am interested in the ways in which musical activities and practices, far from being mere modes of entertainment or forms of performative and expressive art, are integral to the way people live and organise their personal and institutional lives. I am particularly drawn to those connections between music and law where music is implicated in what, in modern terms, constitute violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.

During the fellowship, I will be working primarily on two key areas. The first concerns musical activities and practices as a factor in the advocacy of hatred and discrimination, in propaganda for war, and in incitement to genocide, and legal and other responses to such uses of music. As well as developments in national and international law and associated areas since the Second World War, I will also look at earlier examples of music’s use as a tool of political communication, and restrictions imposed on this form of communication. The second key area is a continuation of my work on the relationship between music and punishment, especially in the case of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In particular, I will conduct further comparative research into military justice and the laws of war as these relate to musical practices and symbolism. This research will form a central part of a planned monograph on the social musicology of war.

Publikationen (Auswahl)

  • Auld Lang Syne: A Song and its Culture, in Vorbereitung.
  • “Music and Human Rights”, in: The Sage Handbook of Human Rights, vol. 1 (Hrsg. v. Anja Mihr & Mark Gibney), London et. al.: SAGE Publication 2014, S. 499-514.
  • “Pathways to Music Torture”, in: Transpositions: Musique et sciences sociales 4 (2014), http://transposition.revues.org/494.
  • The Soundtrack of Conflict: The Role of Music in Radio Broadcasting in Wartime and in Conflict Situations (Hrsg. zus. mit Férdia J. Stone-Davis), Hildesheim: Olms 2013.
  • Torture: Journal of Torture Rehabilitation and Prevention of Torture 23/2 (2013), thematic issue on Music in Detention (Gast-Hrsg. zus. mit Anna Papaeti).
  • The world of music (new series) 2/1 (June 2013), thematic issue on Music and Torture / Music and Punishment (Gast-Hrsg. zus. mit Anna Papaeti).
  • Serial Music, Serial Aesthetics: Compositional Theory in Post-war Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2001; Taschenbuchausgabe 2005.