Queer Voices: The roles of music in LGBTQ lives

Date: 26 June 2018

Venue: Theaterzaal in Het Bos - Ankerrui 5-7 - 2000 Antwerpen

Time: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Principal investigator: Prof. dr. Alexander Dhoest, prof. dr. Henk de Smaele

Short description: PhD defence Marion Wasserbauer - Department of Communication Studies


In summary, I focus on the roles of music in the lives and the identity processes of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and queer persons over the age of 18, researching to what extent, and most of all, how music plays a role in LGBTQ lives.

Little work has focused specifically on the experience of music in individual LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer) lives, in an overarching manner and on an everyday basis, nor on how music works within LGBTQ identities. My main research aim was to explore what roles music plays in the lives of LGBTQs, if there are any specific ways music works in the lives of LGBTQs, and if so, in which ways and what music.  In order to explore the roles of music in LGBTQ lives, I co-constructed 22 oral history interviews with my research narrators and investigated narratives connecting music and identity within these oral histories. I listened to what music the interviewed persons like, and what emotions, values and experiences are connected to that music.

My second research aim was to investigate how music works in telling life stories, and how it can provide new insights into LGBTQ identities. This question connects two main research domains: LGBTQ studies on the one hand, and the sociology of music on the other hand. This innovative, audiovisual approach to oral histories was also inspired by engaging with the concept of the queer archive, feminist research ethics and a strong belief in embodied, reflexive knowledge.

In brief, in part one of my dissertation, I review and discuss literature on (LGBTQ) identity and music which has informed my research. In order to situate my research in the geopolitical area it was conducted in, I provide an overview of the situation for LGBTQs in Flanders, Belgium. Then, I delve into the discussion of my research methodology and ethics. After introducing the 22 narrators briefly, I move on to the empirical case studies. In part two of my dissertation, five chapters explore five topics which are dominant within and throughout the oral history interviews. In a bottom up approach, I engage with similarities among the narrators’ stories and experiences. Music and identity function on many different levels, therefore the analyses focus on different aspects as well. Some chapters are built around a shared sense of individual identity; others around musical topics, exploring outspoken as well as unconscious connections between music and identity.

Contact email: marion.wasserbauer@uantwerpen.be

Link: https://repository.uantwerpen.be/desktop/irua/core/index.phtml?language=E&euser=&session=&service=opacirua&robot=&deskservice=desktop&desktop=irua&workstation=&extra=loi=c:irua:141676