Lauren Braithwaite

Research Interests

Afghanistan; music education; music and conflict; music and politics; applied ethnomusicology; community music; music and Islam; music as therapy.

Area of proposed thesis

My research, supervised by Professor Samantha Dieckmann and Professor Eric Clarke, will assess the current place and utility of music education in ‘post-Taliban’ Afghanistan and investigate how and why certain ideologies, attitudes, and opinions towards music, musicians, and music education are formulated in society. Having lived and worked in Afghanistan for the past three years, I have witnessed first-hand the tense juxtaposition between the micro-community created by a music education institution and the society in which it operates, and the challenges this creates for students, teachers, and the wider community. Thus, by combining accounts of the lived experiences of music practitioners in Afghanistan with an in-depth analysis of the various religious, political and cultural perspectives on music in the country, I hope to assess to what extent these challenges impact the overall educational and therapeutic outcomes of music education projects in conflict zones and ultimately propose an inter-disciplinary pedagogical framework for music education in Afghanistan.


Oxford-Carolyn and Franco Gianturco Graduate Scholarship

Subjects Taught