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Title: Sounding dissent : music, resistance, and Irish Republicanism in Belfast, 1964-2016
Author: Millar, Stephan Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 3594
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines how Irish republicans have used music as a means to resist the hegemonic power of the British state, stretching from the 1798 Irish Rebellion to the contemporary rebel music scene in Belfast. Through archival work, long-term participant observation, and interviews with artists and audiences involved in the production and consumption of republican music, the thesis demonstrates how such music provides a form of collective, emancipatory, participatory entertainment, as well as an articulation of what Irish republicans hope to achieve, politically. The thesis employs textual analysis of song texts; explores subaltern modes of production and dissemination; and examines the performance of republican songs as sonic weapon, acoustic shield, and social activity, echoing the claim that oppositional music practices not only act as a form of resistance against domination, but generate social relationships and experiences that can form the basis of a new cultural sensibility. This study departs from key anthropological texts on resistance, both in its focus and in how ‘resistance’ is conceptualised. Unlike Sluka (1989) and Aretxaga (1997), who describe republican resistance in its covert forms and as taking place when soldiers are present, the resistance I examine in my ethnography of the republican music scene in Belfast is much more overt and highly performative, albeit it in the absence of state agents. Here, resistance is an emic term, emerging from explicit comparisons between performing music and firing guns, as well as more indirect references to republican music’s being used as a means to endure suffering during the recent Northern Ireland conflict (1968-1998).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available