Season 4 is the outcome of a year of research, thinking, and writing on the topic of belonging. I have felt myself gradually moving more and more toward the research on belonging as I increasingly understand our present challenges of loneliness, isolation, identity conflicts, and disconnection (human to human and ecological). Based on my read of these challenges, I believe that peacebuilding and music education must take the next steps to be informed by the deep and emerging scholarship on belonging.
Belonging is also interesting to me as a peacebuilder because it can be at the root of repair AND it is at the root of violence. As we encounter stereotypes and within and across group violence, we might see that barriers to belonging and exclusionary forms of belonging are often at the root of violence. In the absence of acceptance and loneliness, we may find belonging within extremist groups that espouse hateful ideologies.
And belonging can be at the root of expansive senses of hospitality and the roots of repair. What does it look like to lower our barriers to belonging? In a time of ecological destruction, how do we find a deeper sense of belonging with our sense of place and our care for that place? I imagine that the arts and music in particular are perfectly situated to imagine new ways of belonging and lower the barriers to craft more expansive and hospitable spaces.
Join me as we focus on belonging with musicians, music educators, neuroscientists, psychologists, and more. Our topics will include musical reclamations, musical identities, the neuroscience of sound and belonging, the psychology of our emotional lives, belonging and refugee choirs, peacebuilding, and the reparative work of world music drumming. I can't wait to share this journey with you!