Skip to main content
SVG version of QUB Shield - White
The Senator George J.Mitchell Institute
for Global Peace, Security and Justice

Project Investigators

Professor Fiona Magowan (PI)

Prof. Magowan is Principal Investigator of the project Sounding Conflict: From Resistance to Reconciliation (2017-2021). She is Professor of Anthropology and a Senior Fellow at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s University Belfast, where she is also the coordinator of a research stream focusing on Art, Performance and Cultural Heritage in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding.

She is working in the project stream with Musicians without Borders on the Music Bridge Project in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland together with Dr. Jim Donaghey, evaluating the effects and impacts of sound and music in different styles of creative practices and environments.  A second stream entails the comparative analysis of sound, music and the everyday through different conflict settings with Brazil. She is working with Prof. Pedro Rebelo, revisiting the Museu da Maré exhibition in Rio, to analyse its ongoing role in transforming memories of and socio-political responses to conflict among youth in the favela. This research between Northern Ireland and Brazil will lead to a sonic arts exhibition, which examines participatory music-making across project streams.

Fiona's research spans issues of movement, music and the senses in Anthropology and Ethnomusicology from Australia to Northern Ireland. She has published widely on sound and emotion in ecological, ritual and musical experience; intercultural value conflicts; and empathy and reconciliation in art and identity politics. Her books include Christianity, Conflict, and Renewal in Australia and the Pacific. (2016, Brill ed. with C. Schwarz); Performing Gender, Place, and Emotion: Global Perspectives. (2013, Rochester ed. with L. Wrazen); Melodies of Mourning: Music and Emotion in Northern Australia (2007, Oxford: James  Currey); Landscapes of Indigenous Performance: Music, Song and Dance of the Torres Strait and Arnhem Land. (2005, Aboriginal Studies Press ed. with K. Neuenfeldt) and Telling Stories: Indigenous history and memory in Australia and New Zealand. (2001 Allen and Unwin, ed. with B. Attwood).

Contact Fiona at:

Professor Pedro Rebelo (CO-I)

Pedro is a composer, sound artist and performer working primarily in chamber music, improvisation and sound installation. In 2002, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Edinburgh where he conducted research in both music and architecture.

As a co-investigator his Brazil Project addresses the lasting effectiveness of participatory sound art projects which reflect ideas of both resistance and reconciliation.  One of the outputs of the Sounding Conflict research project is a Sound Installation (which will be shown in Derry/Londonderry then taken to Museu da Maré in Rio de Janeiro).Curated by Pedro Rebelo with Matilde Meireles, the installation aims to juxtapose experiences and insights arising out of fieldwork across the various work streams.

His music has been presented in venues such as the Melbourne Recital Hall,  National Concert Hall Dublin, Queen Elizabeth Hall,  Ars Electronica, Casa da Música, and in events such as Weimarer Frühjahrstage fur zeitgenössische Musik, Wien Modern Festival, Cynetart and Música Viva. His work as a pianist and improvisor has been released by Creative Source Recordings and he has collaborated with musicians such as Chris Brown, Mark Applebaum, Carlos Zingaro, Evan Parker and Pauline Oliveros. Pedro has recently led participatory projects involving communities in Belfast and favelas in Maré, Rio de Janeiro. This work has resulted in sound art exhibitions at venues such as the Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, Espaço Ecco in Brasilia and Parque Lage and Museu da Maré in Rio.

His writings reflect his approach to design and creative practice in a wider understanding of contemporary culture and emerging technologies. Pedro has been Visiting Professor at Stanford University (2007) and senior visiting professor at UFRJ, Brazil (2014). He has been Music Chair for international conferences such as ICMC 2008, SMC 2009, ISMIR 2012. At Queen's University Belfast, he has held posts as Director of Education and Acting Head of School in the School of Music and Sonic Arts and is currently Director of Research for the School of Creative Arts, including the Sonic Arts Research Centre. In 2012 he was appointed Professor at Queen's and awarded the Northern Bank's "Building Tomorrow's Belfast" prize.

Dr Stefanie Lehner (CO-I)

Stefanie is Lecturer in Irish Literature at Queen’s University, Belfast, and Fellow at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. Her current research explores the role of the arts, specifically performance, in conflict transformation processes, with a focus on the Northern Irish context.

She also researches and teaches on representations of trauma and memory in (Northern) Irish drama, fiction, film, and photography. She is author of Subaltern Ethics in Contemporary Scottish and Irish Literature (2011) and her work has been published in Contemporary Theatre ReviewIrish ReviewIrish Studies Review, Irish University Review, and Nordic Irish Studies. She is Co-Investigator on two PaCCS projects: 'LGBTQ Visions of Peace in a society emerging from conflict' and the Sounding Conflict Storytelling in Northern Ireland Theatres Project.

Contact Steffi at:

Ariana Phillips-Hutton 

Ariana Phillips-HuttonAriana is a Research Fellow at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security, and Justice at Queen’s University Belfast. Her research combines theoretical reflection with ethnographic and historical methods to advance new ideas about how music/sound can open up spaces for deepening understanding of past, present, and future violence as well as contribute to contemporary social transformation. She also works on broad questions related to contemporary performance, trauma, cultural memory, and musical ethics.

Ariana’s research has ranged widely across genres and geographies of contemporary music, from South African cantatas to Canadian indie rock to Australian experimental music. Her PhD (University of Cambridge, 2017) focused on musical narratives of guilt, forgiveness, and reconciliation, while her first book, Music Transforming Conflict (Cambridge University Press, 2020), critiques the roles of musically mediated empathy and moral responsibility en route to a deeper understanding of music’s potential and limitations in effecting conflict transformation. More recently, her work has focused on the phenomenon of sonic witnessing within a documentarian and testimonial aesthetic in contemporary music.

In addition to working at Queen’s University Belfast, Ariana is an Affiliated Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, where she teaches on popular music and media, twentieth- and twenty-first century Western art music, and postcolonial theory/sound studies in the Faculty of Music. This year, she is supervising student research projects on music and care ethics during the COVID-19 pandemic, musical testimony and healing amongst Holocaust survivors, and refugees and sonic citizenship in the Celebrating Syria festival.

As part of the Sounding Conflict project, Ariana is examining the role of oral history and musical storytelling in contemporary composition as a means of building resilience amongst refugee populations in the United States, with a focus on the work of the composer Mary Kouyoumdjian and music education projects run by Buffalo String Works.  They Would Only Walk, composed by Mary Kouyoumdjian, was commissioned by Buffalo String Works in 2019. This performance was filmed in fall 2020 and features Buffalo String Works students, the Buffalo Chamber Players, and the words of BSW students and parents.

PhD: Is Sorry Really the Hardest Word?

Music Transforming Conflict:

Celebrating Syria:

Mary Kouyoumdjian:

Buffalo String Works:

Dr Julie Norman (CO-I)

Dr Norman is a Research Fellow at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security, and Justice, and she also lectures in Politics. Her research uses narratives to amplify marginalized voices in protracted conflicts, especially political prisoners, refugees, and youth in the Middle East. She is currently publishing an oral history based book on the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, and her first book, The Second Palestinian Intifada: Civil Resistance , Routledge (London) 2010, documented the experiences of nonviolent activists.

Julie also has an interest in community-based media projects in conflict areas. She was a co-coordinator of Voices Beyond Walls, a project that facilitated filmmaking workshops with refugee youth in the West Bank. Prior to coming to QUB, Julie was a lecturer at McGill University and Concordia University in Montreal, where she was the interim director of Concordia’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS), and was involved in the Life Stories Montreal Project documenting the experiences of individuals displaced by war, genocide, and mass atrocities.  

In the Sounding Conflict project, Julie is examining the role of music and sound in building youth resilience in conflict by working with Musicians Without Borders in Palestine, and by facilitating audio production workshops with Syrian Refugees on the Turkish border. 

Contact Julie at:

Dr Jim Donaghey (PDRA)

Dr Donaghey is a Research Fellow in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics based in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security, and Justice. His academic background is in political philosophy (anarchism and associated radical/revolutionary traditions), and he employs ethnographic methodologies in his research, for example in his PhD research (completed in June 2016 at Loughborough University) into the relationships between punk and anarchism in the contexts of Indonesia, Poland  and the UK. 

Jim is also the Web Editor of  Anarchist Studies.Blog journal and is a member of the editorial board of Punk & Post-Punk journal.

Dr Donaghey is co-researching a community music-making initiative working with Musicians without Borders - the Music Bridge Project in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland with Professor Fiona Magowan evaluating the effects and impacts of sound and music in different styles of creative practices and environments  This research analyses community music-making through the lenses of resistance, resilience, and reconciliation, as well as evaluating the peace building impacts of Music Bridge and similar initiatives. 

Contact Jim at:

Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards (CO-I)

Beverley Milton-Edwards is Professor of Politics and leads the project on Sounding Resistance: Hip Hop and Rap in the Syrian Conflict.

Her research focuses on security sector governance in the Middle East and the challenges of political Islam. Milton-Edwards is known for having pioneered both scholarship and practice in the field of conflict management, including ceasefires. She has worked as a special adviser to the European Union’s High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, as well as for the European Union Special Envoy to the Middle East Peace Process. She has been commissioned by a number of government departments for the United Kingdom, Norway and the Netherlands to provide her expert analysis on various topics including extremism, security sector reform, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Arab Spring.

In the Middle East, she has worked as a mediator in securing ceasefires, ceasefire monitoring, verification activities, and formal track II Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. From 2006 to 2010, she was the principal investigator to the European Union’s Civil Police Assistance Mission in Ramallah.

Professor Milton-Edwards is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Doha Center working on a project on Gulf mediation process and conflict resolution.

Contact Beverley at:

Contact Us

The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice
Queen's University Belfast
18-19 University Square
United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)208 9097 3413 / 3740

Facebook Twitter Blog