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Laudan Nooshin, Ian Pace - Music Research Seminar Series



Speakers: Laudan Nooshin, Ian Pace

Laudan Nooshin: 'Sites of Memory: Public Emotionality, Gender and Nationhood in the Music of Googoosh'

nullIn June 2000, Googoosh (born Faegheh Atashin, 1951) - the best-loved Iranian pop singer of all time - left Iran after more than twenty years of silence. She toured to ecstatic audiences in packed stadia throughout Europe and North America, eventually settling in Toronto where she now lives.

This seminar will explore a number of aspects of Googoosh and her music, focusing on the extraordinary emotional response which her music seems to evoke for many Iranians. For instance, the concerts which followed her departure from Iran in 2000 were marked by a level of emotional outpouring - even abandon - unparalleled by any other performance of Iranian music. A great deal has been written about Googoosh in the popular press, and two documentaries have been made about her life, but relatively little academic work has explored this fascinating performer.

I will address a number of issues around questions of gender, nation and voice, focussing on some of Googoosh's post-2000 songs. This will include 'Q Q Bang Bang' and 'Zartosht', in which she explores issues of nationhood and belonging, diaspora and separation. In seeking to understand the ways in which Googoosh's music serves as a cathartic emotional outlet I will also refer to recent writings on music and public emotionality.

Ian Pace: 'Clifford Hindley: The Scholar as Pederast and the Aestheticisation of Child Sexual Abuse'

nullThe mysterious figure of J. Clifford Hindley, who died in 2006, is well-known to scholars of the music of Benjamin Britten for of a series of scholarly articles he published on Britten's operas in the 1980s and 1990s. During the same period Hindley also published a few articles on Classical Greece, focusing upon Xenophon and Sappho. Less well-known is the fact that in the earlier part of his life, Hindley was an ordained priest who worked for a period in India and published a range of theological articles. He then worked for a while at the Home Office in London, where he was head of the Voluntary Services Unit. This year, as part of wider investigations into organised sexual abuse, Hindley has been identified by former Home Office civil servant Tim Hulbert - who was Hindley's junior at the department - as the individual responsible for ensuring that a total of £70 000 from Home Office funds was given to the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
In this paper, I draw upon experience and expertise both as a critical/historical musicologist and as a campaigner and researcher on the subject of organised child abuse (especially in the field of classical music). I consider the obsessive focus upon paedophile themes in Hindley's writings themselves, and locate his jargon, aestheticisation and ideologies within a wider tradition of contemporary paedophile writing since the 1960s.The volume Greek Love (New York: Oliver Layton Press, 1964) by J.Z. Eglinton (Walter Breen), a member of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) who already had convictions for child abuse prior to the publication of this work, is a central text, leading to Kenneth Dover's Greek Homosexuality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978) - cited extensively by Hindley - which introduced the terms erastês and erômenos into the study of sexual exploitation of children, lending such activities a veneer of respectability through allusion to antiquity. I go on to consider this school of thought more widely in the context of a paedophile 'sub-culture' which  achieved some prominence in the 1970s and 1980s.

This paper draws upon and extends and expands some earlier work published on my blog Desiring Progress. Some of this specific research has been used by various national news programmes in the UK, whilst the work on Hindley was requested in order to brief members of the Home Affairs Select Committee in July 2014 in advance of their questioning of the Home Office Permanent Secretary Mark Sedwill on issues of historical PIE infiltration of his department.

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When and where

5.30pm - 7.30pmWednesday 12th November 2014

AG09 College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom