"Singing in the Lion's mouth": Music as Resistance to Genocide: Conference Speakers


Alexandra Birch

Candidate for Masters in Music in Violin Performance, Arizona State University

Proposal: “Jewish Themes in the Music of Shostakovich: Commemoration and Resistance”

Alexandra Birch is a violinist and violist currently studying violin performance at Arizona State University with Dr. Katherine McLin. As a soloist she has toured extensively in the USA, Europe, Russia, and Asia. Ms. Birch’s research interests include the Holocaust in the former Soviet Union, undiscovered composers from the Holocaust, and music of the post-war Soviet Union.


Janie Cole

Visiting Professor, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Proposal: We the Black Nation: Music as Resistance in the Struggle Against Apartheid in South Africa”

Janie Cole is a musicologist who was awarded her PhD from the University of London. She currently teaches historical musicology at the University of Cape Town's South African College of Music with two specialty research areas. The first in Italian and French music, literature, opera and cultural history of the late 16th and early 17th centuries is the subject of her two scholarly books. The second in contemporary South African music, cultural and oral history related to music and human rights during the apartheid era is her current area of focus, resulting in the founding of Music Beyond Borders (MBB). She is writing a book about music as resistance in the apartheid prisons, including Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years), is Head of Research/Executive Producer for a documentary film in produciton by MBB/Afravision on the same topic, and is building a digital archive of oral testimonies. 

Tina Frühauf

Adjunct Professor, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Proposal: "Sounds Before Surrender: Theory and Actuality of Jewish Music Resistance under Nazi Rule"

Tina Frühauf, is a musicologist who was awarded her PhD from the Folkwang University of the Arts, in Essen, Germany. In addition to serving on the doctoral faculty at The Graduate Center, CUNY, she currently teaches at Columbia University. Her research is centered around the developing field of music and Jewish studies, especially in religious contexts but also art music, historiography, and Jewish community (through participatory action research), often crossing the methodological boundaries between ethnomusicology and historical musicology.  


Matt Lawson

PhD Candidate in Musicology, Edge Hill University, England

Proposal: "The Resistant Soundtrack: The Role of Film Music in Promoting On-Screen and Off-Screen Resistance to Genocide"

Matt Lawson has just completed a PhD in musicology at Edge Hill University, UK. His doctoral research, which examined the use of film music in German Holocaust cinema, has been presented at conferences across the UK, and internationally in Germany, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Australia and New York City. During the course of his study, Matt also spent ten weeks in Germany on funded Fellowship programmes, supported by the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure and the Deutsche Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD). He has recently worked as a consultant for the BBC, producing a website iWonder feature on the use of classical music in films, television shows and video games. 

Sandya Maulana

Professor of English, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia

Proposal: “The Song, Not the Singer: “Gendjer-gendjer” Today and the Changing Perspective on Indonesian Communist Purge” 

Sandya Maulana received his education from the Universitas Padjadjaran where he now teaches history of English and American literature at the Department of English. His research includes topics on fantasy and science fiction in literature, both in English and Indonesian. He has organized many events for the interdisciplinary institution Department of Literature and Cultural Studies at the Faculty of Arts, some of which include academic discussions, seminars, and theatrical and musical performances.


Barbara Milewski

Associate Professor of Music, Department of Music and Dance, Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania

Proposal: "Ludwik Starski's Forbidden Songs and an Overlooked Narrative of Polish Jewish Experience in Occupied Warsaw"

Barbara Milewski is a musicologist who was awarded her PhD from Princeton University. A polish music specialist, she has lectured extensively on Chopin and folk music, Pulish musical memory, and music of the concentration camps. Recently she has explored narratives of Polish/Jewish identity in the music of Polish films created during the first half of the twentieth century. Her scholarship has appeared in 19th-century Music, Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, 19th-century Music Review, and Holocaust and Genocide Studies.




Bret Werb

Music Collection Curator, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Proposal: “Censorship, Sabotage, and Self-Subversion in the Yiddish Shoah Song”

Bret Werb has served as the music researcher and sound collection archivist at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC since 1993. Werb earned his PhD in ethnomusicology at UCLA for research into the life and legacy of the Shoah song collector, Shmerke Kaczerginski.  He has programmed the museum’s long-running chamber music series, curated its online exhibition Music of the Holocaust, and researched and produced a series of CDs of ghetto, camp and partisan songs.  A contributor to The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies, and other reference works, he has lectured widely and collaborated on film, theater, recording, and concert projects.