BRAMS – CRBLM Lecture Series: Keynote Lecture by Dr. Bill Thompson
Music and intercultural understanding
Abstract: Music is a powerful stimulus for wellbeing and interpersonal connection and is increasingly applied to promote intercultural understanding. Yet there is little understanding of the social and psychological processes by which music has such effects. The aim of this talk is to consider the psychosocial impact and psychological underpinnings of music when used to address the challenges of people who are marginalized or stigmatized, and to promote social cohesion and intercultural understanding in multicultural societies. A framework is presented that considers the active ingredients and underlying mechanisms of music that confer physical, psychological and cultural benefits across segments of society.
Short bio: William Forde (Bill) Thompson is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, where he is Director of the Music Sound and Performance Lab. His research and publications concern the connections between music and cognition, emotion, ageing, and intercultural understanding. He is author of the book Music, Thought and Feeling: Understanding the Psychology of Music (2014, 2nd edition, OUP), Editor of the Sage Encyclopedia of Music in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2014) and Editor (with Kirk Olsen) of The Science and Psychology of Music (2020, ABC-Clio). Over his career, he has been elected as President of three societies in his field: the Australian Music Psychology Society, the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, and the Asia-Pacific Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music. In 2015, he was made a Fellow of the North American Association for Psychological Science. He is currently working at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, on music and intercultural understanding.