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about the speaker

Kathryn Marsh is Associate Professor of Music Education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. With a PhD in ethnomusicology and professional background in music education and English as a Second Language, she has undertaken extensive ethnographic research focusing on culturally diverse practices in children’s musical lives, most recently the social, emotional and cultural role of music in the lives of refugee children and young people. She has been the recipient of major national research grants which have involved large scale international cross-cultural collaborative research into children’s musical play in Australia, Europe, the UK, USA and Korea. Her field recordings from this research are now held as a special collection in the British Library.

She is the editor of Research Studies in Music Education and a current or recent member of the editorial boards of Psychology of Music, International Journal of Play, International Journal of Music Education and British Journal of Music Education. She was section editor of the Oxford Handbook of Music Education and is frequently invited to present results of her research internationally.

Publications include:

The Musical Playground: Global Tradition and Change in Children’s Songs and Games (OUP, 2008) – winner of the Folklore Society’s Katharine Briggs Award and the American Folklore Society’s Opie Award.

The title of her paper is: Creating bridges: music, play and wellbeing in the lives of refugee and immigrant children and young people.


For any enquiries about this event, please contact Tara-Sienna Hartman at

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

The Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture is held in Trinity term. It is named after Professor Elizabeth Colson, a renowned anthropologist.

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Forthcoming events

Beyond Livelihoods: A Protracted Displacement Economy Approach

Wednesday, 17 January 2024, 5pm to 6.30pm @ Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB

Displacement from Conflict: Old Realities, New Protections?

Wednesday, 31 January 2024, 5pm to 6pm @ Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB

Refugee History in the Gaza Strip

Wednesday, 07 February 2024, 5pm to 6pm @ Seminar Room 1, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB

Evacuations as Displacement

Wednesday, 14 February 2024, 10am to 11am @ Online via Zoom

Book launch: Becoming Adult on the Move: Migration Journeys, Encounters and Life Transitions

Wednesday, 21 February 2024, 5pm to 6pm @ Seminar Room 1, Oxford Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB