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UW-Eau Claire Alumnus Awarded Fulbright
to Research Dissident Czech Musical Communities

RELEASED: July 5, 2006

Trever Hagen
Trever Hagen

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire alumnus Trever Hagen has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to research dissident Czechoslovak musical communities during the years of 1971-89.

Hagen, a 1999 Eau Claire Memorial High School graduate who completed a bachelor's degree in sociology at UW-Eau Claire in 2003, will interview many of these musicians and apply specific social theories to explicate the data.

Based in Prague, Czech Republic, Hagen will travel around much of the country to learn about the purpose of their music, the threat of imprisonment for playing unsanctioned music, how they formed their communities and why it was important in the face of the policies of the Czechoslovak communities.

Hagen, who has been teaching English in Prague since 2004, decided to apply for the scholarship after visiting a concentration camp (Terezin) in northern Czech Republic.

"The camp was full of paintings, music, theater, costumes, etc.; all created by individuals who were sent there," Hagen said. "This highlighted the rather dark relationship that art and oppression have. I began to research how communism played a factor in producing some very interesting music from these dissident musicians."

Hagen did similar research regarding the construction of the New Orleans jazz community during his undergraduate degree in the sociology department, said Jeff Erger, associate professor of sociology.

"My Fulbright proposal is all based on theory that I learned from his classes and is an integral part of the research," Hagen said of classes taught by Erger.

Hagen's New Orleans jazz won the sociology department's Rowan Paper Competition, which is only awarded when papers are of the highest quality, Erger said.

"His proposed project seems to be a wonderful next step in his academic pursuits," Erger wrote in his letter of reference for Hagen's Fulbright application. "It continues his interest in Cohen's theory of community as well as delving more deeply into Social Identity Theory. I have the fullest confidence in his ability to complete this project, and to do so very well indeed."

Administered by the U.S. State Department, the Fulbright Scholarship program provides funds for students, scholars and professionals to conduct research. A total of 1,000 grants are given each year for study in 144 countries.

After he completes his Fulbright, Hagen plans to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology to further study art and oppression and how it affects identity.

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JW/JB

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