The Sound and Society workshop is a new interdisciplinary hub for those concerned with sound across music, art, rhetoric, history, science and technology, sociology, and more. This workshop acknowledges that the production, distribution, and consumption of sound is uniquely intertwined with the social lives of people. Sound can be a vehicle for pleasure (like an orchestra performing a Beethoven symphony), but it can also signify resistance (like the collective chant of protest), violence (like the oppressive propaganda transmitted over radios of Nazi Germany), or sanctuary (like the noise‐blocking aspirations of headphone culture). Either way, sound denotes power, and as scholars, we need to shed light on the manifold ways that music and sound are deeply intertwined with history, people, and society.

As an antidote to visual-centric scholarship, Sound and Society invites scholars from all fields to present research that explores the sonic perspectives of their fields. Possible topics might include research into:

  • Sonic analyses of films, literature, albums, video games, art, or any new media.
  • Soundscape studies, ecocriticism (ecomusicology, sound walks).
  • Sound and technology (prosthetics, wearable technology, algorithms, music streaming services)
  • Adaptation and remediation (literary studies, museum installations, cross-sensory phenomena)
  • Sound art and performance
  • Conceptions of “voice” across disciplines

We are currently looking for presenters for the Winter and Spring quarters in addition to respondents throughout the year. All meetings will take place on Wednesdays from 4:45-6:15pm, unless specified otherwise. Refreshments will be served at each meeting. Please join us for the following events:

October 4 (Logan Center, Room 802)Steve Rings, Associate Professor, Department of Music; “Sounding ‘Hard Rain’” (a chapter from his upcoming book on Bob Dylan).

October 18: American Musicological Society/Society for Music Theory Conference Dry Runs

October 25American Musicological Society/Society for Music Theory Conference Dry Runs

November 15Julianne Grasso, PhD Candidate, Department of Music, Title TBD + “Free Play” video game session

November 29Ana Ilievska, PhD Candidate, Department of Comparative Literature, “‘…but this buzzing, this perpetual ticking:’ Pirandello and the Machine: A Sonic Analysis”

December 6“Hot Take” Session: a panel of scholars from different fields will discuss a single TBD sonic object (whether music, film, or media event) pertinent to our contemporary soundscape. Expect an exciting announcement about this in mid-October.

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