Established in 2011, The Sound and Society Workshop (formerly the Music History and Theory Workshop) began as a place to forge conversations between scholars about the histories, structures, and cultures of various musical practices in the West. Since then, the scope of music studies has increased exponentially, not only reaching to understand the new venues, politics, and economies of music in the 21st century but reimagining the very definitions of music and redefining its relationships to “sound,” “noise,” and “silence.”

The Sound and Society Workshop is a hub for students and faculty who analyze sound—in its many discursive guises—across the Humanities and Social Sciences at UChicago. Our workshop examines sound’s multiple facets, which include material, music-historical, music-analytical, technological, filmic, environmental, perceptual, and social perspectives. Following Jonathan Sterne, members of a diverse array of fields—from anthropology to animal studies—can be “sound students,” and thus we embrace unique and varied presentation formats, objects of study, and approaches.

The Sound and Society Workshop is generously supported by the University of Chicago Center for Advanced Study.