Networked_Music_Review

American Quarterly: Special Issue on Sound

soundart.jpg[Image: Sound Art by Alan Licht] American Quarterly: Special Issue on Sound; Kara Keeling and Josh Kun, Guest Editors :: Call for Papers — Deadline: August 1, 2010.

The field of American studies has long been a familiar home to scholars interested in the social and cultural worlds of sound. Yet while visual culture has had a more visible presence on the pages of American Quarterly, sound has been heard in sporadic bursts, forceful whispers, and sudden critical noises. We propose a special issue of American Quarterly that highlights the key role of sound in the formation of central themes and areas of inquiry within contemporary American studies.

While the study of sound has gained momentum in the last three decades across a variety of disciplines, much remains to be gleaned from a rigorously interdisciplinary focus on sound in its cultural, political, technological, economic, socio-historical, spatial, temporal, affective, and formal contexts. The rise of new technologies for the production and circulation of sound has coincided with exciting historical investigations into the ways sound has functioned as a cultural force through various media. Provocative investigations into the sonic valences of subjectivity and the socio-cultural politics of listening have nuanced our understanding of the ways that sound functions to both disturb and recalibrate processes of identity and identification, and to form and de-form notions of nationalism, transnationalism, and post-nationalism.

Scholars whose work has been gathered into the emerging field of sound studies have played a vital role in thinking through sound as a critical space, thinking through listening as a critical and cultural act, and thinking through sonic media as key technological sites of investigation. New developments in network technologies, digital audio, and mobile media have not only shaken up the financial models of conventional media structures, but have radically altered the workings of the everyday sensorium (as Walter Ong might have called it) and the way we re-visit sound’s role in media histories — old and new, localized and transnationalized — across the Americas.

How are new sound technologies and sonic media practices impacting “American” identities in the age of globalization? What role have hearing and listening played in “American” formations of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, community, and class, and how has the birth of recorded sound in the late 19th century informed those formations? What are the political economies of sound? How do we begin to theorize the sound of American studies?

We seek work that delves more deeply into questions already being addressed about sound and/or that takes existing scholarship in new directions. We are particularly interested in scholarship that analyzes sound from within an interdisciplinary American studies framework and/or that explores inter-American soundscapes within the following areas:

-sound and media technologies
-sound and consumption
-sound and U.S. racial formations
-sound and citizenship, belonging, and community
-sound and nationalism
-sound and religion
-sound and time and/or temporality
-sound as historical method
-sound and political economy
-sound and social change
-sound and U.S. sexualities
-sound and/as theory

Email essays by August 1, 2010, to aquarter [at] usc.edu. Information about American Quarterly and submission guidelines can be found on our Web site.


Jul 18, 2010
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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