Textual Soundscapes and Oral Archives (Seminar)


Cultural Studies and Media Studies / Interdisciplinary Humanities

Victor Sierra Matute (New York University)

Alba Solà Garcia (University of Pennsylvania)

Sound has always been there. However, its ephemeral condition has prevented us from critically listening to the past and even from thinking about our everyday sonic experiences. Moreover, the sonic materialization of the Logos--voice--has been systematically relegated to a second level, even when orality was present in the production of any kind of text.

Recent approaches to sound have re-examined the relationship between text and voice. Clear examples are Richard Cullen’s How Early America Sounded, Ana Maria Ochoa’s Aurality or companions like The Sound Studies Reader. This renewed interest in the voice has been also reflected in the creation of oral repositories (UNESCO Oral Archives Initiative, British Library Sounds, or PennSound).

Following this trend, our interdisciplinary seminar aims to explore the intersections between the textual and the oral in disciplines such as History, Literature, Philosophy, Anthropology, Art History, Performance or Cultural Studies. In keeping with the seminar format, we welcome papers describing case studies (from any culture and historical period) or theoretical approaches to sound and text.
Our interdisciplinary seminar aims to explore the intersections between the textual and the oral in disciplines such as History, Literature, Philosophy, Anthropology, Art History, Performance or Cultural Studies. In keeping with the seminar format, we welcome papers describing case studies (from any culture and historical period) or theoretical approaches to sound and text.