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Cultural Studies Program

Upcoming Events

Cultural Studies Program Seventeenth Annual Conference


April 13, 2013

This year's annual conference will feature scholarship by faculty and graduate students at the intersection of sound, music, and cultural studies. Classic texts such as Stuart Hall's (et. al.) Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman, Dick Hebdige's study of the punk scene in Subculture: The Meaning of Style, and Lawrence Grossberg's essays on affect and popular music have shaped Cultural Studies for decades, treating the production and consumption of music as the locations for ideology critique as well as locations for new futures. In the last ten years, the emergent field of Sound Studies has recast the study of sound-reproduction technologies, subcultural soundscapes, audiotopias, and sonic modernities. Sound Studies displaces the ocularcentrism of the West and engages acts of listening as deeply historical process. How does this "sonic turn" inform our continued engagement with cultural production, distribution, and consumption? What are the productive overlaps and tension between Sound Studies and popular music studies more generally?

Building on last year's conference on visibility, invisibility and war, this conference examines the relationship between sound and cultural studies in its broadest sense, from sound studies as a field to cultural studies work that rethinks the significance of music, performance, live and recorded sound, noise, protest, interference, sound and politics, etc. In the past year alone, the sound of politics and political protest has materialized new coalitions and exposed old alliances. Song, voice, score, symphony, shout, whisper, noise, and silence move from body to technology and back again. What does it mean to listen to cultural studies now? What is the relationship between Sound Studies and Popular Music Studies? How do new approaches to sound and music reimagine the Marxist, semiotic, ethnographic, and transnational foundations that have long shaped cultural studies?


All events will take place in the Faculty Room of the University Club, IMU

10:00-11:15     Opening Keynote Address: Jonathan Sterne (McGill University), "Who Tunes Whom?: Auto-Tune, the Earth Model, and the Politics of Frequency"

11:30-12:45     Panel 1: Music and Its Mediations

Ronda Sewald, "Bang the Drum for Jesus: Civilian Uprisings against the
Use of Musical Warfare by the Early Salvation Army"

Daniel Bishop, "Sounding Spaces of Nostalgia in The Last Picture Show and American Graffiti"

Ed Comentale, "Taylor Swift and the Cool Kids"

Moderated by Marissa Moorman

12:45-1:45       Lunch (provided by Cultural Studies)

2:00-3:15         Panel 2: Close Listening: Past, Present, and Future

Patrick Feaster, "'I Wish You Could See Me Now': Listening to the Phonographic Past"

Sue Tuohy, “Sonic Practices: Producing and Competing for Public Spaces,
Musical Communities, and Publics”

Phil Ford, “What Is the Sound of Revolution?”

Moderated by Micol Seigel

3:30-4:45         Closing Keynote Address: Daphne Brooks (Princeton University), "'A Women Is a Sometime Thing': Black Women Vocalists (Un)Doing Gershwinian Time”

The conference will be followed by a reception and dinner at the home of Shane Vogel

Co-Sponsored by the College Arts and Humanities Institute, the Department of Communication and Culture, the Department of American Studies, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of English, and the Department of Gender Studies.