Event Time and Date

Friday, October 13 2017, 1:00 PM to Saturday, October 14 2017, 10:00 PM
168 Days until this Event

Techniques of Listening
A Conference Organized by the Music and Sound Studies Interdisciplinary Student Group

Keynote Speakers: Charles Hirschkind (UC Berkeley) and Emily Dolan (Harvard)

As a way of knowing and interacting with the world, techniques of listening constitute a wide range of socially and historically circumscribed practices that shape our subjective positions and collective identities. Techniques of listening orient the ear and represent sound in distinct and often contradictory ways.

Techniques of listening are bound up in the materials and instruments we listen with and to, but they are also found in the ideologies and cultures that define, use, and misuse sound and music. With this conference, we wish to shed light on the aesthetic, scientific, technical, legal, medical, historical, social, cultural, religious, and philosophical ways of listening as they pertain to any kind of music and/or sound.

We welcome investigations across a wide range of disciplines, and invite submissions on, but not limited to, the following: 

  •  Practices, theories, and methodologies of listening
  •  Epistemologies and ontologies of sound
  •  Intersections of gender, class, and race
  •  Sound, deafness, and disability
  •  Politics and ethics of music, sound, silence, and noise
  •  Music and sound in film
  •  Literature and the arts
  •  Sound and embodiment
  •  Soundscapes

As a conference organized for and by graduate students, preference will be given to submissions from graduate students and early career scholars.

The conference committee welcomes individual papers and proposals for panels and roundtable discussions. Please use one of the following formats:

  • For individual 20minute contributions: up to 300 words.
  • For themed paper sessions or panel discussions: up to 300 words per contribution plus 300 words outlining the rationale for the session.
  • For sessions of up to 120 minutes in innovative formats such as work presentations, artist talks/readings, sound essays, composition workshops, and other presentations not covered by the usual format of academic papers: up to 750 words outlining the form, content and rationale for the session.
  • Please include a list of key terms; a biographical byline of no more than 50 words; and specification of any AV technology and/or other equipment needed.

Proposals should be submitted by June 1, 2017 for review. Final papers must be submitted by September 29, 2017. Please send proposals to mss@umn.edu.

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Charles Hirschkind’ s research interests concern religious practice, media technologies, and emergent forms of political community in the Middle East, North America, and Europe. He gives particular attention to diverse configurations of the human sensorium, and the histories, ethics, and politics they make possible. Taking contemporary developments within the traditions of Islam as his primary focus, he has explored how various religious practices and institutions have been revised and renewed both by modern norms of social and political life, and by the styles of consumption and culture linked to global mass media practices. Hirschkind’s first book, The Ethical Soundscape: Cassette Sermons and Islamic Counterpublics (Columbia 2006), explores how a popular Islamic media form the cassette sermon has profoundly transformed the political geography of the Middle East over the last three decades. His more recent project is a study of the different ways in which Europe’s Islamic past inhabits its present, unsettling contemporary efforts to secure Europe’s Christian civilizational identity. Taking southern Spain as his focus, Hirschkind explores the forms of history and memory that mediate and sustain an active relation to Europe’s Islamic heritage, and the impact these forms have on the ethical and political possibilities of finding a place for Islam in Europe today.

Emily Dolan specializes in late Enlightenment and early Romantic music and aesthetics. In particular, she focuses on issues of orchestration and instrumentality and on the intersections of music, science, and technology. Dolan has published articles in Current Musicology, Eighteenth-Century Music, Popular Music, Studia Musicologica, Keyboard Perspectives, and 19th-Century Music. She is interested in the intertwined history of musical and scientific instruments: in 2011, she published a co-authored essay with John Tresch (UPenn, History of Science) in Opera Quarterly on the role and reception of machines in French grand opera and in 2013 Tresch and Dolan published “Toward a New Organology” in Osiris. In April 2008, she organized an interdisciplinary conference at Penn, Herder, Music, and Enlightenment, which explored the role of music in Herder’s philosophy. Dolan’s first book is The Orchestral Revolution: Haydn and the Technologies of Timbre (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Currently, Dolan is working on a collaborative project on timbre with Alexander Rehding and on her second book, "Instruments and Order."

Ferguson Hall Room 280

School of Music, Ferguson Hall 2106 4th St S, Minneapolis, MN
Event Categories:

Concert, Conference, Film Showing