THE SONIC COLOR LINE RACE AND THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF LISTENING POSTMILLENNIAL POP

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The Sonic Color Line

Author : Jennifer Lynn Stoever
ISBN : 9781479835621
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 43.34 MB
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Race is a visual phenomenon, the ability to see “difference.” At least that is what conventional wisdom has lead us to believe. Yet, The Sonic Color Line argues that American ideologies of white supremacy are just as dependent on what we hear—voices, musical taste, volume—as they are on skin color or hair texture. Reinforcing compelling new ideas about the relationship between race and sound with meticulous historical research, Jennifer Lynn Stoever helps us to better understand how sound and listening not only register the racial politics of our world, but actively produce them. Through analysis of the historical traces of sounds of African American performers, Stoever reveals a host of racialized aural representations operating at the level of the unseen—the sonic color line—and exposes the racialized listening practices she figures as “the listening ear.” Using an innovative multimedia archive spanning 100 years of American history (1845-1945) and several artistic genres—the slave narrative, opera, the novel, so-called “dialect stories,” folk and blues, early sound cinema, and radio drama—The Sonic Color Line explores how black thinkers conceived the cultural politics of listening at work during slavery, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow. By amplifying Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, Charles Chesnutt, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, Ann Petry, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Lena Horne as agents and theorists of sound, Stoever provides a new perspective on key canonical works in African American literary history. In the process, she radically revises the established historiography of sound studies. The Sonic Color Line sounds out how Americans have created, heard, and resisted “race,” so that we may hear our contemporary world differently.
Category: Literary Criticism

Sound Clash

Author : Kara Keeling
ISBN : 9781421405711
Genre : History
File Size : 44.2 MB
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Race, sex, and gender.
Category: History

Modernity S Ear

Author : Roshanak Kheshti
ISBN : 9781479819935
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 63.93 MB
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Fearing the rapid disappearance of indigenous cultures, twentieth-century American ethnographers turned to the phonograph to salvage native languages and musical practices. Prominent among these early “songcatchers” were white women of comfortable class standing, similar to the female consumers targeted by the music industry as the gramophone became increasingly present in bourgeois homes. Through these simultaneous movements, listening became constructed as a feminized practice, one that craved exotic sounds and mythologized the ‘other’ that made them. In Modernity’s Ear, Roshanak Kheshti examines the ways in which racialized and gendered sounds became fetishized and, in turn, capitalized on by an emergent American world music industry through the promotion of an economy of desire. Taking a mixed-methods approach that draws on anthropology and sound studies, Kheshti locates sound as both representative and constitutive of culture and power. Through analyses of film, photography, recordings, and radio, as well as ethnographic fieldwork at a San Francisco-based world music company, Kheshti politicizes the feminine in the contemporary world music industry. Deploying critical theory to read the fantasy of the feminized listener and feminized organ of the ear, Modernity’s Ear ultimately explores the importance of pleasure in constituting the listening self.
Category: Social Science

Audiotopia

Author : Josh Kun
ISBN : 9780520244245
Genre : History
File Size : 46.88 MB
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“With Audiotopia, Kun emerges as a pre-eminent analyst, interpreter, and theorist of inter-ethnic dialogue in US music, literature, and visual art. This book is a guide to how scholarship will look in the future—the first fully realized product of a new generation of scholars thrown forth by tumultuous social ferment and eager to talk about the world that they see emerging around them.”—George Lipsitz, author of Time Passages: Collective Memory and American Popular Culture "The range and depth of Audiotopia is thrilling. It's not only that Josh Kun knows so much-it's that he knows what to make of what he knows."—Greil Marcus, author of Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century "The way Josh Kun writes about what he hears, the way he unravels word, sound, and power is breathtaking, provocative, and original. A bold, expansive, and lyrical book, Audiotopia is a record of crossings, textures, tangents, and ideas you will want to play again and again."—Jeff Chang, author of Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation
Category: History

Phonographies

Author : Alexander G. Weheliye
ISBN : 9780822386933
Genre : Music
File Size : 39.58 MB
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Phonographies explores the numerous links and relays between twentieth-century black cultural production and sound technologies from the phonograph to the Walkman. Highlighting how black authors, filmmakers, and musicians have actively engaged with recorded sound in their work, Alexander G. Weheliye contends that the interplay between sound technologies and black music and speech enabled the emergence of modern black culture, of what he terms “sonic Afro-modernity.” He shows that by separating music and speech from their human sources, sound-recording technologies beginning with the phonograph generated new modes of thinking, being, and becoming. Black artists used these new possibilities to revamp key notions of modernity—among these, ideas of subjectivity, temporality, and community. Phonographies is a powerful argument that sound technologies are integral to black culture, which is, in turn, fundamental to Western modernity. Weheliye surveys literature, film, and music to focus on engagements with recorded sound. He offers substantial new readings of canonical texts by W. E. B. Du Bois and Ralph Ellison, establishing dialogues between these writers and popular music and film ranging from Louis Armstrong’s voice to DJ mixing techniques to Darnell Martin’s 1994 movie I Like It Like That. Looking at how questions of diasporic belonging are articulated in contemporary black musical practices, Weheliye analyzes three contemporary Afro-diasporic musical acts: the Haitian and African American rap group the Fugees, the Afro- and Italian-German rap collective Advanced Chemistry, and black British artist Tricky and his partner Martina. Phonographies imagines the African diaspora as a virtual sounding space, one that is marked, in the twentieth century and twenty-first, by the circulation of culture via technological reproductions—records and tapes, dubbing and mixing, and more.
Category: Music

Culture On The Margins

Author : Jon Cruz
ISBN : 1400823218
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 29.46 MB
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In Culture on the Margins, Jon Cruz recounts the "discovery" of black music by white elites in the nineteenth century, boldly revealing how the episode shaped modern approaches to studying racial and ethnic cultures. Slave owners had long heard black song making as meaningless "noise." Abolitionists began to attribute social and political meaning to the music, inspired, as many were, by Frederick Douglass's invitation to hear slaves' songs as testimonies to their inner, subjective worlds. This interpretive shift--which Cruz calls "ethnosympathy"--marks the beginning of a mainstream American interest in the country's cultural margins. In tracing the emergence of a new interpretive framework for black music, Cruz shows how the concept of "cultural authenticity" is constantly redefined by critics for a variety of purposes--from easing anxieties arising from contested social relations to furthering debates about modern ethics and egalitarianism. In focusing on the spiritual aspect of black music, abolitionists, for example, pivoted toward an idealized religious singing subject at the expense of absorbing the more socially and politically elaborate issues presented in the slave narratives and other black writings. By the end of the century, Cruz maintains, modern social science also annexed much of this cultural turn. The result was a fully modern tension-ridden interest in culture on the racial margins of American society that has long had the effect of divorcing black culture from politics.
Category: Social Science

Sonic Intimacy

Author : Dominic Pettman
ISBN : 9781503601482
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 84.68 MB
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Sonic Intimacy asks us who—or what—deserves to have a voice, beyond the human. Arguing that our ears are far too narrowly attuned to our own species, the book explores four different types of voices: the cybernetic, the gendered, the creaturely, and the ecological. Through both a conceptual framework and a series of case studies, Dominic Pettman tracks some of the ways in which these voices intersect and interact. He demonstrates how intimacy is forged through the ear, perhaps even more than through any other sense, mode, or medium. The voice, then, is what creates intimacy, both fleeting and lasting, not only between people, but also between animals, machines, and even natural elements: those presumed not to have a voice in the first place. Taken together, the manifold, material, actual voices of the world, whether primarily natural or technological, are a complex cacophony that is desperately trying to tell us something about the rapidly failing health of the planet and its inhabitants. As Pettman cautions, we would do well to listen.
Category: Philosophy

The Sound Studies Reader

Author : Jonathan Sterne
ISBN : 9780415771306
Genre : Music
File Size : 86.31 MB
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"The Sound Studies Reader is a groundbreaking anthology blending recent work that self-consciously describes itself as 'sound studies' with earlier and lesser known scholarship on sound. The collection begins with an introduction to welcome novice readers to the field and acquaint them with key themes and concepts in sound studies. Individual section introductions give readers further background on the essays and an extensive up to date bibliography for further reading in 'sound studies' make this an original and accessible guide to the field"--
Category: Music

Listening In Detail

Author : Alexandra T. Vazquez
ISBN : 9780822378877
Genre : Music
File Size : 50.56 MB
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Listening in Detail is an original and impassioned take on the intellectual and sensory bounty of Cuban music as it circulates between the island, the United States, and other locations. It is also a powerful critique of efforts to define "Cuban music" for ethnographic examination or market consumption. Contending that the music is not a knowable entity but a spectrum of dynamic practices that elude definition, Alexandra T. Vazquez models a new way of writing about music and the meanings assigned to it. "Listening in detail" is a method invested in opening up, rather than pinning down, experiences of Cuban music. Critiques of imperialism, nationalism, race, and gender emerge in fragments and moments, and in gestures and sounds through Vazquez's engagement with Alfredo Rodríguez's album Cuba Linda (1996), the seventy-year career of the vocalist Graciela Pérez, the signature grunt of the "Mambo King" Dámaso Pérez Prado, Cuban music documentaries of the 1960s, and late-twentieth-century concert ephemera.
Category: Music

The Sound Of Culture

Author : Louis Chude-Sokei
ISBN : 9780819575784
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 87.99 MB
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The Sound of Culture explores the histories of race and technology in a world made by slavery, colonialism, and industrialization. Beginning in the late nineteenth century and moving through to the twenty-first, the book argues for the dependent nature of those histories. Looking at American, British, and Caribbean literature, it distills a diverse range of subject matter: minstrelsy, Victorian science fiction, cybertheory, and artificial intelligence. All of these facets, according to Louis Chude-Sokei, are part of a history in which music has been central to the equation that links blacks and machines. As Chude-Sokei shows, science fiction itself has roots in racial anxieties and he traces those anxieties across two centuries and a range of writers and thinkers—from Samuel Butler, Herman Melville, and Edgar Rice Burroughs to Sigmund Freud, William Gibson, and Donna Haraway, to Norbert Weiner, Sylvia Wynter, and Samuel R. Delany.
Category: Literary Criticism