2023 - The Poltical Life of Scale
2023 - The Poltical Life of Scale
Scale: A Seminar in Urban Humanities

VOICE: Sound, Technology, and Performance

Annual Seminar 2023/2024
Scale: A Seminar in Urban Humanities

VOICE: Sound, Technology, and Performance

Annual Seminar 2023/2024
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CCA will explore aspects of Sound Studies over two consecutive years of sponsored seminars and related programming. In 2023-24 the theme will be “Voice: Sound, Technology, and Performance,” while in 2024-25 the focus shifts to “Resonance: Sound among the Disciplines.”

Sound Studies is an emerging interdisciplinary field that has drawn from musicology, ethnomusicology, performance studies, media studies, anthropology, gender studies, literary and cultural studies, ethnic and indigenous studies, religion, animal studies, classics, and philosophy. It has been especially hospitable to Black scholars and performers with expertise in orature and other vocal traditions.

For the 2023-24 seminar, we invite scholars, performers, and other practitioners in the arts, humanities, and sciences to think with us about the history, metaphysics, and expressive range of voice as an artistic and phenomenological category in world (and, in some discourses, other-world) experience. What is the relationship of voice to the body in these various senses? What is voice relative to the human as an onto-anthropological unit? Relative to a new era’s new technologies? Relative to audition as a historical or cultural practice? As easily as these queries are posed, recent scholarship and artistic performance suggest they are not so plainly answered.

Reflecting on these questions, the seminar will meet biweekly during the semester to discuss emerging trends in the field as well as each member’s work-in-progress. Leading artists and scholars will join us periodically to enrich and broaden our considerations of the voice, its histories and futures. A final conference and series of performances will cap the year’s work in the seminar and help prepare for the 2024-25 seminar focused on resonance.

The 2024-25 Seminar, “Resonance: Sound Across the Disciplines,” chaired by Professors Carter Mathes and Xiaojue Wang, explores how resonance, as both an immaterial concept and an embodied experience, shapes our engagement with space and identity, and reverberates across the arts, literature, music, science, architecture, political life, and technology. 

We will consider how resonance might be understood as an imagined immateriality, an aural effect in the sonic field that, try as it might, cannot escape its materialization in bodily, architectural, environmental, and cultural concerns. In this context, we might wonder, for instance, about the discrete registers of sound obtaining to voice(s) raised and heard within natural and built soundscapes. What are the implications of resonance for the way we interact with and understand our environment? How does it shape our sense of place and belonging as well as our communication with others? How does echo, timbre, or pitch conjure personal or cultural memory? How do our environments, our bodies, our objects of fixation resonate with sonority, noise, and semantic meaning? How does sound, as a concept, an object, an experience, resonate across the spectrum of disciplines of art, literature, music, science, and technology?

 

2023-24 Seminar - Voice: Sound, Technology, Performance
Directed by: Andrew Parker and Maurice Wallace

2024-25 Seminar - Resonance: Sound across the Disciplines
Directed by Xiaojue Wang and Carter Mathes

 2023/2024 SEMINAR LEADERS

Andrew ParkerAndrew Parker
Maurice WallaceMaurice Wallace