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Sound Objects

Sound Objects

by James A. Steintrager (Editor)


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Is a sound an object, an experience, an event, or a relation? What exactly does the emerging discipline of sound studies study? Sound Objects pursues these questions while exploring how history, culture, and mediation entwine with sound's elusive objectivity. Examining the genealogy and evolution of the concept of the sound object, the commodification of sound, acousmatic listening, nonhuman sounds, and sound and memory, the contributors not only probe conceptual issues that lie in the forefront of contemporary sonic discussions but also underscore auditory experience as fundamental to sound as a critical enterprise. In so doing, they offer exciting considerations of sound within and beyond its role in meaning, communication, and information and an illuminatingly original theoretical overview of the field of sound studies itself.

Contributors. Georgina Born, Michael Bull, Michel Chion, Rey Chow, John Dack, Veit Erlmann, Brian Kane, Jairo Moreno, John Mowitt, Pooja Rangan, Gavin Steingo, James A. Steintrager, Jonathan Sterne, David Toop

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781478001454
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
Publication date: 01/02/2019
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 990,204
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

James A. Steintrager is Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and European Languages and Studies at the University of California, Irvine.

Rey Chow is Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature at Duke University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vii
Sound Objects: An Introduction / James A. Steintrager, with Rey Chow  1
I. Genealogies
1. Reflections on the Sound Object and Reduced Listening / Michel Chion  23
2. Pierre Schaeffer and the (Recorded) Sound Source / John Dack  33
3. The Fluctuating Sound Object / Brian Kane  53
II. Aural Reification, Sonic Commodification
4. Listening with Adorno, Again: Nonobjective Objectivity and the Possibility of Critique / James A. Steintrager  73
5. Spectral Objects: On the Fetish Character of Music Technologies / Jonathan Sterne  94
III. Acousmatic Complications
6. Listening after "Acousmaticity": Notes on a Transdisciplinary Problematic / Rey Chow  113
7. The Skin of the Voice: Acousmatic Illusions, Ventriloquial Listening / Pooja Rangan  130
IV. Sound Abjects and Nonhuman Relations
8. The Acoustic Abject: Sound and the Legal Imagination / Veit Erlmann  151
9. The Alluring Objecthood of the Heartbeat / Jairo Moreno and Gavin Steingo  167
10. On Nonhuman Sound—Sound as Relation / Georgina Born  185
V. Memory Traces
11. The Sound of Arche-Cinema / John Mowitt  211
12. Listening to the Sirens / Michael Bull  228
13. Entities Inertias Faint Beings: Drawing as Sounding / David Toop  246
Bibliography  265
Contributors  281
Index  285


What People are Saying About This

Sonic Intimacy: Voice, Species, Technics (or, How to Listen to the World) - Dominic Pettman

“What are sound objects? This carefully assembled collection—featuring voices both pioneering and new—offers an exhilarating array of answers to this question. Taken as a whole, this volume invites us to consider listening as a form of theory, and theory itself as a form of listening. As James A. Steintrager and Rey Chow insist, sonic entities—in contrast to the visual—need to be ‘apprehended otherwise’; and these essays prompt us to do precisely that, offering provocative new tools, refrains, and sensibilities for a more nuanced attunement to the world’s infinite soundscapes. As such, Sound Objects represents a new milestone in the rapidly evolving world of sound studies.”

The Race of Sound: Listening, Timbre, and Vocality in African American Music - Nina Sun Eidsheim

“This groundbreaking book provides a welcome interdisciplinary treatment of concepts central to sound studies, film studies, musicology, music theory, and literature. Bringing together leading scholars in sound studies, this volume contributes critical historical and contemporary contexts—as well as new understandings, critiques, and expansions—to the concept of the sound object. The editors have masterfully choreographed conversations across the chapters, resulting in a tightly focused work that will be an important contribution to the development of sound studies.”

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