Remapping Sound Studies

Book Pages: 296 Illustrations: 9 illustrations Published: April 2019

Anthropology, Music > Ethnomusicology, Sound Studies

The contributors to Remapping Sound Studies intervene in current trends and practices in sound studies by reorienting the field toward the global South. Attending to disparate aspects of sound in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Micronesia, and a Southern outpost in the global North, this volume broadens the scope of sound studies and challenges some of the field's central presuppositions. The contributors show how approaches to and uses of technology across the global South complicate narratives of technological modernity and how sound-making and listening in diverse global settings unsettle familiar binaries of sacred/secular, private/public, human/nonhuman, male/female, and nature/culture. Exploring a wide range of sonic phenomena and practices, from birdsong in the Marshall Islands to Zulu ululation, the contributors offer diverse ways to remap and decolonize modes of thinking about and listening to sound.

Tripta Chandola, Michele Friedner, Louise Meintjes, Jairo Moreno, Ana María Ochoa Gautier, Michael Birenbaum Quintero, Jeff Roy, Jessica Schwartz, Shayna Silverstein, Gavin Steingo, Jim Sykes, Benjamin Tausig, Hervé Tchumkam


Remapping Sound Studies radically expands the field's geographic imagination. It asks us to rework our most basic categories: sound and listening, life and death, public and private, sacred and secular, technology and nature, modernity and culture. In its erudite pairing of sound and South, this volume reveals the links between cartographies and concepts, demanding that we move beyond the linguistic, historiographic, and audio-technical exemplars that have hitherto characterized the field. Ethnographically rich and carefully documented, the chapters in this volume offer a series of theoretical advances that will be useful to students of sound across many fields and contexts.” — Jonathan Sterne, author of MP3: The Meaning of a Format

"This very valuable collection of essays not only adds ethnographic case studies form the global South to a literature which has tended to be North-centric; it will also productively reshape the central premises of sound studies as a field." — Amanda J. Weidman, author of Singing the Classical, Voicing the Modern: The Postcolonial Politics of Music in South India


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Gavin Steingo is Assistant Professor of Music at Princeton University and the author of Kwaito's Promise: Music and the Aesthetics of Freedom in South Africa.

Jim Sykes is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of The Musical Gift: Sonic Generosity in Post-War Sri Lanka.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  vii
Introduction. Remapping Sound Studies in the Global South / Gavin Steingo and Jim Sykes 1
Part I. The Technology Problematic
1. Another Resonance: Africa and the Sound of Study / Gavin Steingo  39
2. Ululation / Louise Meintjes  61
3. How the Sea Is Sounded: Remapping Indigenous Soundings in the Marshallese Diaspora / Jessica A. Schwartz  77
Part II. Multiple Liminologies
4. Antenatal Aurality in Pacific Afro-Colombia Midwifery / Jairo Moreno  109
5. Loudness, Excess, Power: A Political Liminology of a Global City of the South / Michael Birenbaum Quintero  135
6. The Spoiled and the Salvaged: Modulations of Auditory Value in Bangalore and Bangkok / Michele Friedner and Benjamin Tausig  156
7. Remapping the Voice through Transgender-Hijra Performance / Jeff Roy  173
Part III. The Politics of Sound
8. Banlieue Sounds, or, The Right to Exist / Hervé Tchumkam 185
9. Sound Studies, Difference, and Global Concept History / Jim Sykes  203
10. "Faking It": Moans and Groans of Loving and Living in Govindpuri Slums / Tripta Chandola  228
11. Disorienting Sounds: A Sensory Ethnography of Syrian Dance Music / Shayna Silverstein  241
12. Afterword. Sonic Cartographies / Ana María Ochoa Gautier  261
Contributors  275
Index  277
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0046-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0037-2
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