Editor’s Note: Welcome to Sounding Out!‘s fall forum titled “Sound and Play,” where we ask how sound studies, as a discipline, can help us to think through several canonical perspectives on play. While Johan Huizinga had once argued that play is the primeval foundation from which all culture has sprung, it is important to ask where sound fits into this construction of culture; does it too have the potential to liberate or re-entrench our social worlds? Here, Roger Moseley challenges us to rethink the philosophical discourses of both sound and play and locates the moments in which they intersect and interface. From games of Telephone to Guitar Hero, Moseley considers the ways in which sonic play can help us understand the phantasmic binaries of the analog and digital.–AT
Throughout the distinguished intellectual lineage of play (where it is touched on by notable philosophers such as Plato, Montaigne, Kant, Schiller, Gadamer, Derrida, and Baudrillard), little attention has been paid to the parallels that can be drawn between sound and play as both media and phenomena. The very name of today’s most prominent cultural and technological locus of play, the video game, overtly privileges the eye at the expense of the ear. As recent research and creative work by such figures as Aaron Oldenburg, Aaron Trammell, George Karalis, and Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo indicates, a surge of interest in audio games, as well as video games that emphasize the importance of sound while eschewing or minimizing visual stimuli, is acting as a salutary corrective to this oculocentrism. In what follows, I suggest that bringing sonic and musical techniques to bear on this history might afford new insights into play and its myriad configurations. Conceiving of play sonically entails thinking of sound playfully. This intersectional logic can, I argue, unpick binarisms that enforce problematic distinctions and constrict thought. To demonstrate this, I conclude by deploying the concept of play to redefine the relationship between the digital and the analog—and vice versa.
How can play be defined in a manner that encompasses its farrago of meanings and associations? For video game designers and theorists Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman, the answer is deceptively simple: play is “free motion within a more rigid structure” (Rules of Play, 304). To illustrate the flexibility of this definition, Salen and Zimmerman allude to the phenomenon of light playing upon the ocean waves. They leave unexamined, however, the intimacy and richness of the relationship between play and sound. From a scientific perspective, the patterned oscillation of which a sequence of sound waves is constituted consists of free motion within the limits set forth by the laws of physics. When disciplined and deployed as a cultural technique–take the play of musical instruments for example–sonic play is humanized and rendered transitive. But, we might also suggest that instruments play people, citing the sensation of automation with which fingers flash over fretboard or keyboard. Moving further away from anthropocentrism, we can observe how sonic technologies render play intransitive once more. From the barrel organ to the iPod, sound plays without human aid when mechanically reproduced. This way of framing reproduction invokes and extends Roger Caillois’s playful category of mimicry, which can be construed as faithful imitation, deceptive fakery, or even a Baudrillardian attempt to simulate a phenomenon that never existed.
In order to pay due attention to both the technologies through which sonic play is mediated as well as the cultural techniques imbue it with significance, I suggest that we supplement Salen and Zimmerman’s definition by thinking of freedom, motion, and structure in both digital and analogical terms. To an extent, the adoption of this modish epistemological framework acknowledges that conceptions of play are always constrained by their prevailing intellectual context. More importantly, however, I contend that technologies of sonic generation and representation from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries can be understood to play with the categories of the digital and the analog avant la lettre (ou le chiffre). The two categories are not mutually exclusive and to treat them as such would be to subjugate the granularity of the analog to the binary logic of the digital. Rather, they co-exist as modes between which sounds and players freely oscillate.
The origins of digital sonic play lie within the human body. As Johan Huizinga put it, “the link between play and instrumental skill is to be sought in the nimble and orderly movements of the fingers.” In the course of musical performance, human digits perform innumerable calculations. At its crudest level, musical performance from a score can be construed as a sort of algorithmic play through which mimetic fidelity is evaluated (and wrong notes relentlessly tallied). This ludic logic is at its most visible in rhythm-action video games such as Guitar Hero in which the score is no longer a text but rather a quantitative analysis. The iconography of these games usually indexes a set of digital technologies used primarily for the recording, editing, and playback of music. On the one hand, this relationship can be traced back to Leibniz’s exposition of ars combinatoria and his “invention” of binary; on the other, it is realized by the hydraulic organ and composing machine devised and programmed by the Jesuit polymath Athanasius Kircher, both of which are depicted in his Musurgia universalis (1650). In media-archaeological terms, the combination of Leibniz’s concepts and Kircher’s mechanisms gave rise to the hardware and software of Joseph Marie Jacquard’s revolutionary loom, Charles Babbage’s prototypical Analytical Engine, the player piano, the IBM punch card, and the MIDI sequencer before resurfacing in Guitar Hero, a piece of software that, in purely algorithmic terms, enlists the player’s digits to verify checksums.
Such digital grids may constitute the field and the rules of sonic play, but they must be supplemented by analog elements if play is to flourish. As detailed in C. P. E. Bach’s Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen (1753/62), the clavichord and its descendants distinguished themselves from the harpsichord and the organ by endowing the keyboard with an infinite sensitivity to touch, thereby enabling a mimetic spectrum of emotional flow with unprecedented verisimilitude. Analogicity also provides another perspective on Caillois’s concept of mimicry, according to which one object or activity playfully stands in for another via imitation, deception, or make-believe. Additionally, the curves of Ernst Chladni’s figures, which materialized sound as sand, exemplify this sonic and mimetic trajectory as they rely on both Hermann von Helmholtz’s pioneering work on acoustics and the complex history of phonography to the development of analog synthesis.
In terms of sonic play, digital and analog elements can be chiastically recombined and reconfigured. A sonic communication game such as Telephone relies on the human propensity for analogy and its corrupting influence on the integrity of information transfer, playfully inverting the conditions and functions of the “real” telephone (which was engineered to compress informational content digitally without jeopardizing meaning). In much electronic dance music, the digital latticework, simultaneously visualized and rendered audible by the sequencer’s grid, constitutes a field of play overlaid with vocals, sweeps, and other analog elements that, in turn, have been captured via digital sampling. As a kind of meta-game, a mash-up plays with sonic elements whose relations can be parsed in the digital terms of Leibnizian recombinatorial play, but equally important are the unintended associations and analogies which inevitably emerge. And while games such as Guitar Hero foreground digital techniques of sonic reproduction, they simultaneously foster diverse forms of analogical play involving the player’s manipulation of the sonic (and social) behavior of her on-screen avatar—and vice versa.
There is no doubt that the status of sound and its mediation through and as play have too often gone unacknowledged. As well as seeking to rectify this state of affairs by stressing the importance of sound in relation to the playful operations of other media, we might also dwell on the distinguishing features that set it apart: sound and the techniques that shape it are unique in the ways they simultaneously trace and are traced by the materials, technologies, and metaphors of play.
Roger Moseley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Music at Cornell University. His most recent research brings a media-archaeological perspective to bear on musical performance and improvisation. He is particularly interested in how the concept of play informs sonic practices and cultural techniques. Active as a collaborative pianist on both modern and historical instruments, he has recently published essays on digital games in the contexts of musical and visual culture. His current book project is entitled Digital Analogies: Interfaces and Techniques of Musical Play.
REWIND! . . .If you liked this post, you may also dig:
Papa Sangre and the Construction of Immersion in Audio Games– Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo
In this podcast Sounding Out! interviews Amanda Brennan, the meme librarian at Know Your Meme. Here, Amanda explains well known audio memes like The Harlem Shake, The ASMR Whisper Community, and Holophonic Sounds. She talks about the emotional bonds of Internet communities, the similarities between memes and gossip, and the scientific bias of Wikipedia. For anyone interested in the replication of sound online, this interview is essential listening.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD: Interview with Meme Librarian Amanda Brennan.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE SERIES VIA ITUNES
For as long as she can remember, Amanda Brennan loved the internet. Combining that love with a passion for archival research while earning her MLIS degree at Rutgers University, she explored tagging systems and the habits of the Internet group Anonymous. Currently, she is the resident librarian at Know Your Meme where she studies viral content and watches a lot of cat videos. You can find her on Tumblr, Twitter and Last.fm.
What does finance sound like? Is it the clanging of the opening and closing bells at the New York Stock Exchange? The shouting of offers to buy or sell? The beeps made by cash registers as a credit card is swiped? The whirring of fans working overtime to cool computers? What is this noise?
Noise, however, is not purely a sonic phenomenon. Since the late 1940s, noise has been intimately linked with theories of communication and information, as Aaron Trammell discusses in Sounding Out! posts such as “What Mixtapes Can Teach Us About Noise.” My research attempts to bring these two aspects of noise—the sonic and informatic—into conversation. I trace the interferences noise makes within a set of disparate disciplines: I listen to the history of the impact of information theory on experimental and electronic music; investigate the interferences of “fearless speech,” artistic robotics, and the public; and examine how noises digital and sonic have impacted the development of finance. Rather than creating my own definition of noise, I follow how other disciplines deal with their encounters with noise as both a material phenomenon—something that interferes with a signal, or a sound that is deemed unwanted—and as something to be theorized, asking questions such as what are the meanings of these noises? or should we be controlling noise at all?
In this post, I discuss three vignettes that outline the different ways in which noise (sonic and informatic) interferes with different aspects of finance: the shouts of open-outcry pits and the information they may or may not convey; new forms of electronic trading and the noises of server farms and trading behavior; and the Flash Crash of May 6th, 2010 that provoked noises from both traders and artists. Each reflects a particular conjunction of the sonic and informatic aspects of noise. When we attend to both components simultaneously, we discover that financial noises are complex entities that are not inherently revolutionary nor regressive, but are rather an elusive combination of both.
Noisy Trading: The Pits
My interest in the noises of finance comes in part from listening to open-outcry trading, following the work of Caitlin Zaloom’s Out of the Pits: Traders And Technology from Chicago to London and the documentary Floored (2008). An open-outcry pit, such as that found on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), pairs buyers and sellers through a bodily practice of trading involving the extremities of behavior. Shouting, pushing, and shoving occur on the steps of the pit as buyers and sellers work to match their orders through nearly whatever means necessary.
In the wonderfully titled article “Is Sound Just Noise?”, the business school professors Joshua Coval and Tyler Shumway ask, in one of the few academic articles related to the sounds of the pits, whether or not the shouting might convey information that is not necessarily available on the computer screens that were then coming to dominate trading:
we ask whether there exists information that is regularly communicated across an open outcry pit but cannot be easily transmitted over a computer network. Any signals that convey information regarding the emotion of market participants—fear, excitement, uncertainty, eagerness, and so forth—are likely to be difficult to transmit across an electronic network (1890).
Coval and Shumway found that the ambient sound level of the pits did have predictive impact regarding various aspects of the market: in short, the louder the pits got, the higher the volatility in the prices of securities and the decrease in the likelihood of conducting a trade.
Noisy Trading, Redux: Datacenters
Yet changes in the structure of the market have not only shifted the location of activity to people behind computer screens and away from these types of sounds, it has also shifted the actual location of the exchanges themselves. No longer do most trades take place in the physical location of, for example, the NYSE; rather, they take place in buildings like this one, at 1700 MacArthur Boulevard in Mahwah, NJ.
This is the location of the NYSE’s new datacenter, a 400,000 square foot facility. (In the linked video, note the whirring of the fans, a new noise of finance beyond that of the pits.) The servers in these datacenters—run by highly-capitalized financial firms large and small alike—are able to respond much quicker to market information the closer they are to the computers that run the exchange. And what can be closer than being co-located in the same datacenter as the exchange? This need for speed has lead to all sorts of interesting situations, such as new fibre-optic lines being laid to shave off a millisecond or two in travel between New Jersey and Chicago, or the taking into account of special relativity effects in the location of future datacenters. The new High-Frequency Trading (HFT) algorithms run on these servers in these datacenters.
Noisy Trades, Sonified: May 6th 2010
The voice on this recording, made on May 6th, 2010, belongs to Ben Lichenstein, an employee of a firm called Trader’s Audio. Now, Trader’s Audio provides live coverage of market movements from a person on the floor of an exchange in order for day traders and others to get an idea of the “sentiment” of a market. It’s kind of like a play-by-play of market activity, a running commentary of major market movements that can’t be discerned soley by the watching of numbers on a screen. What, then, could have been going on for Ben Lichenstein to be in such a frenzy, for his voice to be inflected in such a way? What are we to make of this noise?
Well, May 6th, 2010 was the day of what has infamously become known as the Flash Crash. The full details of this day are beyond the scope of this post, so I will outline it schematically, following the findings of the official US report produced by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). (For a different take on this, see the sociologist of finance Donald MacKenzie’s “How to Make Money in Microseconds”.) In short, between the hours of 2 and 3PM Eastern Time the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) had both its largest single day loss as well as its largest single day gain, a swing of over 600 points. A series of trades made by algorithms that failed to take into account their impact on the market caused the prices of securities to swing to extremes, excerbated by the activity of High-Frequency Trading (HFT) algorithms. While the market eventually recovered—in part due to the activity of the same algorithms that caused the problem in the first place—the event indicated the precariousness of the stock market, the potential for things to spiral quickly out of control, and the difficulty in forecasting the behavior of an ecosystem of opaque algorithms.
How do the HFT algorithms relate to the Flash Crash that took place on May 6th, 2010? While the report of the CFTC and the SEC regarding the Flash Crash does not lay blame on HFT in particular, it did indicate how these algorithms contributed to the large price swings, the immense number of shares traded, and the drying up of liquidity (that is, the ability to find buyers and sellers in the market). One of the reasons why the market swings were so severe on May 6th, 2010 was due to the fact that HFT algorithms react immediately to small fluctuations of price, a quality of markets that financial economists call microstructure noise, a fascinating topic that is unfortunately beyond the scope of this particular post. In general, HFT and these datacenters go hand-in-hand, as it is a truism that it will take longer for data to travel between a machine in New Jersey and one in Chicago, than it will to travel between two machines in the same data center in New Jersey. HFT works to take advantage of this shorter latency in order to exploit market movements on the timescale of milliseconds, accelerating trading far beyond the open-outcry pit.
Noisy Finance: The Sonic and the Informatic
Let’s conclude with a sonic artifact of the Flash Crash from the French collective rybn. Their work has explored the concept of “antidatamining,” that is, the use of the “data mining” techniques of computational capitalism in order to shed light on the intersection of data and society. Consider their piece FLASHCRASH SONIFICATION (one of the few artistic responses to the Flash Crash), where rybn took trading data from nine different exchanges on the afternoon of the Flash Crash and created an austere, digitally-sharp yet undulating soundscape that recalls the work of artists Ryoji Ikeda or Carsten Nicolai without the rhythmic precision. If you can, listen to their online-available, two-channel mix on headphones in order to appreciate the details of the piece.
The building towards the end of “FLASHCRASH SONIFICATION” was meant to “emphasize the moment of the crash, [by] adding an effect of resonance, which propagates slowly, making it more tense, as the krach goes on” (all quotes in this paragraph from author’s personal interview with rybn). Thus instead of merely transparently translating the data into sound, rybn constructed the sonification in order to bring out this resonance: “resonance is pointed [to] as one of the major risk[s] of HFT by many economists and the feedback phenomenon was in the center of our discussions when we were preparing the piece.” Isolating the Flash Crash was important for rybn as it was perhaps the “moment when people started to understand financ[ial] orientations more clearly” thereby highlighting the symptomatic nature of the “speculative short-term loop finance seems to be stuck in.”
In FLASHCRASH SONIFICATION, sonic noise becomes a translation of the data from the market—abstract yet eminently material—into a different abstract form that does not immediately signify. FLASHCRASH SONIFICATION suggests rather than indicates; listening to it cannot provide us with rational information regarding the dynamics of the Flash Crash. Instead it produces a dark foreboding of the mechanisms at work, the high-frequency pulses first recalling heartbeats that soon speed up beyond any ability for distinction. In FLASHCRASH SONIFICATION, rybn comments on the inability for computation—and by extension, the market—to be the perfectly rational, ordered space it is ideally understood to be.
In Noise We Cannot Trust
If there is one thing clear about the examples of noises heard and encountered in this post—the shouting in the pits, the fluctuations of prices, the whirring of air conditioning, the sonification of the Flash Crash—it is that noise cannot be counted upon for positive or negative disruption. Noise cannot be counted upon as a political exploit in the market, as it can signify the potential of a trade, or be recuperated into profit through the activity of HFT algorithms. Yet noise can also provide an alternative experience of the Flash Crash beyond that of bureaucratic reports and figures. It is thus through the interferences noise causes within the dynamics of finance that we come into contact with the equivocality of noise as a phenomenon, and thus become attuned to a particular need to not confine noise to preconceived notions of positivity or negativity.
Nicholas Knouf is a PhD candidate in information science at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. His research explores the interstitial spaces between information science, critical theory, digital art, and science and technology studies. His dissertation, “Noisy Fields: Interference, Elusiveness, and Embodied Temporality in Sonic Practices,” examines the sonic and informatic characteristics of noise across a set of disparate disciplines, arguring for an attention to the equivocality of noise as a material-discursive phenomenon. He is also a media artist whose pieces engage with academic publishing, ad-hoc networking, and non-speech vocalizations. More information about his research and practice can be found at http://zeitkunst.org.
REWIND! . . .If you liked this post, you may also dig:
Experiments in Agent-based Sonic Composition–Andreas Pape
SO! Reads: Jonathan Sterne’s MP3: The Meaning of a Format–Aaron Trammell
For the 2013 Society for Cinema and Media Studies meeting in Chicago, Sounding Out! enlisted one of our favorite guest writers, radio scholar Neil Verma (whom you’ll remember from our excellent Tune Into the Past series from summer 2012). When we heard the news that his recent book Theater of the Mind: Imagination, Aesthetics and Radio Drama (University of Chicago Press) won this year’s SCMS first book prize we were ecstatic. . .and not surprised in the least. It’s brilliant–for a taste read Neil’s SO! blog post from June 2012, “Radio’s “Oblong Blur”: Notes on the Corwinesque”). So, please join us in congratulating Neil, and then, join Neil for a thoughtful preview of sound studies at SCMS 2013. He’s one of the reasons why it’s such a great year for the field. —Editor-in-Chief, Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman
For the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), this year may mark the point at which sound studies became – likely temporarily, and perhaps distressingly – normal. That’s something to ponder at this year’s annual conference of the Society, which takes place from March 6th to the 10th at the Drake Hotel in Chicago.
SCMS last came to the Second City in 2007. A glance at the panels from that year highlights how quickly the conference has expanded. If you exclude ads, this year’s program is 80 pages longer than its counterpart six years ago. Back then, SCMS featured 323 panels and workshops. This year there are 456. And sound studies work has grown disproportionately. In 2007, by my count, there were just 13 panels with two or more papers featuring sound as an “analytical point of departure or arrival,” to borrow language that Jonathan Sterne has recently used to characterize the field. This time we have 31 such panels.
That’s a lot of foot traffic. And it’s extremely good news for the field. But if these trends continue, it is also true that visitors focused on sound may only be able to attend a fraction of all panels and papers on the subject. As a result, sound has transformed from one possible pathway through SCMS into a field of many possible itineraries. Not only is the durability of that situation tenuous, but its intellectual ramifications are as unclear as they are promising.
A Conference in Transition
As it grows, the SCMS conference is restructuring. In a move sure to stir controversy, for instance, the Society has taken the experimental step of dramatically scaling back its slate of screenings, citing poor attendance at such events during recent conferences in Boston and New Orleans. Seen in conjunction with other developments – a focus on social media (follow @SCMStudies on Twitter), expanded online video, and a marvelous new podcast sponsored by Cinema Journal – the reduction of screenings represents a small step away from the cinema as a privileged object of study and experience.
That idea is borne out by the offerings. This year’s conference features as much exciting work on Call of Duty as on The Clock, with more papers on Girls than on Godard, along with compelling offerings on topics ranging from Rancière to Revenge, from Warhol to Lego, and home movies to Grindr. The word “television” appears on 58 pages of the current catalog; back in 2007 it appeared on just 14. As Barbara Klinger points out in her introduction to the program, this year truly elevates the “M” for “Media” in “SCMS.”
Skeptics may see a conference drifting from its raison d’être, while optimists will see an increasingly capacious meeting that is willing to undertake the experimentation for which many members have long been calling. As the conference grows, both sides can expect perhaps less intimacy than in previous years, with more of the action localizing around Caucuses and Scholarly Interest Groups (SIGs).
That’s true for sound. This year marks the debut of a new Radio Studies SIG, recognizing an area of scholarship that has been growing steadily for decades. Congratulations to Bill Kirkpatrick and Alex Russo, among others, for bringing this about. Readers interested in the radio SIG should hop over to Antenna to read Kirkpatrick’s terrific piece on the emergence of radio studies at SCMS this year (and be sure to catch his paper on disability and radio on Saturday at 1:00). In conjunction with the Sound Studies SIG, which has been driving a sound agenda since Jay Beck and Tony Grajeda helped form it in 2007, the Radio SIG is sure to be a magnet for future presenters and an advocate within the institutional SCMS structure.
The Radio SIG’s inaugural workshop features leading scholars to explore critical approaches (9:00 – 10:45 on Saturday), and that should be at the top of the agenda for SO! readers. I’m pleased to report that the Radio SIG’s first official meeting (9:00-10:45 on Sunday) will feature special guest Johanna Zorn, founder and Executive Director of the Third Coast International Audio Festival. The Sound SIG, meanwhile, helmed by Norma Coates and Tim Anderson, will hold its annual meeting on Friday (12:15-2:00) with an exciting presentation by John Corbett and Terri Kapsalis, who will speak about Sun Ra and his place in the history of Chicago sound and visual culture. Beyond these marquee events, these two SIGs together will sponsor a total of 13 panels this year.
That’s already quite an itinerary. Now let’s look deeper.
In her SCMS post last year, Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman called for an effort to reimagine sound studies in the larger architecture of SCMS. She wrote,
Very few panels engage with sound as a primary modality and there are far less individual papers threading sound into panel discussions not explicitly about sound. We need more of both kinds of scholarly engagement […]
Indeed. While many problems persist, including an uneven focus on music – it’s odd to see so little on music in a city rich in its history, from Bronzeville to Bloodshot Records – this year’s offerings also show great progress. Panels that engage sound as a primary modality have fresh takes on established subjects (Hollywood film music, voice narration in documentary, archiving, etc.) but many also raise subjects that SCMS might have been wary of in previous years, such as earth-sensing, sound in film noir and video game sound. And there is tremendous creativity in individual papers, with scholars engaging topics from sound in Yiddish Cinema and Russian pop to the Black audio film archive and player pianos in education, all sprinkled among panels considering other issues. There are not one but two papers about sound in Terrence Malick’s films, in two separate panels, neither of which is about sound.
What other goodies can you find this year? I’m glad you asked. Here are some highlights
- There are a couple of terrific panels on gender and sexuality this year. I’d recommend starting off your visit to SCMS by attending a panel on film music that Norma Coates is hosting on Wednesday (10:00-11:45), and following up with Jennifer Wang’s panel “Gender Trouble across the Dial” on Friday (9:00-10:45).
- On Thursday (from 9:00 to 10:45) I’m pleased to be chairing a panel with Jacob Smith, Mary Ann Watson, Shawn VanCour, and Alex Russo considering radio writer Norman Corwin as a transmedia author, continuing a project that we started on this blog last summer. Those interested in sites of overlap between radio and other media institutions should also check out “Radio in Transition” (Friday, 11:00-12:45), chaired by Cynthia Meyers, and “Economies of Media Industries” (Saturday, 3:00-4:45), featuring Jim Lastra and Douglas Gomery.
- The panel “Earth-Sensing” (Wednesday, 2:00-3:45) looks compelling, with work by Lisa Parks on broadcast infrastructure and Google Earth, as well as a presentation by Janet Walker on audiovisualizations of sea level rise. It might pair well with a panel on deep history later that day (4:00-5:45) which will feature, among other topics, Mack Hagood speaking on the work of Irv Teibel.
- Another great pairing is available on Friday. Try attending “Sounding the Radio Archive” (12:15-2:00), with projects from junior scholars and a response from Debra Rae Cohen. Then check out “Live Sound in Film and Television” (2:15-4:00), featuring exciting work on rockumentary by Michael Baker and sound in situation comedy by Foley artist Vanessa Ament-Gjenvick. Together, these panels should give newcomers a good sense of the future of sound studies.
- One theme that has emerged this year is a renewed interest in processes of adoption and incorporation of sound technology. For that, consider attending “Transitional Soundtracks” on early Hollywood film music (Thursday, 3:00-4:45), “Channeling Stereo Histories” (Saturday, 5:00-6:45), and “Rethinking Technologies of Audiovision” (Sunday, 9:00-10:45).
- There are two panels on sound in the mass media in Japan, each in a different period: “Archeologies of Intermediality in Prewar Japanese Cinema” (Friday, 2:15-4:00) and “Japanese Celebrity Cultures” (Saturday, 5:00-6:45). Only one is sponsored by Sound Studies, so the appearance of both may be a fortuitous coincidence.
- Another cluster of panels forms around issues of voice, talk, and orality. On Wednesday, there’s “Orality and Storytelling” (10:00-11:45), followed by “Speech, Music and the Sound of Film and Media” (12:00-145). On Thursday, there’s “Spectators: Sound and Talk” (1:00-2:45) and “Vocal Projections: The Disembodied Voice in Documentary” (5:00-6:45). Then on Saturday there is “The Actor’s Voice” (1:00-2:45) and “Cinema Sound, Music, and Voice” (3:00-4:45).
- Don’t forget the workshops! There’s great stuff this year on platform studies, spreadable media, and close reading, as well as several meetings on teaching and job searching. Attending these will give you a chance to hear from Mary Ann Doane, Michele Hilmes, Henry Jenkins, Peter Krapp, Jason Loviglio, Jason Mittell, Elena Razlogova and Jonathan Sterne, to name just a few.
That’s a lot of material, and it’s not even everything, which is precisely my point. For maybe the first time, SCMS has far more sound studies material than you can feasibly attend.
So is it time to indulge the pernicious scholarly habit of naming a moment of change and uncertainty as one of emergence? Should we declare that sound has come of age at last, a cliché that, as Michele Hilmes has pointed out, sound studies has been using for a hundred years?
Let’s not and say we did. There’s much more to do in terms of diversifying objects and cultures for sonic exploration. And rather than seeing papers that study sound in new ways, I’d love to see future presenters using sound in innovative ways to think about objects and events well outside the perimeter of sound studies, drawing experimental modes of listening in to the conference experience and challenging how scholarship itself is fashioned and displayed.
As well as being a point of analytical departure and arrival, after all, sound is also a way of traveling between points. Sterne is right when, in the introduction to The Sound Studies Reader, he argues that sound studies should be a place where sonic imaginations are “challenged, nurtured, refreshed and transformed” (10), but sound studies can do that for other kinds of imaginaries, too. Sound is a medium to be studied, but it is also a way of doing media studies, and that is a property that should be highlighted in a scholarly society open to transition.
Or, to put it another way, as sound scholarship worms its way ever further into the mainstream of SCMS, let’s do our best to keep it weird.
Note: Below I’ve listed times for panels that I’m guessing will be of most interest to SO! readers, plus special events and a few sessions that touch on professional matters. This year, SCMS has not released the room assignments on the PDF circulated prior to the event, so attendees will have to find that information in the printed catalog. I’m sorry for any errors or omissions. If your panel is missing or I’ve made some other mistake, please email me at email@example.com and I’ll be happy to amend this post.
Neil Verma is a Harper-Schmidt Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago, where he teaches media aesthetics. Verma works on radio and its intersection with other media, and has taught subjects including film studies, sound, art history, literature, critical theory and intellectual history. His book, Theater of the Mind: Imagination, Aesthetics, and American Radio Drama, is published by the University of Chicago Press and is the winner of the 2013 SCMS First Book Prize.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6
Session A 10:00 – 11:45 a.m.
A19. Film Music: Gender, Sexuality, and Taste Formations
Chair: Norma Coates, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO
Jack Curtis Dubowsky, ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY, “Louisiana Story, Homoeroticism, Hollywood, and Americana Music”
Landon Palmer, INDIANA UNIVERSITY, BLOOMINGTON, “Pre‐existing Film Music as Traveling Text: The Case of 2001: A Space Odyssey”
Zhichun Lin, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, “Presenting Her through Music: The Theme Music of the Chinese Film Version of Letter from an Unknown Woman”
Norma Coates, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO , “‘5% of It Is Good’: Leonard Bernstein, CBS Reports, and the Cultural Accreditation of Rock Music”
A22. Orality and Storytelling
Chair: Sheila Petty, UNIVERSITY OF REGINA
Kester Dyer, CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, “Storytelling and Testimony: Archiving Melancholia in Alanis Obomsawin’s Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance”
Katherine Brewer Ball, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, “The ‘Brainwashing’ of Patty Hearst and Sharon Hayes: Forging Alliances and Forgetting the Lines”
Yifen Beus, BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, HAWAII, “Deterritorializing Essentialism: Narrating Place and Space in Filming the South Seas”
Sheila Petty, UNIVERSITY OF REGINA, “Spaces in‐Between: Zahra’s Mother Tongue as Performative Documentary”
Session B 12:00 – 1:45 p.m.
B19. Speech, Music, and the Sound of Film and Media
Chair: Heather Warren‐Crow, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MILWAUKEE
Nishant Shahani, WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY, PULLMAN, “‘I Have a Voice’: Speech, Silence, and the Redemption of Empire”
Eric Dienstfrey, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MADISON, “New Methods of Multichannel Surround Sound Analysis and Contemporary Film Aesthetics”
Brian Fauteux, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MADISON, “Satellite Sounds and the Transnational Circulation of Music”
Heather Warren‐Crow, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MILWAUKEE, “The Phonetics of Early Video Art”
B21. Workshop on Publishing on Digital Platforms
Chair: Christopher Hanson, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
Co‐Chair: Joan Saab, UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER
Kim Akass, UNIVERSITY OF HERTFORDSHIRE
Norm Hirschy, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Jennifer Porst, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES
John David Rhodes, UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX
Andrew Young, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES
Session C 2:00 – 3:45 p.m.
C4. Character and Performance
Chair: Matthew Solomon, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Ganga Rudraiah, INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR, “Singing and Dancing like an ‘Aravaani’: Emerging Articulations of Transgender Performances in Contemporary Tamil Cinema”
Kim Wilkins, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY, “Cast of Characters: The American Eccentrics and Pure Cinematic Characterization”
Elizabeth Alsop, WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY, “The Imaginary Crowd: Neorealism and the Uses of Coralità”
C20. Earth‐Sensing: Media Above and Below the Surface
Chair: Nicole Starosielski, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
Co‐Chair: Janet Walker, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA
Janet Walker, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA, “Moving to Higher Ground?: Documentary Film and (Other) Scientific Audiovisualizations of Sea Level Rise”
Lisa Parks, UNIVESITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA, “Signal Territories: Studying US Broadcast Infrastructure Using Google Earth”
Eva Hayward, UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO, “Technologies of Migration: Conservation Science and Whale Media”
Nicole Starosielski, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, “Sensing the Seafloor: Undersea Observatories and the Contours of Media Distribution”
C21.Workshop on Platform Studies: Debating the Future of a Field
Chair: Caetlin Benson‐Allott, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
Ian Bogost, GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Jonathan Sterne, MCGILL UNIVERSITY
Steven Jones, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY, CHICAGO
Peter Krapp, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE
Session D 4:00 – 5:45 p.m.
D12. Deep History II Insight from Artifacts
Chair: Mack Hagood, INDIANA UNIVERSITY
Kyle Stine, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, “Cybernetic Movie Machines: Norbert Wiener’s Cinema Integraph and Richard S. Morse’s Data Soundtracks”
Sindhu Zagoren, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA‐CHAPEL HILL, “We Want the Airwaves: Early Radio and the Struggle for Airspace”
Mack Hagood, INDIANA UNIVERSITY, “Nixon, Mobster, Bigfoot: The Performative Audio Media Forensics of Irv Teibel”
WEDNESDAY INDIVIDUAL PAPERS OF INTEREST
A 12. Veronica Zavala, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA, “The Role of Spanish Language Radio in the United States”
B7. Brian Gregory, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, “Packaging Sound for Schools: Selling the Player‐Piano and the Phonograph to American Education”
C12. Matthew Malsky, CLARK UNIVERSITY, “Early CinemaScope Sound Experiments”
D4. Lauhona Ganguly, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY “Production Cultures and Cultural Re‐Productions in a Global Television Industry: Rethinking Global Cultural Economy with Indian Idol”
D7. David Harvey, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, “Rethinking Voice in the Essay Film Form”
Special Events Wednesday Evening
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Caucus/SIG special event
Remembering the Life & Legacy of Alexander Doty
Grand Ballroom, Lobby Level
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Caucus/SIG special event
Public Media 2.0
A Conversation on the Future of Urban Documentary and Social Change
Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Avenue
THURSDAY, MARCH 7
Session E 9:00 – 10:45 a.m.
E9. Sounds and Silences
Chair: Charles Kronengold, STANFORD UNIVERSITY
Chelsey Crawford, OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY, “Sound Off: Absolute Cinematic Silence and the Unconscious”
Manuel Garin, UNIVERSITY OF POMPEU FABRA, “Silent Film Gameplay: Keaton, Mario, and the Misadventures of Visual Freedom”
Charles Kronengold, STANFORD UNIVERSITY, “Puzzling Interfacing, Musical Thinking, and Multisensory Experience”
E16. Workshop. Scholarly Social Media: Successes, Failures, and Future
Chair: Elizabeth Ellcessor, INDIANA UNIVERSITY
Gina Giotta, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, NORTHRIDGE
Dan Leopard, SAINT MARY’S COLLEGE OF CALIFORNIA
Jamie Poster, IRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE
Andrew Miller, SACRED HEART UNIVERSITY
Leah Shafer, HOBART AND WILLIAM SMITH COLLEGES
Session F 11:00 – 12:45 p.m.
F22. Norman Corwin and Transmedia Authorship
Chair: Neil Verma, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Jacob Smith, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, “Norman Corwin’s Radio Realism”
Mary Ann Watson, EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY, “Norman Corwin and the Big Screen: Artistic Differences”
Shawn VanCour, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA, “Corwin on Television: A Transmedia Approach to Style Historiography”
Alexander Russo, THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA, “Sonic Legacy: Exploring the ‘Corwinesque’ in Radiolab”
Session G 1:00 – 2:45 p.m.
G13. Spectators: Sound and Talk
Chair: CarrieLynn Reinhard, DOMINICAN UNIVERSITY
Leo Rubinkowski, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MADISON, “‘When You Know the Words to Sing . . .’: Sing‐Along Exhibition and Participatory Audiences”
Annie Dell’ Aria, THE GRADUATE CENTER, CUNY, “Doug Aitken’s Song 1: Cinema‐in‐the‐Round”
Carter Moulton, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MILWAUKEE, “Reading Accents: Subtitles and Spectatorship in Multiplex Cinema”
CarrieLynn Reinhard,DOMINICAN UNIVERSITY, “Answering the Whats, Hows, and Whys of Film Spectatorship: An Empirical Investigation and Comparison of Film Reception”
Session H 3:00 – 4:45 p.m.
H16. Transitional Soundtracks: The Vicissitudes of Hollywood Film Music, 1927–1933
Chair: Katherine Spring, WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY
Lea Jacobs, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MADISON, “Words and Music: Dialogue Underscoring in the Early Musical”
Michael Slowik, KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY, “From Presentational Aesthetics to Narrative Absorption: Film Music in Warner Bros. Part‐Talkies, 1927–1929”
Jeff Smith, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MADISON, “What Exactly Is a Partial Cue?: Jurisdictional Conflict in Warner Bros. Films of the Early Sound Era”
Katherine Spring, WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY and Maggie Clark, WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY, “Trading on Songs: The Emergence of the Musical Genre in the Trade Press”
H23. Workshop on Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Culture.
Chair: Henry Jenkins, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Whitney Phillips, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
Ethan Tussey, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY
Kevin Driscoll, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Sam Ford, PEPPERCOMM
Session I 5:00 – 6:45 p.m.
I7. Vocal Projections The Disembodied Voice in Documentary
Chair: Maria Pramaggiore, NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
Shilyh Warren, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT DALLAS, “Documentary Attunement and Earthly Crisis”
Maria Pramaggiore, NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY, “‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’: The Disembodied Voice in Rock Documentary”
Jean Walton, UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND, “Animating Voices, Onscreen and Off, in Kathleen Shannon’s Working Mothers”
Respondent: Jason Middleton, UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER
I22. Off Beat Music/Film Mismatches
Chair: Krin Gabbard, STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY
Caryl Flinn, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, “Christopher Plummer Learns to Sing”
Kathryn Kalinak, RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE, “How the West Was Off‐Beat: Howard Hawks, Dimitri Tiomkin, and the Score for The Big Sky”
Krin Gabbard, STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY, “‘What Is This Music?’: Jimmy Knepper with Charles Mingus and Tom Cruise”
Respondent: Kay Dickinson, CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY
I23. Workshop on Success and Survival in the 21st Century: Career Strategies for Under‐ or Unrepresented Graduate Students and Early Career Faculty in Film and Media Studies
Chair: Theresa L. Geller GRINNELL COLLEGE
Co‐chair: Jeffrey Masko, PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
Bambi Haggins, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
Sarah Projansky, UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
Julie Russo, BROWN UNIVERSITY
Maria San Filippo, WELLESLEY COLLEGE/HARVARD COLLEGE
Rebecca Gordon, FULBRIGHT FELLOW, NICARAGUA
THURSDAY INDIVIDUAL PAPERS OF INTEREST
E20. Mark Hain, INDIANA UNIVERSITY, “Visualizing the Great American Songbook: Queer Archiving, Class, and Memory”
F3. Joan McGettigan, TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY, “Play This Movie Loud: Sound and Silence in Terrence Malick Films”
F4. Michelle Cho, BROWN UNIVERSITY, “K‐pop, YouTube and ‘Pop Cosmopolitanism’ in the Digital Age”
F7. Diego Zavala, MONTERREY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY AND HIGHER EDUCATION, “Voice, Testimony, and Reflexivity in Werner Herzog ́s Documentary Films”
F11. Shannon Mattern, THE NEW SCHOOL, “Echoes and Entanglements: A Sonic Archaeology of the City”
F13. Colleen Montgomery, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, “Pixarticulation: Vocal Performance in the Toy Story and Monsters Inc. Franchises”
G5. Steven Rybin, GEORGIA GWINNETT COLLEGE, “Beyond the Voice: Patterns of Performance in Terrence Malick’s Films”
G11. Chunfeng Lin, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, URBANA‐CHAMPAIGN, “Noise in Chinese Neorealist Cinema: A Temporary Reverse Hierarchy (TRH) Model and Political Statements”
G20. Hannah Hamad, KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, “Musical Moments of Women’s Work and Affective Labor on Contemporary British Television”
H4. Regina Arnold, STANFORD UNIVERSITY, “Hardly Strictly Utopia: Race, Space, and the American Rock Festival”
H22. Maura Edmond, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, “Here We Go Again: Making (and Remaking) Music Videos After YouTube”
I3. Melissa Click, UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI, “Making Monsters: Lady Gaga, Social Media, and Fan Culture”
I9. Vanessa Chang, STANFORD UNIVERSITY, “Audiovisualizations: Musical Screens and the Sound Image”
I12. Rachel Haidu, UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER, “Triangulation and Transmission in the Works of Black Audio Film Collective, James Coleman, and Steve McQueen”
I17. Desiree Garcia, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, “Everything Old Is New Again: The Sing‐Along Musical Film”
Special Events Thursday Evening
5:30 – 7:00 pm
Youth Film Festival—Competition
DePaul University, Downtown Campus, 14 E. Jackson
Rediscoveries in the Phil Morton Archive
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street
Chicago Symphonies: Nontheatrical Shorts from the Chicago Film Archives
Cinema Borealis, 1550 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 4th floor
(Please note: there is no elevator)
Seating is extremely limited. (Reservations Martin Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
FRIDAY, MARCH 8
Session J 9:00 – 10:45 a.m.
J12. Gender Trouble across the Dial: Disrupting Conventions of Women’s Mediated Representation in Radio and Television, 1930–1960
Chair: Jennifer Wang, INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR
Jennifer Wang, INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR, “‘Recipe for Laughs’: Comedy While Cleaning in Housekeeping Radio Programs”
Kathryn Fuller‐Seeley, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY, “‘What Are You Laughing At, Mary?’: Transgressive Women and Gender Performance on the Jack Benny Radio Program”
Catherine Martin, BOSTON UNIVERSITY, “Adventure’s Fun, but Wouldn’t You Rather Get Married?: Gender Roles and the Office Wife in Radio Detective Dramas”
Joanne Morreale, NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY, “Dreams and Disruption: The Fifties Sitcom”
J18. Workshop on Surface Tension: The Stakes and Fates of Close Analysis
Chair: Elena Gorfinkel, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MILWAUKEE
Co-chair: Karl Schoonover, UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK
Victor Perkins, UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK
Lesley Stern, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO
Jean Ma, STANFORD UNIVERSITY
Mary Ann Doane, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
J19. Sound in Video Games and Interactive Media
Chair: Lori Landay, BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC
Chris Russell, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, “The Atari VCS and the Making of Digital Sound”
Costantino Oliva, UNIVERSITY OF MALTA, “Soundmarks in Digital Games Soundscapes”
Lori Landay, BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC ,“Sound, Embodiment, and the Experience of Interactivity in Video Games and Virtual Environments”
Respondent: Benjamin Aslinger, BENTLEY UNIVERSITY
J23. Workshop on Digital Humanities and Film and Media Studies: Staging an Encounter
Chair: Miriam Posner, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES
Co-Chair: Jason Mittell, MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE
Hannah Goodwin, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA
Jasmijn Van Gorp, UTRECHT UNIVERSITY
Jason Rhody, NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES
Eric Faden, BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY
Session K 12:15 – 2:00 p.m.
K14. Sounding the Radio Archive
Chair: Ian Whittington, MCGILL UNIVERSITY
Katherine McLeod, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, “Acoustic Archives: Listening to the CBC Radio Archives of Anthology”
Melissa Dinsman, UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME, “Clogged Networks: The Theoretical and Practical Difficulties of Radio Archivization”
Ian Whittington, MCGILL UNIVERSITY, “Tracing the Voice: Una Marson and the Ethics of the Radio Archive”
Respondent: Debra Rae Cohen, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
* Meeting of the Sound Studies Schoarly Interest Group *
12:15 – 2:00 pm
The Club International Room, Lobby Level
Session L 2:15 – 4:00 p.m.
L4. Live Sound in Film and Television
Chair Benjamin Wright, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Co-chair: Randolph Jordan, SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY
Benjamin Wright, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ,“We’ll Fix it in Post: The Professional and Creative Constraints of Production Sound Mixing”
Vanessa Ament‐Gjenvick, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY, “Mad About You: Production Sound Challenges in the Television Situation Comedy with Live Studio Audience”
Randolph Jordan, SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY, “Hearing the Cinematic City: Location Film Sound and Soundscape Research in Acoustic Ecology”
Michael Baker, UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA , “The Sound of Rockumentary: Location Recording and Documentary Sound Practice”
L11. Archeologies of Intermediality in Prewar Japanese Cinema
Chair: Michael Raine, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO
Keiko Sasagawa, KANSAI UNIVERSITY, “Silent Films with Popular Music: The Intermediality of Kouta Films, 1896–1929”
Michael Raine, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO, “A Revolution in Film Accompaniment: Record Playback Systems in Japanese Silent Cinemas”
Chie Niita, WASEDA UNIVERSITY, “Japanese Cinema and the Radio”
Johan Nordström, WASEDA UNIVERSITY, “Songs that Bind: Connections between the Early Japanese Sound Cinema and the Record Industry”
L14. Genre Studies: Variations on the Musical
Chair: Frances Smith, UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK
Paulina Suarez, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, “Stage, Backstage, Everyday Life: Scenes of Transition in the Cabaret Picture”
Sean Griffin, SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY, “‘And Then I Wrote . . .’: Enshrining the American Songbook in the Postwar Musical Biopic”
Amanda McQueen, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MADISON, “Songs and Shadows: The Question of the Classical Film Noir Musical, 1941–1958”
Frances Smith, UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK, “‘(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life’: The Afterlife of Dirty Dancing (Ardolino, 1987) in the Contemporary Romantic Comedy”
L16. Workshop on Graduate Education in Film and Media Studies
Chair: Masha Salazkina, CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY
Neepa Majumdar, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
Dana Polan, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
Jennifer Holt, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA
Shelley Stamp, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ
Masha Salazkina, CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY
FRIDAY INDIVIDUAL PAPERS OF INTEREST
J9. Anastasia Saverino, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, “Liveness Ever After: Popular Music and the Aesthetics of Referentiality”
J14. Richard McCulloch, UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA, “‘When Camp Goes Mainstream?’: Eurovision Audiences, Ironic Appreciation, and the Production of Comedy”
L5. Martha Shearer, KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, “‘Don’t You Realize a Big City Like this Changes All the Time?’: The Hollywood Musical and the Rise of Cold War New York”
Special Events Friday Evening
4:15 – 5:30 pm
Grand Ballroom, Lobby Level
SATURDAY, MARCH 9
Session M 9:00 – 10:45 a.m.
M6. “Hot‐Jazz in Stone”: The Urban Landscapes and Soundscapes of Film Noir
Chair: Richard Ness, WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
Michael Dwyer, ARCADIA UNIVERSITY, “It Takes the Village: The Neighborhood outside Hitchcock’s Rear Window”
Jans Wager, UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY, “From Paris to Ishpeming: Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, and the Landscape of Noir”
Richard Ness, WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY, “Killer Riffs: Music as Cultural Identifier in Contemporary Neo‐Noir”
Michele Schreiber, EMORY UNIVERSITY, “David Fincher1s San Francisco as Neo‐Noirscape”
M17. Workshop on Strategies for the Academic Job Market
Chair: Ashley Elaine, York UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA
Maruta Vitols, EMERSON COLLEGE
Scott Richmond, WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY
Homay King, BRYN MAWR COLLEGE
Aaron Baker, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
M23. Workshop on Critical Approaches to Studying the Radio Industries
Chair: Eleanor Patterson, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MADISON
Brian Fauteux, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MADISON
Jason Loviglio, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, BALTIMORE COUNTY
Jeremy Morris, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MADISON
Elena Razlogova, CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY
Alexander Russo, THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA
Session N 11:00 – 12:45 p.m.
N1. Networked Media
Chair: Patrick Jagoda, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Doron Galili, OBERLIN COLLEGE, “Networked Media Fantasies and the Project of Networking the World”
Max Dawson, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, “‘It’s the Network!’: Broadcasting, Cellular, and the Politics of Networks”
Patrick Jagoda, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, “Between: Network Aesthetics and Networked Games”
Respondent: Wendy Chun, BROWN UNIVERSITY
N4. Radio in Transition, Past and Present
Chair: Cynthia Meyers, COLLEGE OF MOUNT SAINT VINCENT
Kyle Barnett, BELLARMINE UNIVERSITY, “Rethinking Radio’s Rise through the Phonograph’s Fall”
Cynthia Meyers, COLLEGE OF MOUNT SAINT VINCENT, “Radio with Pictures: How the Ad Industry in the 1940s Debated the Transition from Radio to TV”
Andrew Bottomley, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MADISON, “The Liveness of Internet Radio: Streaming, Sociability, and the Experience of Radio in the Convergence Era”
Session O 1:00 – 2:45 p.m.
O15. The Actor’s Voice
Chair: Katherine Kinney, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE
Kelly Kirshtner, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MILWAUKEE, “Actor/Microphone: Acoustic Presence in Sound Collection Practices”
Yiman Wang, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ, “Speaking in a ‘Forked Tongue’: Anna May Wong’s Linguistic Cosmopolitanism”
Katherine Kinney, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE, “The Resonance of Brando’s Voice”
Katherine Fusco, UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO, “Voices from Beyond the Grave: Virtual Tupac’s Live Performance at Coachella”
O23. Workshop on Cinema and Media Studies in Higher Education: Perspectives from Administrators
Chair: Ted Hovet, WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY
Co-Chair: Charles Wolfe, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA
Michele Hilmes, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MADISON
R. Barton Palmer, CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
Murat Akser, KADIR HAS UNIVERSITY
Deniz Bayrakdar, KADIR HAS UNIVERSITY
Mary Desjardins, DARTMOUTH COLLEGE
Session P 3:00 – 4:45 p.m.
P11. Cinema Sound, Music, and Voice
Chair: Kate McQuiston, UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII, MANOA
Babak Tabarraee, UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA “A Pragmatic Approach to the Metaphor of Silence in the Oeuvre of Abbas Kiarostami”
Paula Musegades, BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY, “I Don’t Think We’re in the Nineteenth Century Anymore: Copland’s Establishment of Atmosphere in Golden Age Hollywood Films”
Nilo Couret, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, “The City Listened: Ethnography, Vernacular Speech, and Niní Marshall’s Vocal Stardom”
Kate McQuiston, UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII, MANOA, “Germanic Yearnings and Musical Dreams: Rehearing Stanley Kubrick”
P12. Remixing Hip-Hop Film and Visual Culture
Chair: Michele Prettyman‐Beverly, MIDDLE GEORGIA COLLEGE
Lauren Cramer, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY, “‘What Does Keepin’ It Real Look Like?’: Examining the Visual Language of Hip‐Hop Album Covers”
Charles Linscott, OHIO UNIVERSITY, “DJ Spooky’s Hip‐Hop Time Machine”
Michele Prettyman‐Beverly, MIDDLE GEORGIA COLLEGE, “Beautiful, Dark, and Twisted: Kanye West, Genius, and Madness in Hip‐Hop Film and Visual Culture”
P18. Economies of Media Industries
Chair: Brett Gary, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
Josh Shepperd, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MADISON, “The Emergence of the Non‐Monetary Economy of Public Broadcasting at the Allerton House Seminars, 1949–1950”
Colin Burnett, WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, “Rethinking the Culture‐Style Conundrum in Film Studies: Marketplace, Language, Artistry”
James Lastra, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, “The Economies of Modern Sound Design”
Douglas Gomery, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND/LIBRARY OF AMERICAN BROADCASTING, “Economies of Scale in Mass Media: The Case of Radio Broadcasting”
Session Q 5:00 – 6:45 p.m.
Q11. Japanese Celebrity Cultures
Chair: Colleen Laird, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
Junji Yoshida, OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY, “The Works of Samurai Legend in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: Restoring the Voice of Silent Humor in Horo Zanmai”
Kyoko Omori, HAMILTON COLLEGE, “In Occupied Japan, A Radio Star is Born: The Role of the Allied Powers in the Creation of an Anti‐governmental Political Satire Program”
Colleen Laird, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, “AKB48’s Tears of Surprise: Teen Idol as Fetish and the Consumption of Star Image”
Forrest Greenwood, THE COLLEGE OF ST. SCHOLASTICA, “A Spectral Pop Star Takes the Stage: Hatsune Miku and the Materialization of the Ephemeral in Contemporary Otaku Culture”
Q18. Channeling Stereo Histories The Shaping of Innovation in Film and Television Sound
Chair: Helen Hanson, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
Helen Hanson, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER, “Invention, Innovation, and Compromise: The Shaping of Multi‐Channel and Multi‐Speaker Film Sound in Hollywood’s Studio Era”
Jay Beck, CARLETON COLLEGE, “Theorizing Stereo: The Growth, Decline, and Rebirth of Multi‐Channel Film Sound”
Katherine Quanz, WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY, “Canadian Films’ Slow Transition to Multi‐Channel Sound”
James Lyons, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER, “‘You Don’t Need Stereo TV for Laverne and Shirley’: The Development of American Stereo TV Broadcasting
SATURDAY INDIVIDUAL PAPERS OF INTEREST
M15. Paul Reinsch, CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY, “Song(s) of the South: Country Music in/and Exploitation Cinema”
M16. Terri Francis, YALE UNIVERSITY, “Baker’s Burlesque: The Ironies and Erotics of Josephine Baker’s Celebrity”
M21. Jennifer Porst, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES, “The Sound Track Ban: The American Federation of Musicians’ Role in Excluding Feature Films from Television before 1955”
P13. Kristen Galvin, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE, “Jem: Girlhood, MTV, and Technological Transformation in the 1980s”
P19, Olufunmilayo Arewa, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE ,“Making Music: Copyright Law and Creative Processes”
O6. Akil Houston, OHIO UNIVERSITY, “Unrequited Love: Hip‐Hop Culture and 1970s Black Cinema”
O14. Bill Kirkpatrick, DENISON UNIVERSITY, “Voices Made for Print: Disabled Voices on the Radio”
O17. Barbara Klinger, INDIANA UNIVERSITY, “From Theaters to the Airwaves: Classic Hollywood Films and Transmedia in the 1940s”
Q9. Isabel Huacuja Alonso, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, “Censoring Film Music in All‐India Radio and the Case of a Failed Auditory Utopia”
Q15. Assem Nasr, INDIANA UNIVERSITY–PURDUE UNIVERSITY, FORT WAYNE, “Reliable Sources: Oral Cultures and News Media in Lebanon”
Q22. Sarah Kessler, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE, “I’m Your Puppet: Nina Conti’s Her Master’s Voice”
Special Events Saturday Evening
8:00 – 11:00 pm
SCMS Screen Test
Live the Warholian Experience at a Multiple‐Projection Event
Featuring “Screen Tests” of attendees shot by legendary Chicago filmmaker Judy Hoffman
Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago, 400 s. Peoria Street
With a Voice Like the Lake
New Experimental Media Work from Chicago
The Nightingale Theater, 1084 N. Milwaukee Avenue.
SUNDAY, MARCH 10
Session R 9:00 – 10:45 a.m.
RI. Meaning and Multiplicity in Game Environments
Chair: Nina Huntemann, SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY
Lyn Goeringer, OBERLIN CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC, “Beyond Guitar Hero: Sound Shapes, Sonic Inclusivity and Peer‐to‐Peer Musical Experience”
Ian Peters, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY, “Peril Sensitive Sunglasses, Batarangs, and Dark Lords of the Sith in Miniature: Videogame Feelies, Diegesis, and the Tangible Gaming Experience”
Benjamin Aslinger, BENTLEY UNIVERSITY, “Unlocking Kurt: Celebrity Likenesses and Ludic Music”
Nina Huntemann, SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY, “Foul Play v. Fair Use: Likeness Licensing Litigation in Sports Video Games”
R20. Rethinking Technologies of Audiovision
Luke Stadel, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
Jonathan Crylen, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, “The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Ciné: Humpback Whale Recordings and Film Sound”
Hannah Frank, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, “Beyond Mickey‐Mousing: American Animated Cartoons Learn to Talk, 1926–1933”
Luke Stadel, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, “Two‐Way TV”
Respondent: Steve Wurtzler, COLBY COLLEGE
* Meeting of the Radio Studies Scholarly Interest Group*
The Club International Room, Lobby Level
SUNDAY INDIVIDUAL PAPERS OF INTEREST
R5. Kate Newbold, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, “Sounding TV History: Boundaries of the Archive, Memory, and Personal Media Histories in the Case of Phil Gries’s Archival Television Audio”
R12. Mika Turim‐Nygren, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, CHICAGO, “Tevye: Language, Sound, and the Resonance of Ritual in the Late Yiddish Cinema”
R19. Christopher Cwynar, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN‐MADISON, “In a Town This Size: The Vinyl Café, the CBC, and the Nostalgic Mythos of Small‐Town Canada”
S1. Theodora Trimble, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH, “When All Boys Become Men: Russian Pop Music and the Global Ethnographic Idiom”
S4. Mark Lynn Anderson, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH, “Roads to Ruin; or, the Woman’s Voice in Late Silent Cinema”
S11. Sushmita Banerji, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, “Band‐Baaja in the Background: Manmohan Desai’s Music”
Interested in checking out the last few years of “Sound at the SCMS”? Peep the following links:
“Sound at SCMS 2012,” 26 March 2012
“Sound at SCMS 2011,” 28 February 2011