Happy happy #Blog-O-Versary 3.0 to our readers, writers, retweeters, and supporters of all kinds!! This year proves that, to quote De La Soul quoting Schoolhouse Rock, “three is the magic number.” Of course a mic check also has to go out to another important trio, SO!‘s editorial crüe: Plug One: yours truly JSA, Editor in Chief and Guest Posts Editor, Plug Two: Liana Silva, Managing Editor, and Plug Three: Aaron Trammell, Multimedia Editor.
Here’s just a sample of the goodness that SO! has brought to y’all this past year, with some hints of how we “can’t stop won’t stop (the awesomeness)” on into year four!
- #itoughttobeillegaltolookthisgood: After copious troubleshooting meetings and readers’ polls–thanks for the great feedback, btw–we changed to our new layout on January 1st, 2012, an effort spearheaded by Managing Editor Liana Silva. #lovingit #ohsoreadable
- #ontheregular: SO! welcomed two new regular writers to our roster this year, multimedia artist Maile Colbert, who works out of Binaural Nodar in Lisbon, Portugal. and African American Studies scholar Regina Bradley, coming to you out of Florida State University. Look for their posts on full regular rotation in 2013.
- #puttingourbizinthestreets: The word is out! This year Sounding Out! has been all over the Internet and even the print-o-sphere–with citations (American Quarterly), links (The European Sound Studies Association), features (IASPM-US), re-posts (Cultural Weekly), allusions (Wi: A Journal of Mobile Media), recommendations (The Chronicle of Higher Ed‘s Prof Hacker), responses (SheSeesRed) , and even an analysis of our #Occupy coverage (The Incredible Kaleidophone). For the full listing of all the folks we’ve caught talking about Sounding Out! since Blog-o-Versary 2.0, see our brand spanking new media page. And, if you have taught an SO! post in your class, cited one in an article, discussed SO! in a blog, or even had a really good dream about SO!, drop me an email and tell me about it: email@example.com
- #hotoffthepresses: Sounding Out! worked overtime this year to be responsive to the sonic edge of major events–#Occupy, the murder of Trayvon Martin, the #casseroles protests, the Helen Vendler/Rita Dove American poetry anthology debates, the sudden international popularity of The Artist –showing the relevance of our scholarly work in everyday life and, now more than ever, the importance of the humanities and social sciences in interpreting the world we share.
- #aaaahpushit: Our writers added over 15 new categories at SO! this year alone, based on the exciting new scholarship pushing sound studies into new directions: advertising, animals/animal studies, Carribbean Studies, curation, dance/movement, Deafness, economics, games/gaming, Islam/Muslim identity, Jewishness/Jewish identity, medicine, pedagogy, sound and region, religion and religious studies, time, vision/visuality, and writing. Big ups to Managing Editor Liana Silva for keeping our back catalogue up to date as new categories emerge, ensuring SO! will remain a fully searchable and usable tool for research, teaching, and pleasure reading.
- #seriesandforumsandCFPsohmy!: In addition to plotting our more broad general coverage, I began organizing special “Series” and “Forums” that took more lingering listens to specific issues and particular sites. In February 2012, SO! hosted a month-long forum on Deafness; throughout Spring 2012 we featured a series of dispatches, “Live From the SHC” that shared the new scholarship from the Sound Studies fellows gathered at Cornell’s Society for the Humanities. We just wrapped up a July forum on Listening in observation of World Listening Day and are in the midst of a summer series on radio history, “Tune in to the Past,” that sifts through the legacy of Norman Corwin. Look for a pedagogy forum to ring in the start of the academic school year in August, featuring the winner of our recent Call for Posts, “Sound and Pedagogy: Amplifying the Teachable Moment.” In fact, we received so many great pitches, we will offer a “refresher course” forum in spring 2013!
- #Puttingtheworldinworldlisteningday: U.S.-based sound studies is often critiqued for, well, being too U.S.-based. As a result I have sought out more posts that explore sound in transnational and diasporic contexts–such as “Everyone I listen to Fake Patois,” “Beat-ification: British Muslim Hip Hop and Ethical Listening Practices,” and “Listening to Disaster: Our Relationship to Sound in Danger”–and in sites across the globe: Ireland, Canada, England, and Portugal so far in 2012. Look for research focusing on (and located in) Ghana, Brasil, and Egypt in the months to come.
- #trippingthesoundpodcastic!: Directed by Multimedia Editor Aaron Trammell, SO!’s podcast series expanded this year to include regular quarterly installments, promising you a minimum of four experimental sonic explorations a year, with bonuses along the way. Since last year’s Blog-O-Versary podcast mixtape, we have taken you into the listening practices of sound artists, the roadside prayer containers of pious American truckers, memories of record store shopping, and deeper awareness of the soundscape. Subscribe to us on Itunes so you don’t miss a thing this year!
- #gonnagetourselvesconnected: Sounding Out! has forged relationships with many excellent sound-related organizations: American Studies Association Sound Studies Caucus, the Society for Ethnomusicology Sound Studies Special Interest Group, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Sound Studies Special Interest Group, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory), the Society for the Humanities at Cornell and the World Listening Project. Look out for our upcoming IASPM-US collaboration (on tap for February 2013), which will involve cross-blog programming and conversation about the relationship (and tensions) between pop music studies and sound studies. Not to mention, we’ve hosted 46 guests and counting, representing over 37 unique institutions!
And that’s just a glimpse of how Sounding Out! “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop (the Awesomeness)” on and on until the break of dawn (or at least until 9:00 a.m. every Monday morning). Now go ahead and take a listen with our annual downloadable mixtape–a seriously kick ass 90 minute TDK tape super-megamix that spans six decades and a dizzying array of genres–courtesy of Team SO! You’ve earned it!
–JSA, Editor in Chief
Click here for Sounding Out!‘s Blog-O-Versary 3.0 mix with track listing
Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman is co-founder, Editor-in-Chief and Guest Posts Editor for Sounding Out! She is also Assistant Professor of English at Binghamton University and a 2011-2012 Fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University.