ASA/SCMS Call for SO! Guest Editors Due 11/21


Dear fellow members of ASA and SCMS:

I’m writing to let you know about a new partnership between Sounding Out!: The Sound Studies Blog and the SCMS Sound Studies and Radio Studies SIGs, as well as the ASA Sound Studies Caucus. This is also a call for proposals for Guest Editors from these three groups interested in curating work for the SO! website.

SO! is a weekly publication and archive that offers a dynamic platform for readers, scholars and artists working in sound studies. Beginning in January 2014, the site will open a new stream of articles to be posted 2-3 Thursdays per month dedicated to work written and curated by ASA and SCMS members. I’ll be joining the editorial board to help co-ordinate this stream, working closely with Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman, Managing Editor Liana Silva-Ford and Multimedia Editor Aaron Trammell. I hope you’ll think of this generous real estate as a place to showcase your work, and, more importantly, to experiment with entirely new forms of writing and editing oriented toward a much wider public audience than scholarly publishing can usually reach.

Sounding Out! has been building the sound and radio studies communities since 2009. The site has published over 240 essays (including dozens by prominent Sound SIG and Radio SIG members), produced 20 podcasts, and done a number of forums, live-at events, and seasonal series. SO! has an average of more than 300 readers per day and its work has been cited in publications ranging from American Quarterly to the Huffington Post and Wikipedia. Our site has recently been picked up to be listed in the MLA Index. Learn more about the site by reading the mission statement here and the editorial statement, here. You can see a list of the SO! Advisory Board, many of them SCMS members, here.

Our idea for the Thursday series is to turn it into a space curated primarily by Guest Editors. A Guest Editor is responsible for developing an installment theme, recruiting 2-5 writers for a series of posts on that theme, and editing their work to meet the tone and space requirements of the site in a timely manner. As Special Editor, I will work with you at all stages of this process, and help build posts prior to publication.

So if you want to guest edit a series – perhaps based on a panel topic past or future, on a fresh concept or new approach that could develop well in public, on treasures in a particular archive, or something more creative that “does” sound media studies in a curious way – then send me a 500 word pitch with the theme, naming possible writers to contribute to the series.

Here are some parameters and ideas to keep in mind:

  • Articles are generally 1000-1200 words in length, plus audio and images. We encourage you to be creative with multimedia. One reason SO! is so successful is that our subject area lends itself to rich visual and aural material. If you anticipate getting experimental with your media, you will want to reach out to Aaron Trammell, Sounding Out’s Multimedia Editor at

  • The creative focus of the stream will be the relationship between sound and medium, but we construe both of those terms broadly. Recent months of SO! have featured a stunning variety of methodologies and subjects – from close historical readings to coverage of current events, from provocative essays to podcast scripts – and we hope to see interdisciplinarity in your proposal.

  • SO! has a long-standing intellectual focus on power and social difference. Decisions on programming and editing are guided by a mission to explore the cultural politics of sound and listening in a wide variety of social contexts and editors actively seek out work from marginalized communities of scholars, artists, and performers. We encourage underrepresented scholars to be part of this intellectual community.

  • Submissions from graduate students and junior faculty are highly encouraged. We are also especially interested in works that take an international focus, and in pieces written in languages other than English (with translation, ideally).

  • SO! adopts a peer-to-peer review model, an open process by which editors work through drafts with the writer prior to publication (in consultation with the Advisory Board), and scholars review and critique the work afterward. As Guest Editor, part of your job is to honor the rigors of this model.

  • This is a venue to publish your work, but it is also a venue for provocations that rethink what critical scholarly platforms ought to be, particularly in the digital era.

We’ve set a deadline of Nov. 21st for editors interested in the 2014 calendar year. Strong early submissions could receive swift acceptance to fill spots in January and February. Questions? Proposals? Contact me at:

Thanks and best wishes,

Neil Verma

The University of Chicago

Special Editor, Sounding Out!


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