Happy new year, dear Sounding Out! readers! Early January brings about New Year’s resolutions, specials on bins for holiday ornaments, Three Kings’ Day, and our yearly MLA sound studies panel round-up. This year, MLA 2014 attendees will get another blast of cold temperatures because this year’s convention is in Chicago—not much of a difference weather-wise from Boston but just as exciting! If you’re undecided about what panels to check out or if you’re not sure about where to start with the MLA Program, you’re in the right place: I combed the MLA Program page by page and condensed it just for our sound studies aficionados. If you’re sitting this MLA out or if you’re just curious about what the following panels are all about, it’s easy to follow the conference from home if you have access to Twitter. MLA is one of the most active academic conferences on social media: there’s the lively twitter hashtag #MLA14, the individual hashtags for each session (#s–followed by the session number), and an attentive twitter account (@MLAConvention), so even if you’re not in Chi-town you can still see what’s going on at your favorite panels this week.
Whereas last year some of the sound-oriented panels had a particular digital angle, this year there are several panels look at the intersection of sound and literary studies. The titles may not suggest sound, but the presentations do. For example, panel #s384 Literary Crossroads: African American Literature and Christianity includes presentations on representations of gospel and spirituality in different African American books. Another panel of interest is #s414, Literature and Media in the Nineteenth-Century United States arranged by the Division on Nineteenth-Century American Literature. (This panel resonates nicely with Sounding Out!’s Sound in the Nineteenth Century forum which just ended last Monday.) The focus on literature may come from the fact that the MLA brings many literary scholars together, but it is encouraging that the study of sound is also overlapping with the study of literature.
Despite that the convention brings literature scholars from across the United States together, some of the more intriguing sound-oriented panels are not focused on literature at all. In fact, several panels address sound from the angle of music. Panel #s131, The Musics of Chicago brings together High Fidelity and Lupe Fiasco, and panel #s162 on the HBO series Girls includes Chloe H. Johnson’s paper “Dancing on My Own: Popular Music and Issues of Identity in Girls.“ Although the fields of literary studies and cultural studies are sometimes in tension with each other, some MLA presenters are approaching popular culture particularly from an aural angle.
Music is not the only presence of sound in the MLA Program. Several panels bring up sound in conjunction with pedagogy. Some of our readers may remember the forum Sounding Out! hosted last year on sound and pedagogy—a forum of which I was a part. I’m glad to see other language, composition, and literature teachers are thinking about sound too. Panel #s114, Dialects of English Worldwide: Issues in English Language Studies includes several papers that think about spoken English nowadays. For those who are interested in how the sound of students’ speech are intersected by structural racism and public policy will find lots to think about with this panel. If you’re looking for concrete suggestions on using sound as a pedagogical approach, panel #s213 has some answers. Twenty-First-Century Pedagogies, arranged by the Discussion Group on the Two-Year College includes a presentation on sound essays by Kathryn O’Donoghue from the Graduate Center at City Univ. of New York.
Where will Team SO! be at MLA 2014? Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman can be found at the DH Commons pre-conference workshop on Thursday, January 9, 2014; she will be presenting Friday, January 10 at 8:30 am on her research on Lead belly and Richard Wright as part of panel #s221, Singing Out in the American Literary Experience. Regular writer Regina Bradley will be presenting Friday at 5:15 pm on panel #s403 Words, Works, and New Archives: Studying African American Literature in the Twenty-First Century. Guest blogger Scott Poulson-Bryant will be at panel #s447, The Seventies in Black and White: A Soundtrack on Saturday at 8:30 am. I will be presenting on Friday morning at panel #s218, a roundtable on the graduate seminar paper and will be leading panel #s788, Back Up Your Work: Conceptualizing Writing Support for Graduate Students on Sunday at 1:45 pm. You can catch us on Twitter: @lianamsilvaford and @soundingoutblog where we’ll be live-tweeting panels and keeping followers up to date on convention chatter. Who knows, maybe there’ll be an impromptu SO! tweet-up? Stay tuned to our social media feeds!
Liana Silva-Ford is co-founder and Managing Editor of Sounding Out!.
Featured image: “Mississippi North” by Flickr user John W. Iwanski, CC-BY-NC-2.0
THURSDAY, JANUARY 9, 2014
8:30 am-11:30 am
3. Get Started in the Digital Humanities with Help from DHCommons
Chicago A–B, Chicago Marriott
PRESIDING: Ryan Cordell, Northeastern Univ.; Josh Honn, Northwestern Univ.; Katherine A. Rowe, Bryn Mawr Coll.
The workshop welcomes language and literature scholars who wish to learn about, pursue, or join digital humanities (DH) projects but do not have the institutional infrastructure to support them. Representatives of DH projects and initiatives will share their expertise on project design, outline available resources and opportunities, and lead small-group training sessions on DH technologies and skills. Preregistration required.
12:00 pm-1:15 pm
31. Radical Curators, Vulnerable Genres: Lost Histories of Collecting, Editing, Bibliography
Michigan–Michigan State, Chicago Marriott
PRESIDING: Meredith L. McGill, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick
Jessica J. Beard, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz;
Alex Black, Cornell Univ.;
Jane Greenway Carr, New York Univ.;
Ellen Gruber Garvey, New Jersey City Univ.
Laura Helton, Univ. of Virginia
Courtney Thorsson, Univ. of Oregon
33. Sir Walter Scott and Music
Sheffield, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the Lyrica Society for Word-Music Relations
PRESIDING: Jeff Dailey, Five Towns Coll.
1. “Cutting Out the Castle Quicksand: Scott’s Bride, Donizetti’s Lucia, and the ‘Personally Furious’ Ayn Rand,” Shoshana Milgram Knapp, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ.
2. “‘Drifting through the Intellectual Atmosphere’ from Scott’s Old Morality to Liszt’s Hexameron,” Catherine Ludlow, Western Illinois Univ.
3. “Walter Scott, British Identity, and International Grand Opera: Isidore de Lara’s Amy Robsart(1893),” Tommaso Sabbatini, Univ. of Chicago
For abstracts, visit lyricasociety.org.
75. Voice and Silence
Mississippi, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Division on French Medieval Language and Literature
PRESIDING: Matilda Tomaryn Bruckner, Boston Coll.
1. “Gut Feelings,” Jason D. Jacobs, Roger Williams Univ.
2. “Tomboy Silence,” Wan-Chuan Kao, Washington and Lee Univ.
3. “Giving Voice to the Word of God; or, Bernard of Clairvaux Sings the Song of Songs,” Kris Trujillo, Univ. of California, Berkeley
114. Dialects of English Worldwide: Issues in English Language Studies
Illinois, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Present-Day English Language
PRESIDING: Elizabeth Bell Canon, Emory Univ.
1. “‘Speak the Language of Your Flag’: American Policy Responses to Nonanglophone Immigrants,” Dennis E. Baron, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
2. “The Sounds of Silence: Standard and Nonstandard Englishes in Contemporary Ethnic American Writing,” Melissa Dennihy, Queensborough Community Coll., City Univ. of New York
3. “Star Spanglish Banter: Harnessing Students’ Linguistic Expertise,” Jill Hallett, Northeastern Illinois Univ.
4. “Emerging Attitudes toward New Media within the Discourses of Poetics and Literature,” April Pierce, Univ. of Oxford
131. The Musics of Chicago
Chicago H, Chicago Marriott
PRESIDING: Shawn Higgins, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs
1. “Sweet Home Chicago? (Dis)Locating the American ‘Race Record’ in High Fidelity,” Jürgen E. Grandt, Univ. of North Georgia
2. “Experiment and Exodus in the Music of Chicago,” Toshiyuki Ohwada, Keio Univ.
3. “Fly Girls or Blackface? The Racial and Gender Politics of Lupe Fiasco,” Jorge Santos, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs
141. Enduring Noise: Sound and Sexual Difference
Illinois, Chicago Marriott
PRESIDING: Rizvana Bradley, Emory Univ.
1. “Listening to Gertrude Stein’s Repeating: Sonorous Temporality in The Making of Americans,” Erin McNellis, Univ. of California, Irvine
2. “Queer Extensities: Pauline Oliveros and Disco,” Amalle Dublon, Duke Univ.
3. “Metal, Reproduction, and the Politics of Doom,” Aliza Shvarts, New York Univ.
RESPONDING: Rizvana Bradley
162. Girls and the F Word: Twenty-First-Century Representations of Women’s Lives
Los Angeles–Miami, Chicago Marriott
PRESIDING : Tahneer Oksman, Marymount Manhattan Coll.
1. “‘My Shoes Match My Dress . . . Kind Of!’: The Politics of Dressing and Nakedness in Girls,” Laura Scroggs, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities
2. “She’s Just Not That into You: Girls, Dating, and Damage,” Jennifer Mitchell, Weber State Univ.
3. “Dancing on My Own: Popular Music and Issues of Identity in Girls,” Chloe H. Johnson, York Univ., Keele
RESPONDING: Nancy K. Miller, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York
FRIDAY, JANUARY 10, 2014
8:30 am-9:45 am
207. Diversifying the Victorian Verse Archives
Chicago A–B, Chicago Marriott
PRESIDING : Meredith Martin, Princeton Univ.
1. “Recovering Tennyson’s ‘Melody in Poetry’: Salon Recitations and Musical Settings,” Phyllis Weliver, Saint Louis Univ.
2. “Morris Metrics: The Work of Meter in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Yopie Prins, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor
3. “Digital Archives and the Music of Victorian Poetry,” Joanna Swafford, Univ. of Virginia
For abstracts, visit https://sites.google.com/a/slu.edu/diversifying-the-victorian-verse-archives/
213. Twenty-First-Century Pedagogies
Michigan–Michigan State, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on the Two-Year College
PRESIDING: Stacey Lee Donohue, Central Oregon Community Coll.
1. “Not on Wikipedia: Making the Local Visible,” Laurel Harris, Queensborough Community Coll., City Univ. of New York
2. “Survival Spanish Online: Designing a Community College Course That Bridges Culture and Authentic Connections,” Cecilia McGinniss Kennedy, Clark State Community Coll., OH
3. “Sound Essays: A Cure for the Common Core,” Kathryn O’Donoghue, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York
4. “Leveling Up! Gamifying the Literature Classroom,” Jessica Lewis-Turner, Temple Univ., Philadelphia
For abstracts, visit commons.mla.org/groups/the-two-year-college/announcements/ after 15 Dec.
217. Cuba on Stage
Arkansas, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Cuban and Cuban Diaspora Cultural Production
PRESIDING: Vicky Unruh, Univ. of Kansas
1. “José Triana, Virgilio Piñera, and the Racial Erotics of Cuban Tragedy,” Armando Garcia, Univ. of Pittsburgh
2. “Estorino’s Gray Ghosts,” David Lisenby, Univ. at Albany, State Univ. of New York
3. “Musical Trangressions on the Cuban Stage: Rap, Rock, and Reggaeton,” Elena Valdez, Swarthmore Coll.
4. “Locating the Malecón,” Bretton White, Colby Coll.
221. Singing Out in the American Literary Experience
Old Town, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Folklore and Literature
PRESIDING: Mark Allan Jackson, Middle Tennessee State Univ.
1. “Re-sounding Folk Voice, Remaking the Ballad: Alan Lomax, Margaret Walker, and the New Criticism,” Derek Furr, Bard Coll.
2. “‘A Voice to Match All That’: Lead Belly, Richard Wright, and Lynching’s Sound Track,” Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman, Binghamton Univ., State Univ. of New York
3. “Stunting Gualinto: The Limits of Corrido Heroism in Americo Paredes’s George Washington Gomez,” Melanie Hernandez, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
For abstracts, write to email@example.com.
261. Applying Linguistics to the Learning of Middle Eastern Languages
Huron, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on General Linguistics
PRESIDING: Terrence Potter, Georgetown Univ.
1. “How Strategic Can They Be? Differences between Student and Instructor Attitudes toward Language Learning Strategies,” Gregory Ebner, United States Military Acad.
2. “Needs-Analysis Informed Task Design in Arabic Foreign Language Programs in the United States: Insights from Learner Perceptions and Production,” Maimoonah Al Khalil, King Saud Univ., Riyadh
3. “Linguistic Advantages and Constraints in the Classroom: Judeo-Spanish as an L2,” Bryan Kirschen, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
For abstracts, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
263. John Clare: The Voices of Nature
Chicago C, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the John Clare Society of North America
PRESIDING: Rochelle Johnson, Coll. of Idaho
1. “Speaking for the Trees: Margaret Cavendish, John Clare, and Voicing Nature,” Bridget Mary Keegan, Creighton Univ.
2. “Clare’s Air: Sound in Motion,” Paul Chirico, Univ. of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Coll.
3. “John Clare: The Unusual and Challenging Natural Historian,” Eric H. Robinson, Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston
12:00 pm-1:15 pm
269A. Chicago Latina/o Writing: A Creative Conversation
Sheraton I, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Office of the Executive Director
PRESIDING: Ariana Ruiz, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
SPEAKERS: Rey Andújar, Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe
Brenda Cárdenas, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Paul Martínez Pompa, Triton Coll.
Achy Obejas, Chicago, IL
270. Women’s Education in Third World Countries
Parlor G, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Culture and Society
PRESIDING : Shirin E. Edwin, Sam Houston State Univ.
1. “Narrative Approaches to Transmitting Regional Oral and Instrumental Literary Traditions in the Works of Aminata Sow Fall,” Julie Ann Huntington, Marymount Manhattan Coll.
2. “Gender, Class, and Education: Intersections in South Asian Literature,” Maryse Jayasuriya, Univ. of Texas, El Paso
3. “Women’s Schooling in Clarice Lispector’s Narrative: A Brazilian Education,” Alejandro E. Latinez, Sam Houston State Univ.
279. Dadaphone: Indeterminacy in Words and Music
Huron, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the Lyrica Society for Word-Music Relations and the Association for the Study of Dada and Surrealism
PRESIDING : Jeff Dailey, Five Towns Coll.
1. “Black Dada,” Kathy Lou Schultz, Univ. of Memphis
2. “Aleatory Adaptation and Indeterminate Interpretation: Radiohead’s In Rainbows as Faustian Rock Opera,” Meg Tarquinio Roche, Northeastern Univ.
3. “Game Changer: Cage’s Word-Music Combination in ‘Renunion’ and ‘Solo 23,'” Sydney Boyd, Rice Univ.
4. “Graphic Notation in Contemporary Music and Its Debt to Dada,” Laura Prichard, Univ. of Massachusetts, Lowell
For abstracts, visit lyricasociety.org.
5:15 pm-6:30 pm
384. Literary Crossroads: African American Literature and Christianity
Addison, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the Conference on Christianity and Literature and the Division on Literature and Religion
PRESIDING: Katherine Clay Bassard, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.
1. “God’s Trombones, the Social Gospel, and the Harlem Renaissance,” Jonathan Fedors, Univ. of Pennsylvania
2. “When the Gospel Sings the Blues in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man,” Claudia Rosemary May, Univ. of California, Berkeley
3. “Faith Moves: Belief and the Body in Bill T. Jones’s Chapel/Chapter and Toni Morrison’sParadise,” Leslie Elizabeth Wingard, Coll. of Wooster
For abstracts, write to email@example.com.
403. Words, Works, and New Archives: Studying African American Literature in the Twenty-First Century
Michigan–Michigan State, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the College Language Association
PRESIDING : Warren Carson, Univ. of South Carolina, Spartanburg
1. “The Field and Function of African American Literary Scholarship: A Memorial and a Challenge,” Dana A. Williams, Howard Univ.
2. “The Black Book: Creating an Interactive Research Environment,” Kenton Rambsy, Univ. of Kansas
3. “Keepin’ It Interactive: Hip-Hop in the Age of Digital Reproduction,” Regina Bradley, Kennesaw State Univ.; Jeremy Dean, Rap Genius, Inc.
414. Literature and Media in the Nineteenth-Century United States
Chicago A–B, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on Nineteenth-Century American Literature
PRESIDING : Meredith L. McGill, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick
SPEAKERS: Jonathan Elmer, Indiana Univ., Bloomington
Teresa Alice Goddu, Vanderbilt Univ.
Naomi Greyser, Univ. of Iowa
Brian Hochman, Georgetown Univ.
Christopher J. Lukasik, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette
Lauren A. Neefe, Stony Brook Univ., State Univ. of New York
For project statements, panelist biographies, and description of roundtable format, visit19thcamlitdiv.wordpress.com after 1 Dec.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 11, 2014
8:30 am-9:45 am
441. Socialist Senses
Ohio, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Slavic Literatures and Cultures
PRESIDING : Nancy Condee, Univ. of Pittsburgh
1. “The Materiality of Sound: Esfir Shub’s Haptic Cinema,” Lilya Kaganovsky, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
2. “From the Cinema of Attractions to the Cinema of Affect in Early Socialist Realism,” R. J. D. Bird, Univ. of Chicago
3. “Ineluctable Modality of the Visible: Gorky’s Return and the Onset of Clarity,” Petre M. Petrov, Princeton Univ.
For abstracts, visit mlaslavic.blogspot.com/ after 30 Dec.
447. The Seventies in Black and White: A Soundtrack
Purdue-Wisconsin, Chicago Marriott
PRESIDING : Jack Hamilton, Harvard Univ.
1. “Mutts of the Planet: Joni Mitchell Channels Charles Mingus,” David Yaffe, Syracuse Univ.
2. “Righteous Minstrels: Race, Writing, and the Clash,” Jack Hamilton
3. “Broken Masculinities: Black Sound, White Men, and New York City,” Scott Poulson-Bryant, Harvard Univ.
10:15 am-11:30 am
474. African American Voices from the Civil War
Michigan–Michigan State, Chicago Marriott
PRESIDING : Timothy Sweet, West Virginia Univ., Morgantown
1. “The Color of Quaintness: Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Black Song, and American Union,”Jeremy Wells, Indiana Univ. Southeast
2. “‘If We Ever Expect to Be a Pepple’: The Literary Culture of African American Soldiers,” Christopher A. Hager, Trinity Coll., CT
3. “‘And Terrors Broke from Hill to Hill’: The Civil War Poems of George Moses Horton,” Faith Barrett, Duquesne Univ.
4. “The Negro in the American Rebellion: William Wells Brown and the Design of African American History,” John Ernest, Univ. of Delaware, Newark
485. Digital Practice: Social Networks across Borders
Missouri, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Division on Twentieth-Century German Literature
PRESIDING : Stefanie Harris, Texas A&M Univ., College Station
1. “Kafka and the Kafkaesques: Close Reading Online Fan Fiction,” Bonnie Ruberg, Univ. of California, Berkeley
2. “Network Politics, Wireless Protocols, and Public Space,” Erik Born, Univ. of California, Berkeley
3. “Intersections of Music, Politics, and Digital Media: Bandista,” Ela Gezen, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst
Responding: Yasemin Yildiz, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
For abstracts, visit german.berkeley.edu/transit.
12:00 pm-1:15 pm
508. Performing Blackness in the Nineteenth Century
Chicago A–B, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on Nineteenth-Century American Literature
PRESIDING : Harvey Young, Northwestern Univ.
1. “Being Touched: Sojourner Truth’s ‘Spiritual Theatre’ and the Genealogy of Radical Black Activism,” Jayna Brown, Univ. of California, Riverside
2. “Frederick Douglass and the ‘Claims’ of Democratic Individuality in Antebellum Political Theory,” Douglas Jones, Princeton Univ.
3. “’Dey Make Me Say Dat All De Time: Performance Art, Objecthood, and Joice Heth’s Sonic of Dissent,” Uri McMillan, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
509. Becoming Chroniclers: Latin American Women Writers and the Press, 1920–73
Parlor F, Sheraton Chicago
PRESIDING : Vicky Unruh, Univ. of Kansas
1. “The Opportunities of Technology: Cube Bonifant’s Radiophonic Chronicles in El universal ilustrado,” Viviane A. Mahieux, Univ. of California, Irvine
2. “Key Moments in the Subversion of a Genre: Alfonsina Storni and Clarice Lispector Redefine Womanhood,” Mariela Méndez, Univ. of Richmond
3. “Issues of Gender and Genre: Isabel Allende and Clarice Lispector Writing Chronicles, 1968–73,” Claudia Mariana Darrigrandi, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez
572. Illness and Disability Memoir as Embodied Knowledge
Los Angeles–Miami, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the MLA Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession
PRESIDING : Rachel Adams, Columbia Univ.
1. “Recoding Silence: Teresa de Cartagena, Medieval Sign Lexicons, and Deaf Life Writing,” Jonathan H. Hsy, George Washington Univ.
2. “‘Twisted and Deformed’: Virginia Woolf, Alison Bechdel, and Crip-Feminist Autobiography,” Cynthia Barounis, Washington Univ. in St. Louis
3. “‘My Worry Now Accumulates’: Sensorial and Emotional Contagion in Autistic Life Writing,” Ralph James Savarese, Grinnell Coll.
For papers or abstracts, write to firstname.lastname@example.org after 1 Jan.
3:30 pm-4:45 pm
586. Early Modern Media Ecologies
Great America, Chicago Marriott
PRESIDING: Jen Boyle, Coastal Carolina Univ.
1. “Needlework Networks: Paper, Prints, and Female Authorship,” Whitney Trettien, Duke Univ.
2. “Sidney Circularities: Music and Script in the Contrafactum Lyric,” Scott A. Trudell, Univ. of Maryland, College Park
3. “Stage, Stall, Street, Sheet: Multimedia Shakespeare,” Adam G. Hooks, Univ. of Iowa
For abstracts, visit www.scotttrudell.com.
591. Multilingualism in Native American and Aboriginal Texts
Kane, Chicago Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on American Indian Literatures
PRESIDING : Beth H. Piatote, Univ. of California, Berkeley
1. “Reading Resistance and Resisting Readings in a Bilingual Text,” Laura J. Beard, Univ. of Alberta
2. “Narrative and Orthography in Cree Oral Histories,” Stephanie J. Fitzgerald, Univ. of Kansas
3. “Ongwe Onwe Languages in the Fourth Epoch of Iroquois History,” Penelope M. Kelsey, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder
4. “Poetics of ka ‘āina and na ‘ōiwi: Language(s) of Land, Earth, and the Hawaiian People in Haunani-Kay Trask’s Night Is a Sharkskin Drum,” Nicole Tabor, Moravian Coll.
5:15 pm-6:30 pm
624. Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy in Medieval and Early Modern England: Form and History
Old Town, Chicago Marriott
PRESIDING : Ian Cornelius, Yale Univ.
1. “Singing and Speaking Boethius in Anglo-Saxon England,” Anne Schindel, Yale Univ.
2. “Sensible Prose and the Sense of Meter: Ethics and the Mixed Form in Boethius and After,” Eleanor Johnson, Columbia Univ.
3. “Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy and an Expansive Theology in the Late Sixteenth Century: Queen Elizabeth’s Translation in Context,” Linda Suzanne Shenk, Iowa State Univ.
For abstracts, write to email@example.com.
625. Verbal and Visual Satire in the Nineteenth Century
Chicago F, Chicago Marriott
PRESIDING : Joseph Litvak, Tufts Univ.
1. “Organizing Anarchy: Class, Intellectual Property, and Graphic Satire,” Jason Kolkey, Loyola Univ., Chicago
2. “The Reemergence of Radical Satire in the Late Nineteenth Century,” Frank A. Palmeri, Univ. of Miami
3. “Turn-of-the-Century Satirical Plots of Fenian and Anarchist Terrorism,” Jennifer Malia, Norfolk State Univ
645. Current Issues in Romance Linguistics
Parlor F, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Comparative Romance Linguistics
PRESIDING : Andrea Perez Mukdsi, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York
1. “Attribution in Romance: Reconstructing the Oral and Written Tradition,” Martin Hummel, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
2. “Pronouns and the Author-Reader Relationship in Academic Portuguese,” Karina Veronica Molsing, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul; Cristina Perna, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul
3. “The Semantic Feature [+INFLUENCE] and the Spanish Subjunctive,” M. Emma Ticio Quesada, Syracuse Univ.
4. “Palatalization in Chilean Spanish and Proto-romance,” Carolina Gonzalez, Florida State Univ.
For abstracts, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 12, 2014
12:00 pm-1:15 pm
742. Socialist Culture in the Age of Disco: East European Popular Pleasures
Parlor F, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages
PRESIDING: Jessie M. Labov, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
1. “Imperial Disco: Czeslaw Milosz and Science Fiction,” Mikolaj Golubiewski, Free Univ.
2. “The ‘Movement of Writing Workers’ and State Stability in the 1970s German Democratic Republic,” William Waltz, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
3. “Flaming Socialist Creatures: Hippies as Auteurs in Soviet Latvia,” Mark Svede, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
For abstracts, visit mlaslavic.blogspot.com/.
744. Mass versus Coterie: The Audiobook
Missouri, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Division on Prose Fiction
PRESIDING : Rebecca L. Walkowitz, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick
1. “‘Fully Fleshed Out and Filled with Emotion’: Accent, Region, and Identification in the Reception of The Help,” Sydney Bufkin, Univ. of Texas, Austin
2. “Joyce, LibriVox, and the Recording Coterie,” Brandon Walsh, Univ. of Virginia
3. “Alien Stereo: China Mieville’s Embassytown,” Christopher Pizzino, Univ. of Georgia
1:45 pm-3:00 pm
788. Back Up Your Work: Conceptualizing Writing Support for Graduate Students
Grace, Chicago Marriott
PRESIDING : Liana Silva-Ford, Houston, TX
Tara Betts, Binghamton Univ., State Univ. of New York;
Lee Ann Glowzenski, Duquesne Univ.;
Annemarie Pérez, Loyola Marymount Univ.
Abigail Scheg, Elizabeth City State Univ.
792. Old Materials, New Materialisms
Missouri, Sheraton Chicago
Program arranged by the Division on Methods of Literary Research
1. “Objects, Authors, and Other Matter(s) in the Gloria Anzaldúa Archive,” Suzanne M. Bost, Loyola Univ., Chicago
2. “Writing Histories of Listening: Acoustemology as Literary Practice,” Ely Rosenblum, Univ. of Cambridge
3. “Even the Stones Cry Out: Archival Research and the Inhuman Turn,” Andrew Ferguson, Univ. of Virginia
4. “A Life of Its Own: A Vital Materialist Look at the Medieval Manuscript as an Agentic Assemblage,” Angela Bennett Segler, New York Univ.
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
On a Tuesday right after Valentine’s Day in 2011 thousands of people marched on the Wisconsin capitol and good-naturedly, but firmly, took over the building. They came for a hearing scheduled by the state government’s Joint Finance Committee, and as crowds swelled out on the snow-covered lawn a long line of citizens formed indoors, waiting their turn to address the Committee and give brief remarks about proposed changes to the state budget.
Up for discussion was the Governor’s proposal to cut public employees’ benefits and eliminate their collective bargaining rights, and having gotten word of widespread outcry, the co-chairs of the Committee had released this statement:
We welcome public participation in our representative democracy. Unlike two years ago when Democrats did not hold a public hearing for the last budget repair bill, we want to listen to individuals’ concerns. Due to the large number of participants, each person will be given up to 2 minutes to address the committee. This will ensure that everyone has their voice heard.
Late that night, the Committee cut off public testimonies in spite of a line still stretched down the hall. One group refused to leave and staged an occupation of the capitol building in protest of both the bill and the foreclosure of public input.
Over the next few weeks, people slept overnight on the marble floor while bigger groups assembled there each day, reportedly in numbers reaching between 70,000 and 100,000. Many carried signs backing public sector workers, but the overall majority showed their solidarity with the protest simply by wearing bright “Badger red” hats, coats, sweaters, and shirts, University of Wisconsin memorabilia now transformed into signs of political support for all of the state’s public institutions. The view from upper levels of the capitol rotunda struck a dramatic portrait as people ringed the center of the room facing inward. One person who spent a lot of time there told me he liked to call it the “eye of the storm.”
Domed spaces tend to be noisy. Sound bounces off of the curvature of the ceiling at so many different angles that what’s audible on the floor quickly takes on so many threads of reverberation that a single voice gets easily obscured. In the Wisconsin capitol, handheld electric bullhorns became instrumental for leading chants and making announcements, but people found they didn’t always do the trick. In one reported instance, a megaphone still wasn’t enough for one woman’s voice to be heard across the rotunda, and so she broke her announcement into fragments and waited in between them as people standing near her repeated each one in loud unison. “State Senator Dale Schultz [repeated]…has withdrawn his vote for the bill [repeated].”
Today that variation of call and response is widely regarded as an iconic feature of the Occupy Wall Street campaign, where it has been likened to liturgy, to brainwashing, to a game of “telephone,” to Garrett Morris’s “News for the Hard of Hearing” bit from Saturday Night Live, and to Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
Yet also, as the practice was manifest at lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, it has attracted great interest and variety of comment regarding how it might reflect the values and objectives of those gathering in downtown New York City. It was purported to unite a crowd; it helps ensure that “no one is left to feel isolated and alone;” it accelerates the exchange of information because it “forces everyone to edit group public speech down to the essentials;” it slows the campaign and gives it valuable time to develop; it is “a lesson in the obstinacy required for intentional, durable citizenship.”
Although one need only consider the depth of history stretching out prior to the invention of electric amplification to be certain that the method of communication isn’t new to this year nor even to this century, the question of its recent emergence remains important for identifying possible affinities across boundaries that might otherwise divide protest actions. Last winter in Wisconsin, after transmitting the message about Senator Schultz, the demonstrators apparently didn’t carry on with it the way people did in lower Manhattan, but one need not stop at noting that this proves the technique wasn’t invented this fall in New York. In the capitol building, members of the Wisconsin public instituted a different audio innovation that reflects a shared sense of purpose between the two protest actions. And if one follows a similar connection recently posited in Rolling Stone Magazine between Occupy Wall Street and factory takeovers in Argentina, one might bring into focus a call and response operating across even broader stretches of time and space.
In Wisconsin, the civil disobedience broke out immediately after lawmakers ended the budget hearing with citizens still waiting to speak, and in the following days an alternative system of public testimony took shape on the floor of the capitol rotunda. According to one member of the collective who facilitated its operation, the forum emerged in conjunction with a circle of drummers, who, during pauses in their playing, invited individuals to sequentially address all those gathered using megaphones carried in by the public. Soon after moving up to a single-speaker amplifier that had been provided on friendly loan, some of the drummers pooled their money and purchased a 70-watt (RMS) portable public address system, an additional extension speaker, and a Shure SM58 for, according to one, “whomever wanted to speak, ensuring their voices were heard, never cutting anyone off or denying anyone the right to speak.” With what I submit as telling coincidence, they called the apparatus “The People’s Mic.”
Here is a clip that came up when I used Google to search with the terms “people’s microphone Wisconsin video.”
There are important contrasts between this platform for testament and the call and response technique that has garnered recent notoriety under the same name. In its Zuccotti Park incarnation, the people’s microphone is often celebrated as a clever workaround designed in response to the prohibition against using electric sound amplifiers in public without a permit. However, its key feature is the reciprocity it demands between the person speaking “into” the microphone and others gathered in the space. In this way it not only attenuates the hierarchy usually exerted by one amplified person over the soundscape, but it also fosters the pursuit of accord within the group overall, because the method’s very functioning relies so heavily on the crowd’s ongoing willingness to participate:
In Wisconsin, the People’s Mic did provide citizens a platform otherwise reserved for government and union officials (and the celebrities of their choosing), but individual testimonies were still unidirectional and the system proceeded without the same means of direct and immediate exchange, at least in the realm of sound. As we see in these clips, in Wisconsin, the People’s Mic required the largest number of people to keep quiet for the longest amount of time. Sometimes people had to keep especially quiet because the sound of chanting from outside was bleeding into the space.
However, while much of the discussion of the people’s microphone constructed in Zuccotti Park centers on its horizontal, consensus-oriented nature, why reduce the method’s oppositional potential to a matter of challenging government’s increasing control over the audible city? Fortunately, as though taking a more direct cue from the People’s Mic as it was instigated in Wisconsin, people have recently begun pushing the call and response version adopted in New York past the confines of community building, realizing its practical potential to channel a message and grab the attention of leaders far too often unavailable, unwilling, or uninterested in taking time to—as the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee had grandly promised—“welcome public participation in our representative democracy.”
The following clips show how the people’s microphone in its new iteration has been used to satisfy the goal more explicitly associated with its Wisconsin variation—that of getting heard. The first comes from an October 25,2011 meeting of the New York City Panel for Education Policy, where a crowd packing a public forum forced board members to relinquish control of the proceedings and allow a statement conveyed on behalf of parents and teachers.
And here in a clip from a November 3, 2011 breakfast meeting at the upscale Union League Club in Chicago, people used the technique as it is now most widely associated with the New York City campaign and directly reconnected it to the efforts in Wisconsin, not only in the sense that they focused their amplifying echo at a particular intended audience, but also by virtue of whom they chose to address:
While some might take exception to these two examples as uses of the people’s microphone without enough reciprocity in mind, I have some confidence that viewers will look upon the second clip, especially, as an overdue carriage bearing a bit of just that. But more importantly to the issue of how the different iterations fit together—Madison, New York City, and beyond—both of these scenes are peaceful, attention-grabbing, and they appear to stem from no more seditious an effort than to urge democratically elected leaders to entertain the voices of their constituents even, and especially, if they aren’t using a “corporate microphone” to speak. Now, with New York police having cleared Zuccotti Park and thrown the Wall Street campaign into yet another bout with uncertainty, it will be especially interesting to find out where, how, and by whom, the people’s microphone is picked up and repurposed again. In Wisconsin, a drive to recall Governor Scott Walker just got underway, and if demonstrations break out again at the capitol, I expect the portable PA will be back up and running. How will people use the people’s mic this time? How will they speak to those recently evicted from Zuccotti Park?
Ted Sammons is completing a doctorate in anthropology at the Graduate Center, CUNY.
Early cinema scholars are faced with statistics that suggest that possibly eighty percent of moving pictures produced in the first thirty years of their existence are lost—that is, they were thrown away because they were no longer profitable, or destroyed through fire or overuse. Likewise, radio historians researching early radio programming formats are confronted with a daunting inability to listen to many of the programs we write about. What does it mean to write about sound without being able to listen to the sounds firsthand? Where can radio scholars like myself track down sound in other places besides recorded media? Must we have to access “the sound itself” in order to be able to write about and understand it? While missing or incomplete sound archives in some ways narrow the depth and breadth of the historical inquiries possible, I find that these gaps of “no-sound” open up other possibilities for examining the material that does remain, in the form of station records, document archives, and programming notes.
For example, my research examines the discourse around the multifaceted campaigns for the classroom and living room educational use of (old) new media, specifically film in the 1910s, radio in the 1920s, and television in the 1950s. Often I find that the discourse around proposed and actual programs details their content quite specifically, including how these shows planned to address their audiences. But sometimes what I am looking for is a paper trail of sorts that will help me visually recreate the missing audio of these lost programs.
In this regard, as I delved into the events around early radio and education, I became interested in Judith Waller, whose “accidental” radio success began in Chicago in 1922 as programming manager at WMAQ and continued as the Educational/Public Service Director for NBC’s Central division. At WMAQ in the 1920s, Waller helped craft a number of educational programs, including a joint venture between the Chicago Public Schools that successfully connected city-wide special exhibits and the Chicago Daily News into an audio/visual/experiential learning experience.
However, by the 1930s Waller had grown disillusioned with “educational radio.” In 1934 Waller gave an address titled “Achievements of Educational Radio,” where she spoke of her “pessimism” at what she felt was the lack of accomplishments and advancements in education by radio. She felt that most listeners were “frankly bored” by educational radio and that it only appealed to those who wanted to “appear to be very highbrow before their friends and associates.” One of her chief complaints was that many educational programs were “usually a dull and stupid reading of a prepared geography, history, or arithmetic lesson.” Besides further experimentation, she suggested a name change, from “educational” radio to “public service” broadcasting. This superficial remedy seemed like an ideal first step in reclaiming the types of programs that had elements worthy of larger audiences, but that had largely been ignored. This name change did little to suggest, however, any actual changes that might benefit the construction of educational programming.
I use this example for the sheer fact that I would very much like to listen to these “dull” programs in order to examine what Waller perceived to be their fatal flaws. Now, some of the programs that Waller created and produced do still exist. The University of Chicago Round Table, for example, was a popular public service program Waller worked on for many years—which has an extensive archive of transcripts, although not recordings. In terms of other educational programming, some of the more prominent commercial network programs like the American School of the Air appear to have some availability. The programs I am interested in hearing, however, used the radio, a program guide, the newspaper, and local city events to weave an intricate educational lesson. Were programs like this, so seemingly well crafted and specifically engineered, really as “boring” as Waller lamented? Would it be clear to me, as a listener nearly a century removed, that there are clear issues or faults with their presentation of educational lessons? Or would Waller’s problems with these programs stem from more complex issues, involving her own personal ideals of what education by radio constituted and how it should be conceived?
Regardless of the answerability of these questions, they are still worth thinking about in order to understand as much as possible about these missing programs in the context of their “no-sound” status. Not having these sounds to refer to forces us to pose different questions, while tougher to address, that force us to look beyond the audio text to understand what exactly about these programs produced their contemporary reactions. Reading what Waller wrote may supplant the need to hear these programs, but it does not necessarily replace our innate curiosity about them.
The discourse around these “no-sound” programs gives historians a particular reception, in this case, a critical perspective from one radio producer. However, Waller’s public disavowal of educational radio cannot speak to the private consumption of these programs, which may or may not have produced the same negative reaction. Really, then, the Waller example suggests two avenues of inquiry, both equally difficult—a full understanding of what these programs sounded like and contained, and how other listeners felt about them. At the very least, a record of these programs and a selected set of reactions lives on in the print media that avidly reported on and debated so many facets of radio programming.
Sate a little of your curiosity and hear Waller speak in this October 2000 re–broadcast of a 1948 interview she gave on the early days of WMAQ, from broadcaster/historian Chuck Shaden’s “Those Were the Days” radio program.
Amanda Keeler (Ph.D., Indiana University, 2011) is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Bucknell University. She teaches courses in film and media studies. Her current research focuses on historical emergent film, radio, and television; media history; media industries; and contemporary television.