Tag Archive | Deafness

What is a Voice?

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Voices CarryWelcome to Voices Carry. . . a forum meditating on the material production of human voices the social, historical, and political material freighting our voices in various contexts.  What are voices? Where do they come from and how are their expressions carried? What information can voices carry? Why, how, and to what end? In today’s post, Alexis Deighton MacIntyre explores society’s interpretations of voicing, sounding and listening. Inspired by Christine Sun Kim and Evelyn Glennie, Alexis advocates for understanding voicing as movement and rhythm instead of strictly articulated sound. – SO! Intern Kaitlyn Liu

The following post is a companion to Alexis’ voicings essay published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies 3.2.


What is a voice, and what does it mean to voice?

Definitions of the voice may be pragmatic: working titles that depend in part on their institutional basis within ethnomusicology, literature, or psychoacoustics, for example.

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“Autoscopy of the larynx and trachea” by Flickr user Medical Heritage Library Inc.

Or, to take another strategy, voice is given by an impartial biological framework, a respiratory-laryngeal-oral assembly line. Its product, an acoustic signal, is transmitted via material vibration to an ear, and then a brain. The mind of a listener is this system’s endpoint. Although this functional description may smack of scientific reductionism, the otolaryngeal voice often stands in for embodiment in humanist discourse.

For Adriana Cavarero, the voice means “sonorous articulation[s] that emit from the mouth” (Caverero 2005, 14), involving “breath” and “[w]et membranes and taste buds” (134). Quoting Italo Calvino, she affirms that “a voice involves the throat, saliva.” According to Brandon Labelle, the mouth is “wrapped up in the voice, and the voice in the mouth, so much so that to theorize the performativity of the spoken is to confront the tongue, the teeth, the lips, and the throat” (Labelle 2014, 1). In Labelle’s view, orality is in fact overlooked, “disappearing under the looming notions of vocality” (8), such that his contribution to voice studies is to “remind the voice of its oral chamber” (4). Conclusions such as these inform our subsequent theoretical, methodological, and political theories of both voicing and listening.

Cavarero and Labelle are right to address the erasure of speaking and listening in Western intellectual history. However, to take for granted that voice is always audible sound, always sounded by a certain system, is to make the case for a fragmented brand of vocal embodiment. Rosi Braidotti terms this “organs without bodies”, and her critique of “instrumental denaturalisation,” whereby biotechnology transforms the body “into a factory of detachable pieces,” could also apply to the implicit processes by which discourse delineates the voice (Braidotti 1994, 59).

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“Intersectional Souls” by Flickr user Makoto Sasaki

Yet, a priori constructs like “voice is sound” or “sound is [audibly] heard” have not gone unchallenged. For instance, scholars, artists, and musicians who engage with disability or Deafness resist or redefine taxonomies that ignore or distance other ways of voicing, sounding, and listening. Sarah Mayberry Scott blogs in SO! about the work of Christine Sun Kim, for example, whose performative practice reimagines Western musical norms through a Deaf lens. Kim’s uses of subsonic frequencies and face markers are two of many interventions by which she “reclaims sound” from an aural-centric worldview—not just for herself and other Deaf people, but for all bodies. Indeed, Kim invites hearing people to see and feel familiar social and environmental sounds, to rediscover inaudible channels for themselves, a praxis Jeannette DiBernardo Jones calls the “multimodality of hearing deafly” (DiBernardo Jones 2016, 65)

To hear deafly is thus to enter an expanded field of sound. The same is true of voicing deafly. Kim negotiates her audible voice by “trying on” interpreters, “guiding people to become [her] voice”, and by “leasing” out her own or “borrowing” another’s. But there are also features common to both spoken and signed voices that risk being lost to the spotlight of audition.

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Face Opera with Christine Sun Kim as part of the Calder Foundation’s “They May As Well Have Been Remnants of the Boat”

For instance, spontaneous speech occurs with concurrent face, torso, arm, and hand movements. These voicing actions unfold in tight synchrony with words, sighs, and facial expressions. In the case of beat gestures, the “meaningless” strokes made with the hands, they are in fact temporally precedent to stressed syllables; that is, manual prosody is perceptually paired with vocal prosody, but materialises a fraction of a second earlier. When psychologists subtly perturb gestures in the hand, they record analogous effects in oral production. This hand-mouth network is even more evident in some non-Western hearing cultures that also use sign language, where distinguishing between spoken and gestured dialogue is both impractical and nonsensical. Taken together, it seems that the body distributes the voice, neither knowing nor caring for its own discursive fencings.

If gesture is a proprioception, or action-form, of vocality, haptic sensation is another way to hear. In her vibrational theory of music, Nina Sun Eidsheim argues that sound is not a static noun, but a process, such that the so-called musical object—or, indeed, any sonic figure—resists stable definition, but is rather contingent on the myriad ways of experiencing material pulsation. Via air, water, architecture, or people, the oscillatory basis of Eidsheim’s framework disrupts not only the divisions of labour amongst the Cartesian senses, but also those between sound, sound producer, and listener—unity from propagation. Such vibrations can be all-consuming, rendering the body, in Evelyn Glennie’s words, as “one huge ear.” They can also lurk, near the bass-end of traffic, or remain as a trace, as in dubstep, whose shuddering basslines connote tactility. Alluding to the scene’s origins in Jamaican sound system, the “wub” effect is the auditory fetishization of equipment failure, the resounding noise of a speaker pushed to uncontrolled, uncontainable movement.

In her TED Talk, Kim explains that “in Deaf culture, movement is equivalent to sound.” A feature common to most human movement is rhythm, the temporal patterns that emerge in speaking, walking, chewing, typing, weaving, hammering. As the banality of these actions suggests, rhythm permeates throughout everyday life. We join our rhythms in a process known to cognitive sciences as entrainment. Sunflowers entrain their circadian cycles to anticipate the path of the sun, fireflies entrain their flashes at a rate determined by species membership, and grebes, dolphins, and humans (among other animals) entrain their social actions. Neuroscientists theorize that even our neurons entrain to another’s speech, either spoken or signed. Simply put, entrainment is being together in time with someone, or some entity, sharing in a temporal perspective. So quotidian is the state of being entrained that we may not notice when we fall into step with a friend or anticipate our turn in a conversation. But it would not be possible without rhythm, which is both a shared construct through which we time our gestures sympathetically, and a sign of subjectivity, an identifier, a distinctive feature by which we can recognise ourselves or another.

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Christine Sun Kim’s musical interpretation of the sign for the words “all night”

Rhythm could therefore form yet another (in)audible nexus within a relational definition of the voice, whose sites could include the larynx, face, hands, cochlea, and on and under the skin, in addition to various inorganic materials. In conversation with John Cage, the hearing composer Robert Ashley considered “time being uppermost as a definition of music,” music that “wouldn’t necessarily involve anything but the presence of people” (Reynolds, 1961). Although Ashley’s “radical redefinition” is stated in temporal terms, the concepts of time, rhythm, and movement are not easily disentangled. Plato explains rhythm as “an order of movement”, while for Jean Luc Nancy, rhythm is the “time of time, the vibration of time itself” (Nancy 2009, 17). As a cycle that is propagated through the medium of entrained bodies, rhythm may well be just another vibration, one suited to Eidsheim’s multisensory groundwork of tactile sound. As with music, the voice need not be “stable, knowable, and defined a priori” (Eidsheim 2015, 22), but dynamic, chimerical, and emergent. Speaking, slinking, signing, swaying—indeed, all our actions, gestures, and locomotions constitute us. Crucially, it is not what we move, but how we move, that is vocal.

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Featured Image: “Vocal” by Flickr user ArrrRRT eDUarD

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Alexis Deighton MacIntyre is a musician and PhD candidate in cognitive neuroscience at University College London, where she’s currently researching the control of respiration during rhythmic motor activities, like speech or music. Formerly, she studied cognitive science and music at University of Cambridge and Vancouver Island University. You can follow her on Twitter at @alexisdeighton or read her science blog at https://alexisdmacintyre.wordpress.com/

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tape reelREWIND! . . .If you liked this post, you may also dig:

The Plasticity of Listening: Deafness and Sound Studies – Steph Ceraso

Re-Orienting Sound Studies’ Aural Fixation: Christine Sun Kim’s “Subjective Loudness” – Sarah Mayberry Scott

Mr. and Mrs. Talking Machine: The Euphonia, the Phonograph, and the Gendering of Nineteenth Century Mechanical Speech – J. Martin Vest

On “The Dream Life of Voice:” A Rerecording of Bernadette Mayer Reading from The Ethics of Sleep – John Melillo

Re-orienting Sound Studies’ Aural Fixation: Christine Sun Kim’s “Subjective Loudness”

Editors’ note: As an interdisciplinary field, sound studies is unique in its scope—under its purview we find the science of acoustics, cultural representation through the auditory, and, to perhaps mis-paraphrase Donna Haraway, emergent ontologies. Not only are we able to see how sound impacts the physical world, but how that impact plays out in bodies and cultural tropes. Most importantly, we are able to imagine new ways of describing, adapting, and revising the aural into aspirant, liberatory ontologies. The essays in this series all aim to push what we know a bit, to question our own knowledges and see where we might be headed. In this series, co-edited by Airek Beauchamp and Jennifer Stoever you will find new takes on sound and embodiment, cultural expression, and what it means to hear. –AB

A stage full of opera performers stands, silent, looking eager and exhilarated, matching their expressions to the word that appears on the iPad in front of them. As the word “excited” dissolves from the iPad screen, the next emotion, “sad” appears and the performers’ expressions shift from enthusiastic to solemn and downcast to visually represent the word on the screen.  The “singers” are performing in Christine Sun Kim’s conceptual sound artistic performance entitled, Face Opera.

The singers do not use audible voices for their dramatic interpretation, as they would in a conventional opera, but rather use their faces to convey meaning and emotion keyed to the text that appears on the iPad in front of them. Challenging the traditional notions of dramatic interpretation, as well as the concepts of who is considered a singer and what it means to sing, this art performance is just one way Kim calls into question the nature of sound and our relationship to it.

Audible sound is, of course, essential to sound studies though sound itself is not audist, as it can be experienced in a multitude of ways. The contemporary multi-modal turn in sound studies enables ways to theorize how more bodies can experience sound, including audible sound, motion, vibration, and visuals. All humans are somewhere on a spectrum between enabled and disabled and between hearing and deaf. As we grow older most people move farther toward the disabled and deaf ends of the spectrum. In order to experience sound for a lifetime, it is imperative to explore multi-modal ways of experiencing sound. For instance, the Deaf community rejects the term disabled, yet realizes it is actually normative constructs of hearing, sound, and music that disable Deaf people. But, as Kim demonstrates, Deaf people engage with sound all of the time.  In this case, Deaf individuals are not disabled but rather, what I identify as difabled (differently-abled) in their relationship with sound. While this term is not yet used in disability scholarship, it is not completely unique, as there is a Difabled Twitter page dedicated to, “Ameliorating inclusion in technology, business and society.” Rejection of the word disabled inspires me to adopt difabled to challenge the cultural binary of ability and embrace a more multi-modal approach.

Kim’s art explores sound in a variety of modalities to decenter hearing as the only, or even primary, way to experience sound. A conceptual sound artist who was born profoundly deaf, Kim describes her move into the sound artistic landscape: “In the back of my mind, I’ve always felt that sound was your thing, a hearing person’s thing. And sound is so powerful that it could either disempower me and my artwork or it could empower me. I chose to be empowered.”

For sound to empower, however, cultural perception has to move beyond the ear – a move that sound studies is uniquely poised to enable. Using Kim’s art as a guide, I investigate potential places for Deaf within sound studies. I ask if there are alternative ways to listen in a field devoted to sound. Bridging sound studies and Deaf studies it is possible to see that sound is not ableist and audist, but sound studies traditionally has suffered from an aural fixation, a fetishization of hearing as the best or only way to experience sound.

Pushing beyond the understanding of hearing as the primary (or only) sound precept, some scholars have begun to recognize the centrality of the body’s senses in sound experience. For instance, in his research on reggae, Julian Henriques coined the term sonic dominance to refer to sound that is not just heard but that “pervades, or even invades the body” (9). This experience renders the sound experience as tactile, felt within the body. Anne Cranny-Francis, who writes on multi-modal literacies, describes the intimate relationship between hearing and sound, believing that “sound literally touches us,” This process of listening is described as an embodied experience that is “intimate” and “visceral.” Steph Ceraso calls this multi-modal listening. By opening up the body to listen in multi-modal ways, full-bodied, multi-sense experiences of sound are possible. Anthropologist Roshanak Kheshti believes that the differentiation of our senses created a division of labor for our senses – a colonizing process that maximizes the use-value and profit of each individual sense. She reminds her audience that “sound is experienced (felt) by the whole body intertwining what is heard by the ears with what is felt on the flesh, tasted on the tongue, and imagined in the psyche” (714), a process she calls touch listening.

Other scholars continue to advocate for a place for the body in sound studies. For instance, according to Nina Sun Eidsheim, in Sensing Sound, sound allows us to posit questions about objectivity and reality (1), as posed in the age-old question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Eidsheim challenges the notion of a sound, particularly music, as fixed by exploring multiple ways sound may be sensed within the body. Airek Beauchamp, through his notion of sonic tremblings, detaches sound from the realm of the static by returning to the materiality of the body as a site of dynamic processes and experiences that “engages with the world via a series of shimmers and impulses.”  Understanding the body as a place of engagement rather than censorship, Cara Lynne Cardinale calls for a critical practice of look-listening that reconceptualizes the modalities of the tongue and hands.

Vibrant Vibrations by Flickr User The Manic Macrographer (CC BY 2.0)

As these scholars have identified, privileging audible sound over other senses reinforces normative ideas of communication and presumes that individuals hear, speak, and experience sound in normative ways. These ableist and audist rhetorics are particularly harmful for individuals who are Deaf. Deaf community members actively resist these ableist and audist assumptions to show that sound is not just for hearing. Kim identifies as part of the Deaf community and uses her art to challenge the ableist and audist ideologies of the sound experience. Through exploring one of Christine Sun Kim’s performance pieces, Subjective Loudness, I argue that we can conceptualize sound studies in the absence of auditory sound through the two concepts Kim’s piece were named for, subjectivity and loudness.

In creating Subjective Loudness, Kim asked 200 Tokyo residents to help her create a musical score. Hearing participants were asked to use their bodies to replicate sounds of common 85 dB noises into microphones. The sounds Kim selected included: the swishing of a washing machine, the repetitive rotation of printing press, the chaos of a loud urban street, and the harsh static of a food blender. After the list was complete, Kim has the sounds translated into a musical score, sung by four of Kim’s closest friends. The noises then become music, which Kim lowers below normal human hearing range for a vibratory experience accessible to hearing and non-hearing individuals alike; The result is music that is not heard but rather felt. As vibrations shake the walls, windows, and furniture audience members feel the music.

Kim’s performance expands upon current understandings of the body in sound by incorporating multiple materialities of sound into one experience. Rather than simply looking at an existing sound in a new way, she develops and executes the sound experience for her participants. Kim types the names of common 85 dB sounds, what most hearing people may call “noise” on an iPad – a visual representation of the sound.

By asking participants to use their bodies to replicate these sounds – to change words into noise – Kim moves visual representation moves into the audible domain. This phase is contingent on each participant’s subjective experience with the particular sound, yet it also relies on the materiality of the human body to be able to replicate complex sounds. The audible sounds were then returned to a visual state as they were translated into a musical score. In this phase, noise is silenced as it is placed as musical notes on a page. The score is then sung, audibly, once again shifting visual into audible. Noise becomes music.

Yet even in the absence of hearing the performers sing, observers can see and perhaps feel the performance. Similar to Kim’s Face Opera, this performance is not just for the ear. The music is then silenced by reducing its volume beyond that of normal hearing range. Vibrations surround the participants for a tactile experience of sound. But participants aren’t just feeling the vibrations, they are instruments of vibration as well, exerting energy back into the space that then alters the sound experience for other bodies. The materiality of the body allows for a subjective experience of sound that Kim would not be able to as easily manipulate if she simply asked audience members to feel vibrations from a washing machine or printing press. But Kim doesn’t just tinker with the subjectivity of modality, she also plays with loudness.

Christine Sun Kim at Work, Image by Flickr User Joi Ito, (CC BY 2.0)

In this performance Kim creates a think interweaving of modalities. Part of this interplay involves challenging our understanding of loudness. For instance, participants recreate loud noises, but then the loud noise is reduced to silence as it is translated into a musical score. The volume has been dialed down, as has the intensity as the musical score isolates participates. The sound experience, as the score, is then sung, reconnecting the audience to a shared experience. Floating with the ebb and flow of the sound, participants are surrounded by sound, then removed from it, only to then be surrounded again. Finally, as the sound is reduced beyond hearing range, the vibrations are loud, not in volume but in intensity. The participants are enveloped in a sonorous envelope of sonic experience, one that is felt through and within the body. This performance combats a long-standing belief Kim had about her relationship with sound.

As a child, Kim was taught, “sound wasn’t a part of my life.”  She recounted in a TED talk that her experience was like living in a foreign country, “blindly following its rules, behaviors, and norms.” But Kim recognized the similarities between sound and ASL.  “In Deaf culture, movement is equivalent to sound,” Kim stated in the same talk. Equating music with ASL, Kim notes that neither a musical note nor an ASL sign represented on paper can fully capture what a music note or sign are. Kim uses a piano metaphor to make her point better understood to a hearing audience. “English is a linear language, as if one key is being pressed at a time. However, ASL is more like a chord, all ten fingers need to come down simultaneously to express a clear concept in ASL.” If one key were to change, the entire meaning would change. Subjective Loudness attempts to demonstrate this, as Kim moves visual to sound and back again before moving sound to vibration. Each one, individually, cannot capture the fullness of the word or musical note. Taken as a performative whole, however, it becomes easier to conceptualize vibration and movement as sound.

Christine Sun Kim speaking ASL, Image by Flickr User Joi Ito, (CC BY 2.0)

In Subjective Loudness, Kim’s performance has sonic dominance in the absence of hearing. “Sonic dominance,” Henriques writes, “is stuff and guts…[I]t’s felt over the entire surface of the skin. The bass line beats on your chest, vibrating the flesh, playing on the bone, and resonating in the genitals” (58). As Kim’s audience placed hands on walls, reaching out to to feel the music, it is possible to see that Kim’s performance allowed for full-bodied experiences of sound – a process of touch listening. And finally, incorporating Deaf and hearing individuals in her performance, Kim shows that all bodies can utilize multi-modal listening as a way to experience sound. Kim’s performances re-centers alternative ways of listening. Sound can be felt through vibration. Sound can be seen in visual representations such as ASL or visual art.

Image of Christine Sun Kim’s painting “Pianoiss….issmo” by Flickr User watashiwani  (CC BY 2.0)

Through  Subjective Loudness, it is possible to investigate subjectivity and loudness of sound experiences. Kim does not only explore sound represented in multi-modal ways, but weaves sound through the modalities, moving the audible to the visual to the tactile and often back again. This sound-play allows audiences to question current conceptions of sound, to explore sounds in multi-modalities, and to use our subjectivities in sharing our experiences of sound with others.  Kim’s art performances are interactive by design because the materiality and subjectivity of bodies is what makes her art so powerful and recognizable. Toying with loudness as intensity, Kim challenges her audience to feel intensity in the absence of volume and spark the recognition that not all bodies experience sound in normative ways. Deaf bodies are vitally part of the soundscape, experiencing and producing sound. Kim’s work shows Deaf bodies as listening bodies, and amplifies the fact that Deaf bodies have something to say.

Featured image: Screen capture by Flickr User evan p. cordes,   (CC BY 2.0)

Sarah Mayberry Scott is an Instructor of Communication Studies at Arkansas State University. Sarah is also a doctoral student in Communication and Rhetoric at the University of Memphis. Her current research focuses on disability and ableist rhetorics, specifically in d/Deafness. Her dissertation uses the work of Christine Sun Kim and other Deaf artists to explore the rhetoricity of d/Deaf sound performances and examine how those performances may continue to expand and diversify the sound studies and disability studies landscapes.

REWIND! . . .If you liked this post, you may also dig:

Introduction to Sound, Ability, and Emergence Forum –Airek Beauchamp

The Listening Body in Death— Denise Gill

Unlearning Black Sound in Black Artistry: Examining the Quiet in Solange’s A Seat At the Table — Kimberly Williams

Technological Interventions, or Between AUMI and Afrocuban Timba –Caleb Lázaro Moreno

“Sensing Voice”*-Nina Sun Eidsheim

Sound at MLA 2013

It is that time of year again: the winter holidays, the new year, and, yes, the Modern Language Association Annual Convention–which finally returns to the East Coast after two years on the West Coast. It will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, from January 3rd to January 6th, 2013. MLA is one of the most present academic conferences on social media, with the active twitter hashtag #MLA13, the individual hashtags for each session (#s–followed by the session number), convention-wide free wifi, and an attentive twitter account (@MLAConvention), so it is easy to get overwhelmed by the commotion even if you are physically away from the conference. However, we’re hoping to make this year’s program (795 official panels in all!) a little easier to digest by bringing you the round-up of the panels with presentations related to sound studies.

“Northeastern University, Boston, MA” by Flickr user ksparrow11 under Creative Commons 2.0 License

This year’s MLA will be preceded by several preconference workshops as well asTHATCamp MLA (on January 2nd, 2013, at Northeastern University). Our editor-in-chief, Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman, will be attending and sharing Sounding Out! as one of the examples at “Evaluating Digital Work for Tenure and Promotion: A Workshop for Evaluators and Candidates,” while I will be at “Getting Started in Digital Humanities with Help from DH Commons” (off-site, at Northeastern University, which explains why it’s not in the program). The editorial staff at Sounding Out! has been thinking for a while about digital humanities and how our work here could be classified as such. (Digital humanities has been defined both in terms of its tools as well as its practices.) Jennifer and I are eager to engage with other DH scholars, ask questions, and think of different ways that sound studies intersects digital humanities.

 

The digital humanities are becoming more and more prominent at MLA; Jennifer posited last year that the number of DH panels could be related to last year’s location, Seattle. On the other hand, Mark Sample points out that this year there are more panels on digital humanities subjects than the last two years (if you are interested, he has a comprehensive round-up of the digital humanities panels at this year’s MLA). It’s fitting then, that some of the sound-related posts in our round-up come from the digital humanities angle. We have also included some session that look at digital humanities methods and practices (like session #639,  Two Tools for Student- Generated Digital Projects: WordPress and Omeka in the Classroom) and that may be of interest to sound-studies scholars.

 

However, the DH panels are not the only panels for sound studies enthusiasts. In addition to several presentations addressing aural phenomena in literature, there are several panels on disability studies that include presentations on deafness. Some of these panels focus on literary representations of disability, but others focus on the disabilities themselves. For example, session 236, titled “Representations of Cultural Resistance: Deafness and Power”  includes a presentation by Rebecca Garden called “Reproducing Deafness: Visual Culture and Pathology.” These panels fit into the Presidential Theme of the conference, “Avenues of Access.”

 
Lastly, Jennifer, regular contributor Osvaldo Oyola, and I will be presenting at this year’s MLA. Jennifer is participating in a roundtable Saturday at 3:30; look out for session #588, “Race and Poetics: On Aesthetic Practice in Ethnic Studies,” which considers cultural difference as seen in different genres and media. Osvaldo is presenting on Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in session #97, “American Linguistic Plurality.” I will be presenting at a non-sound-studies panel on Friday at noon titled “How Did I Get Here? Our ‘Altac’ Jobs” (s#270). My topic will be how I moved from an adjuncting job to an alternative academic position and how this moved changed my ideas of a career in academia.

If you are not present at MLA, please follow along via Twitter! You can check out the #MLA13 hashtag, but if you’re interested in a particular session from the ones below, you can also search on Twitter for the session number during its scheduled time. You can also check out the conference action by following the official Sounding Out! twitter account (commandeered by our Editor-in-Chief) or following my personal account, @literarychica, for our live-tweets from MLA 2013.

Please comment to let us know what you think–both before and after MLA 2012.  If I somehow missed you or your panel in this round up, please let me know!: lms@soundingoutblog.com


Liana M. Silva is co-founder and Managing Editor of 
Sounding Out!.

Jump to THURSDAY, January 3
Jump to FRIDAY, January 4
Jump to SATURDAY, January 5
Jump to SUNDAY, January 6.

“A Chilly Night in Boston” by Flickr user Stuck in Customs under a Creative Commons 2.0 License

Back to menu
THURSDAY, January 3

Thursday, January 3

 

8:30–11:30 a.m.

.3.  Evaluating Digital Work for Tenure and Promotion: A Workshop for Evaluators and Candidates

Republic A, Sheraton

Program arranged by the MLA Office of Programs. Presiding: Alison Byerly, Middlebury Coll.; Kathleen Fitzpatrick, MLA; Katherine A. Rowe, Bryn Mawr Coll.

Facilitated discussion about evaluating work in digital media (e.g., scholarly
editions, databases, digital mapping projects, born- digital creative or scholarly
work). Designed for both creators of digital materials and administrators
or colleagues who evaluate those materials, the workshop will propose
strategies for documenting, presenting, and evaluating such work.

Preregistration required.

 

12:00-1:15

 

22. Expanding Access: Building Bridges within Digital Humanities

205, Hynes

A special session.

Presiding: Trent M. Kays, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Lee Skallerup Bessette, Morehead State Univ.

Marc Fortin, Queen’s Univ.

Alexander Gil, Univ. of Virginia

Brian Larson, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Sophie Marcotte, Concordia Univ.

Ernesto Priego, London, England

 

36. Languages of the Occupy Movement

307, Hynes

Program arranged by the Division on Language and Society. Presiding: Frank Farmer, Univ. of Kansas

Corinne Seals, Georgetown Univ., “Examining the Linguistic Landscape of Occupy”

Corey J. Frost, New Jersey City Univ.,  “Occupy and Rhetorics of Amplification”

Keith Spencer, Carnegie Mellon Univ., “Class, Race, and the ‘Common Man’: Interviews with Occupy Pittsburgh”

Respondent: Frank Farmer

 

40. Hearing and Seeing Anew: Ralph Ellison’s Aural and Visual ;8Registers

Beacon A, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Horace Porter, Univ. of Iowa

Shanna Greene Benjamin, Grinnell Coll. “Listening inside a Glass Box: Mary Rambo’s Lessons for Invisible Man

Herman Beavers, Univ. of Pennsylvania, “The Noisy Lostness: Oppositionality and Acousmatic Subjectivity in Invisible Man

Lena Michelle Hill, Univ. of Iowa, “Silent Sights of Fatherhood in Three Days before the Shooting…”

Respondent: Kenneth W. Warren, Univ. of Chicago

 

3:30–4:45 p.m

 

94. Modernism and the Senses

Beacon D, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Alex Niven, Univ. of Oxford; Stephen Ross, Univ. of Oxford, Saint John’s Coll.

Jonathan Day, Univ. of Oxford, Saint John’s Coll. “Cognitive Realism and the Problem of Qualia”

Matt Langione, Univ. of California, Berkeley, “Modernizing Modernism: Intentionality, Neuroscience, and the Sense of Modernist Poetry”

 

97. American Linguistic Plurality

203, Hynes

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Literature of the United States in Languages Other Than English. Presiding: Heidi Kathleen Kim,Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Audrey Wu Clark,United States Naval Acad., “Dialects of Regionalist Modernism in Sui Sin Far’s Mrs. Spring Fragrance

Benjamin A. Railton, Fitchburg State Univ., “Vocal Color: Recovering an Alternative, Multilingual American Literary Realism”

Osvaldo Oyola, Binghamton Univ., State Univ. of New York, “Traduciendo de el Dork: Cultural and Lingual Syncretism in Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,”

Melissa Dennihy, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York “Hybrid Tongues: Linguistic Innovations and Inventions in Contemporary Multiethnic United States Literature”

 

102. Digital Diasporas

Public Garden, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Division on Black American Literature and Culture. Presiding: Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Stanford Univ.

Corrie Claiborne, Morehouse Coll., “Living Word”

Adam Banks, Univ. of Kentucky, “Digital Griots”

Marcyliena Morgan, Harvard Univ., “Hip- Hop Archives”

 

107. The Linguistic Construction of Narrative Space

313, Hynes

Program arranged by the Division on Linguistic Approaches to Literature. Presiding: Monika Fludernik, Univ. of Freiburg

Robert Troyer, Western Oregon Univ., “Locating Action in the Postapocalyptic Text World of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

Birgitta Svensson, Stockholm Univ., “Acting, Being, Sensing, and Saying: Analyzing Characters with a Functional Language Approach,”

Pauline Bleuse, Grand Valley State Univ., “Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange; or, The Use of an Unfamiliar Language to Relate Controversy”

 

5:15–6:30 p.m.

 

125. Translating for (and from) the Italian Screen: Dubbing and Subtitles

201, Hynes

Program arranged by the American Association for Italian Studies. Presiding: Philip Balma, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs

Anna Belladelli, Univ. of Verona, “Misrepresentations and Re- representations of Otherness in the Italian Dubbing of United States TV Series,”

Giulia Centineo, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz “Dubbing Hollywood and Difference,”

Daniele Fioretti, Miami Univ., Oxford, “Qualunquista Equals Socialist? Political Issues in the Subtitling of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s La ricotta,”

 

129. Teaching in the Shallows: Reading, Writing, and Teaching in the Digital Age
Berkeley, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Robert R. Bleil, Coll. of Coastal Georgia; Jennifer Gray, Coll. of Coastal Georgia.

Speakers: Susan Cook, Southern New Hampshire Univ.; Christopher Dickman, Saint Louis Univ.; T. Geiger, Syracuse Univ.; Jennifer Gray; Matthew Parfitt, Boston Univ.; James Sanchez, Texas Christian Univ.

Respondent: Robert R. Bleil

Nicholas Carr’s 2008 article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and his 2010 book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains argue that the paradigms of our digital lives have shifted significantly in two decades of living life online. This roundtable unites teachers of composition and literature to explore cultural, psychological, and developmental changes for students and teachers.

 

140. Illness and Disability in Asian American Literature

Hampton, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Division on Asian American Literature. Presiding: Anita Mannur, Miami Univ., Oxford

Cynthia Wu, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York, “Daniel K. Inouye’s Journey to Washington: Disability and the Hidden Privileges of Local Japanese Ascendancy in Hawai‘i,”

Ellen Samuels, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, “Multilinguality and ‘Deaf Speech’ in Betty Quan’s Mother Tongue,”

Rick H. Lee, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, “SIN, HIV, SFO: AIDS, the Body, and Justin Chin’s Corpus,”

James Kyung-Jin Lee, Univ. of California, Irvine, “Against Asian American Health: Vibrant Secularities and Medical Narratives of Illness”

 

142. What’s Place Got to Do with It? Voices and Vision in Midwestern Literature

Beacon G, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. Presiding: Marilyn Judith Atlas, Ohio Univ., Athens

Andy Oler, Indiana Univ., Bloomington, “‘High and Fervently They Were Singing’: Voice, Space, and Midwestern Modernity in Langston Hughes’s 1930 Novel Not without Laughter

Alexander Engebretson, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York, “The Midwest Seen New Englandly: Regional Tensions in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead

James Alfred Lewin, Shepherd Univ., “Sara Paretsky’s ‘Other’ Chicago”

 

7:00–8:15 p.m.

 

152. Political Trauma and Literary Alchemy: Testimonios and the Regenerative Power of Language

202, Hynes

A special session. Presiding: Jennifer Browdy De Hernandez, Bard Coll. at Simon’s Rock

Speakers: Nicole Caso, Bard Coll.; Martha Helena Montoya Velez, Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México; Alicia Partnoy, Loyola Marymount Univ.; Maria del Carmen Sillato, Univ. of Waterloo; Y. L. Mariela Wong, Coll. of Mount Saint Vincent

To mark the fortieth anniversary of the Pinochet coup in Chile and nearly forty years since the military takeover in Argentina, this session features three Southern Cone testimonialists, who will read passages from their works, and three respondents, who will lead a discussion on the power of narrative to resist a legacy of violence and fear. For excerpts from the three testimonials, visit bethechange2012.wordpress.com/mla-2013-testimonios.

 

155. Movements, Incantations, and Parables of Queer Performance

201, Hynes

A special session. Presiding: Ann Pellegrini, New York Univ.

Sean Edgecomb, Univ. of Queensland, “Queer Movement: The Mystique of Alexander Guerra’s Traveling Rabbit”

Eng- Beng Lim, Brown Univ., “Incantatory Pinkness from Singapore to Utah”

Carrie J. Preston, Boston Univ., “Queer Christian Submission in Drag: Benjamin Britten and William Plomer’s Curlew River

165. Beyond the PDF: Experiments in Open-Access Scholarly Publishing

Hampton, Sheraton

A special session

Speakers: Douglas M. Armato, Univ. of Minnesota Press; Jamie Skye Bianco, Univ. of Pittsburgh; Matthew K. Gold, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York; Jennifer Laherty, Indiana Univ., Bloomington; Monica McCormick, New York Univ.; Katie Rawson, Emory Univ.

As open- access scholarly publishing matures and movements such as the Elsevier boycott continue to grow, open- access publications have begun to move beyond the simple (but crucial) principle of openness toward an ideal of interactivity. This session will explore innovative examples of open-access scholarly publishing that showcase new types of social, interactive, mixed- media texts.

For abstracts and discussion, visit beyondthepdf.wordpress.com/ after 1 Nov.

 

167. Digital Humanities and Theory

Riverway, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Stefano Franchi, Texas A&M Univ., College Station

Geoffrey Rockwell, Univ. of Alberta, “Theoretical Things for the Humanities”

Stefano Franchi, “From Artificial Intelligence to Artistic Practices: A New Theoretical Model for the Digital Humanities,”

David Washington, Loyola Univ., New Orleans, “Object- Oriented Ontology: Escaping the Title of the Book”

For abstracts, visit dhcommons.tamu.edu.

 

177. Hybridity and Multilingualism in Yiddish

308, Hynes

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Yiddish Literature. Presiding: Sarah Ponichtera, Columbia Univ.

Ken Frieden, Syracuse Univ., “Mysticism and Its Discontents: Hasidic and Anti- Hasidic Narratives between Hebrew and Yiddish”

Nikki Halpern, Université Paris Diderot 7, “Memory Palace, Yiddish Ghetto (Isaac Bashevis Singer and That Vexatious Yiddish Identity)”

Saul Zaritt, Jewish Theological Seminary, “The Master from Krochmalna Street: Isaac Bashevis Singer and World Literature,”

“Boston Custom House Tower at Night” by Flickr user Manu_H under Creative Commons 2.0 License

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Friday, January 4

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FRIDAY, JANUARY 4
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8:30–9:45 a.m.

 

204. Theorizing Indigenous Literatures in Latin America

303, Hynes

A special session. Presiding: Kelly S. McDonough, Univ. of Texas, Austin

Ulises Juan Zevallos-Aguilar, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, “Diglossia and Linguistic Registers: Toward a Sociolinguistic Reading of Peruvian Quechua Literature/ Hacia una lectura sociolingüística de la literatura quechua peruana”

Susan Foote, Univ. of Concepción, Chile, “Mapuche Testimony and Poetry in Chile: Poetic and Prose Discourse over Time”

Adam Coon, Univ. of Texas, Austin, “Icnotlahtolli / Migrant Words: Indigenous Theoretical Approaches to Migration in Contemporary Nahua Literature”

Ramsey Tracy, Trinity Coll., CT, “Indigenous Narrative from Oral Performance to Text: Semantic and Structural Aesthetic Concerns as Applied to the Work of Literary Translation”

 

209. Humanities in the Twenty- First Century: Innovation in Research and Practice

Commonwealth, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Division on Teaching as a Profession. Presiding: Christine Henseler, Union Coll., NY

Lynn Pasquerella, Mount Holyoke Coll., “The Promise of Humanities Practice”

David Theo Goldberg, Univ. of California, Irvine, “Making the Humanities ‘Count’”

Jane Aikin, National Endowment for the Humanities, “The National Endowment for the Humanities”

Christine Henseler, “The Humanities in the Digital Age”

 

220. Image, Voice, Text: Canadian Literature

Beacon D, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Canadian Literature in English. Presiding: Sophie McCall, Simon Fraser Univ., Burnaby

Sunny Chan, Univ. of British Columbia, “AvantGarde.ca: Toward a Canadian Alienethnic Poetics of the Internet”

Hannah McGregor, Univ. of Guelph, “Intermedial Witnessing in Karen Connelly’s Burmese Lessons

Sarah Henzi, Univ. of Montreal, “Aboriginal New Media: Alternative Forms of Storytelling”

For abstracts, write to smccall@sfu.ca after 15 Nov.

 

10:15–11:30 a.m.

 

223. “Spanglish” and Identity within and outside the Classroom

206, Hynes

Program arranged by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Presiding: Domnita Dumitrescu, California State Univ., Los Angeles

Robert Train, Sonoma State Univ., “Becoming Bilingual, Becoming Ourselves: Archival Memories of Spanglish in Early Californian Epistolary Texts”

Jorgelina Fidia Corbatta, Wayne State Univ., “Gloria Anzaldúa’s Discourse as a Mestiza and Queer Writer”

Ana Sánchez-Muñoz, California State Univ., Northridge, “‘Who soy yo?’: The Creative Use of Spanglish to Express a Hybrid Identity in Chicano/a Heritage Language Learners of Spanish”

Regan Postma, Albertson Coll. of Idaho, “‘¿Por qué leemos esto en la clase de español?’: The Politics of Teaching Literature in Spanglish”

 

236. Representations of Cultural Resistance: Deafness and Power

Hampton, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Rebecca Garden, Upstate Medical Univ., State Univ. of New York

Christopher Becker Krentz, Univ. of Virginia, “Deaf Literature, Medicine, and the Paradoxes of Identity”

Rebecca Garden, “Reproducing Deafness: Visual Culture and Pathology”

Lennard J. Davis, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago, “Cochlear Wars: Deaf Culture against Science?”

 

237. Access to What? A Roundtable on Public Scholarship, Community Engagement, and Diversity

Fairfax A, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Bruce Burgett, Univ. of Washington, Bothell

Speakers: Jodi Melamed, Marquette Univ.; Ifeoma C. K. Nwankwo, Vanderbilt Univ.; Imani Perry, Princeton Univ.; Chandan Reddy, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Doris Sommer, Harvard Univ.

Respondent: Gregory S. Jay, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Questions of access in higher education most often focus on who gets in, who is left out, and how the sorting of life chances plays out across the larger institutional landscape. (is roundtable shifts that conversation by linking the question of “Access for whom?” to the equally pressing issue of “Access to what?”

 

239. Representing Race: Silence in the Digital Humanities

Gardner, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Adeline Koh, Richard Stockton Coll. of New Jersey

Speakers: Moya Bailey, Emory Univ.; Anne Cong-Huyen, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; Hussein Keshani, Univ. of British Columbia; Maria Velazquez, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

Respondent: Alondra Nelson, Columbia Univ.

This panel examines the politics of race, ethnicity, and silence in the digital humanities. How has the digital humanities remained silent on issues of race and ethnicity? How does this silence reinforce unspoken assumptions and doxa? What is the function of racialized silences in digital archival projects?

For links and participant biographies, visit www.adelinekoh .org/ blog/2012/04/02/racend/.

 

12:00-1:15 pm

 

270. How Did I Get Here? Our “Altac” Jobs

Back Bay B, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Brenda Bethman, Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City

Speakers: Donna M. Bickford, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Brian Croxall, Emory Univ.; Kathryn Linder, Suffolk Univ.; Liana Silva, Univ. of Kansas; Sarah Werner, Folger Shakespeare Library

Respondent: C. Shaun Longstreet, Marquette Univ.

This roundtable features “alternative academics” who will discuss the paths to their “altac” job, including opportunities and challenges that come with altac positions, strategies universities might employ to maximize and leverage PhD- prepared administrators, preparing graduate students for altac jobs, the role of mentoring, and differences between altac, adjunct, and tenure- track jobs.

For a longer description of the panel and panelists’ bios, see bit.ly/JqjHdj

 

1:30–3:30 p.m.

 

295. Getting Funded in the Humanities: An NEH Workshop

210, Hynes

Program arranged by the Office of the Executive Director. Presiding: Jason+C. Rhody, National Endowment for the Humanities

This workshop will highlight recent awards and outline current funding opportunities. In addition to emphasizing grant programs that support individual and collaborative research and education, the workshop will include information on the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities. A question-and-answer period will follow.

 

1:45–3:30 p.m.

 

296. Tuning In to the Phoneme: Phonetic and Phonological Nuances in Second Language Acquisition

306, Hynes

A forum arranged by the Linguistic Society of America and the MLA. Presiding: Bryan Kirschen, Univ. of California, Los Angeles

Christine Shea, Univ. of Iowa, “Orthography Modulates Phonological Activation in a Second Language”

Jane Hacking, Univ. of Utah; Rachel Hayes- Harb, Univ. of Utah, “Orthographic and Auditory Contributions to Second- Language Word Learning: Native English Speakers Learning Russian Lexical Stress”

Polina Vasiliev, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, “Native English Speakers’ Perception of Spanish and Portuguese Vowels: The Initial State of L2 Acquisition”

Viola Miglio, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; Eva Wheeler, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, “Pronunciation of Basque as L2 by American English Native Speakers: Problems and L1 Interference”

The difficulties L2 learners have in perceiving and producing target- language sounds accurately manifest themselves in the perception and production of vowels, consonants, and suprasegmental features like intonation and stress, as well as in word recognition. Each presentation brings a different perspective on these issues, demonstrating a variety of means and methodologies available in exploring such themes.

For further details, visit www .linguisticsociety .org/meetings-institutes/ annual-meetings/2013.

 

3:30–4:45 p.m.

 

343. All Ears: Listening as a Way of Understanding Literature

Independence East, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Chiara Alfano, Univ. of Sussex

Speakers: David Ben- Merre, State Univ. of New York, Buffalo State Coll.; Paul Gordon, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; May Peckham, Washington Univ. in St. Louis; Jessica Teague, Columbia Univ.

This roundtable seeks to start a discussion on the interface between accounts of listening to literature and listening as reading literature. Although the specific focus will be on literature and theory of the twentieth century, the roundtable will resonate with all who are interested in learning to read with their ears.

 

350. Puerto Rican Print Cultures

208, Hynes

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Puerto Rican Literature and Culture. Presiding: Tomás Urayoán Noel, Univ. at Albany, State Univ. of New York

Kahlil Chaar-Pérez, Harvard Univ., “Letters of Bondage: Blackface and the Merengue Craze in El Ponceño, 1852– 54”

Anne Garland Mahler, Emory Univ., “The Linguistic Politics of Piri Thomas: African American Vernacular English and Racial Discourse in Down These Mean Streets

Juan Rodriguez, Georgia Inst. of Tech., “Poesía, imagen y tecnología en Rizoma de Áurea María Sotomayor”

Respondent: Rubén Ríos Ávila, Univ. of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

 

353. Avenues of Access: Digital Humanities and the Future of Scholarly Communication

Republic Ballroom, Sheraton

A linked session arranged in conjunction with The Presidential Forum: Avenues of Access (112).

Presiding: Michael Bérubé, Penn State Univ., University Park

Matthew Kirschenbaum, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, “The Mirror and the LAMP”

Cathy N. Davidson, Duke Univ., “Access Demands a Paradigm Shift”

Bethany Nowviskie, Univ. of Virginia, “Resistance in the Materials”

The news that digital humanities are the next big thing must come as a pleasant surprise to people who have been working in the field for decades. Yet only recently has the scholarly community at large realized that developments in new media have implications not only for the form but also for the content of scholarly communication. This session will explore some of those implications—for scholars, for libraries, for journals, and for the idea of intellectual property.

 

363. African Testimonial Literature

209, Hynes

Program arranged by the Division on African Literatures. Presiding: Joya F. Uraizee, Saint Louis Univ.

Kimberly Nance, Illinois State Univ., “‘Use Beginning, Middle, and End’: Testimonial Narrative as Reintegrative Therapy in Delia Jarrett- Macauley’s Moses, Citizen and Me

Tamara Moellenberg, Univ. of Oxford, Brasenose Coll., “New Lacunae: Silence and the Child Soldier”

James D. B. McCorkle, Hobart and William Smith Colls., “In the Shadow of Rwanda: Boubacar Boris Diop, Tierno Monénembo, and Véronique Tadjo and the Literature of Testimony”

Jessica Roberts, Queen’s Univ., “Contested Testimonials: Child Soldier Memoirs”

 

5:15–6:30 p.m.

 

399. Term Limits: The Language of the Presidential Campaign

Commonwealth, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Division on Language and Society. Presiding: Bruce W. Robbins, Columbia Univ.

Speakers: David Bromwich, Yale Univ.; Donald E. Pease, Dartmouth Coll.; Hortense Jeanette Spillers, Vanderbilt Univ.

Three perspectives by distinguished scholars on the language used by the candidates in the 2012 presidential campaign.

“Boston Sunset” by Flickr user bettlebrox under Creative Commons 2.0 License

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SATURDAY, January 5

SATURDAY, January 5

 

8:30–9:45 a.m.

 

432. Aural Literature and Close Listening

Beacon H, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Michelle Nancy Levy, Simon Fraser Univ., Burnaby

Matthew Rubery, Univ. of London, Queen Mary Coll. “The Case against Audiobooks”

Cornelius Collins, Fordham Univ., Bronx, “Aural Literacy in a Visual Era: Is Anyone Listening?”

Justin St. Clair, Univ. of South Alabama, “Novel Sound Tracks and the Future of Hybridized Reading”

Lisa A. Hollenbach, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, “Poetry as MP3: PennSound, Poetry Recording, and the New Digital Archive”

For abstracts, write to mnl@sfu.ca

 

442. Reading Aloud to Revise: Exploring the Role of Intonation in Silent Written Language

Fairfax B, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Peter Elbow, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst

Reading aloud to revise is a celebrated practice, but it is too little taught as a concrete skill and too little analyzed from a linguistic point of view. In this workshop, participants will explore this valuable teaching technique. We will work on sample passages by reading them aloud with attention to rhythm and sound and will analyze the linguistics of intonation to show why the tongue is a reliable guide to strong clear prose.

For two chapters from Elbow’s recent book, write to elbow@english.umass.edu.

 

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m.

 

497. Redefining the “Fossilized” Language of the Twenty- First Century

201, Hynes

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on General Linguistics. Presiding: Marnie Jo Petray, California Polytechnic State Univ., San Luis Obispo

Bryan Kirschen, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, “Contemporary Linguistic Features of ‘Cervantine’ Judeo- Spanish”

Nassima Neggaz, Georgetown Univ., “Syria’s Arab Spring: Language Enrichment in the Midst of Revolution”

Covadonga Lamar Prieto, Univ. of California, Riverside, “Fossilized Features in 1:45–3:00 p.m.Contemporary California Spanish and Their Relation with Historical California Spanish”

 

1:45–3:00 p.m.

 

539. Gendered Blues Subjectivities and Racial Politics across Southern History

Beacon F, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Adam Gussow, Univ. of Mississippi

Adam Gussow, “Thee Devil’s Son-in- Law: Blues Masculinity, Interracial Sexuality, and the Infrapolitics of Jim Crow”

Courtney George, Columbus State Univ., “‘What Would the Music Be Like?’: Revolutionary Music in Alice Walker’s Meridian

Nicholas Gorrell, Univ. of Mississippi, “‘If Your Heart Been Broken, Call on the Handy Man’: Female Sexuality and Revisionist Masculinities in Contemporary Southern Soul-Blues”

Respondent: R. A. Lawson, Dean Coll.

For abstracts, write to ngorrell@olemiss.edu after 15 Nov.

 

546. Taste, Touch, Hear: Race, Science, and the Senses in the Nineteenth Century

Beacon A, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Pomona Coll.

Uri McMillan, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, “An Echo across Centuries: Joice Heth’s Sonic of Dissent”

Kyla Schuller, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, “Touching Time: Frances E.W. Harper’s Evolutionary Aesthetics”

Kyla Wazana Tompkins, “Lifestyle Eugenics: Joel Chandler Harris and the Birth of Victim Citizenship”

 

550. The Classroom as Interface

Hampton, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Kathi Inman Berens, Univ. of Southern California

Elizabeth Mathews Losh, Univ. of California, San Diego, “The Campus as Interface: Screening the University”

Jason Farman, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, “Being Distracted in the Digital Age”

Kathi Inman Berens, “Virtual Classroom Software: A Medium-Specific Analysis”

Leeann Hunter, Georgia Inst. of Tech., “The Multisensory Classroom”

 

566. Wonder and Marvel in Cross- Cultural Encounter

207, Hynes

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Romance Literary Relations. Presiding: Lynn Ramey, Vanderbilt Univ.

Paula Park, Univ. of Texas, Austin, “The Utopian Impulse to Archive New Sounds in Alejo Carpentier’s The Lost Steps

Laure M. Marcellesi, Dartmouth Coll., “Sexual Misunderstandings: First European Encounters with Tahiti”

Danielle Carlotti-Smith, Univ. of Virginia, “Le choc avec le réel: Intertextual Encounters in the French West Indies”

For abstracts, visit my.vanderbilt .edu/lynnramey/mla2013/.

 

569. One Hundred Years of The Rite of Spring

305, Hynes

Program arranged by the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages. Presiding: Rebecca Jane Stanton, Barnard Coll.

Francoise Rosset, Wheaton Coll., MA, “The Rite of Spring: Roerich’s Pagan Past”

Marilyn Sizer, Seattle, WA, “The Rite of Spring: Stravinsky’s Mysterium”

Carol Rowntree Jones, Nottingham, England, “The Rite of Spring: Pina Bausch; Danger; and a Woman, Writing”

Respondent: Harlow L. Robinson, Northeastern Univ.

For abstracts, visit http://mlaslavic2013.blogspot.com/.

 

3:30–4:45 p.m.

 

577. Science and Technology in Afro-Modern Literature

Beacon D, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Marques Redd, Marquette Univ.

Marques Redd, “The Technology of the Ancient Egyptian Future: The Cosmic Poetry of Sun Ra”

Zakiyyah Jackson, Univ. of Virginia, “The Future Is a Parasite: Octavia Butler and Posthumanism”

Beth M. Coleman, Harvard Univ., “Race as Technology: Ideologies and Literatures of ‘ Post- Race’ Identity”

 

583. Intellectual and Cognitive Disability Studies

Beacon F, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: John N. Allen, Milwaukee Area Technical Coll.

Sarah Pett, Univ. of York, “‘Aphasia’s Fingerprints’: Language Impairment, Autobiography, and Fiction in Paul West’s The Shadow Factory

Michelle Jarman, Univ. of Wyoming, “The Savant and the Silent Subject: Challenging the Hierarchy of the Autism Spectrum”

John N. Allen, “The Reception of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and the Discourse of Down Syndrome”

 

588. Race and Poetics: On Aesthetic Practice in Ethnic Studies

Beacon A, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Nathan Grant, Saint Louis Univ.

Speakers: John Alba Cutler, Northwestern Univ.; Samantha Pinto, Georgetown Univ.; Libbie Ri-in, Georgetown Univ.; Jennifer Stoever- Ackerman, Binghamton Univ., State Univ. of New York

Respondent: Kandice Chuh, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York

This roundtable will consider cultural forms of difference across a range of genres, including the lyric, collaborative authorship, and radio. We will focus on how aesthetics shifts some of the major tenants of ethnic studies, looking at major as well as neglected authors across African American, Latino/a, Asian American, and anglophone postcolonial studies.

 

5:15-6:30 pm

 

616. Poetic Occupations: From the Great Depression to the “Great Recession”

Independence East, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Sarah Ehlers, Univ. of South Dakota

John Marsh, Penn State Univ., University Park, “Percentile Poetics and Distributive Justice”

Sarah Ehlers, “‘The Left Needs Rhythm’: Poetry Speaks the Depression”

Paula Rabinowitz, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities, “Class Ventriloquism: Women’s Letters, Lectures, Lyrics”

 

621. Reading, Reading Machines, and Machine Reading

Gardner, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Media and Literature. Presiding: Jessica Pressman, American Council of Learned Socs.

Matthew Rubery, Univ. of London, Queen Mary Coll., “Phonographic Reading Machines”

Katherine Wilson, Alelphi Univ., “Mechanical Mediations of Miniature Text: Reading Microform”

Mara Mills, New York Univ., “Between Human and Machine, a Printed Sheet: (e Early History of OCR (Optical Character Recognition)”

 

631. Literary Theory and American Sign Language Literature

Hampton, Sheraton

Program arranged by the MLA Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession. Presiding: Jill Marie Bradbury, Gallaudet Univ.

Rebecca Terese Sanchez, Fordham Univ., Bronx, “‘Human Bodies Are Words’: The Poetics of Deaf Voice”

“The Gaze: Film Studies and the Flying Words Project,” Pamela Kincheloe, Rochester Inst. of Tech.

“ASL Protest Poetry and Refashioning the Traditional Oral Epic,” Kristen%C. Harmon, Gallaudet Univ.

 

639. Two Tools for Student- Generated Digital Projects: WordPress and Omeka in the Classroom

Back Bay B, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Gabrielle Dean, Johns Hopkins Univ., MD

Speakers: Amanda L. French, George Mason Univ.; George Williams, Univ. of South Carolina, Spartanburg

This “master class” will focus on integrating two digital tools into the classroom to facilitate studentgenerated projects: Omeka, for the creation of archives and exhibits, and WordPress, for the creation of blogs and Web sites. We will discuss what kinds of assignments work with each tool, how to get started, and how to evaluate assignments. Bring a laptop (not a tablet) for hands- on work.

“060701boylston1” by Flickr user Dan4th under Creative Commons 2.0 License. In the background is the Hynes Convention Center

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SUNDAY, January 6

Sunday, January 6

 

8:30–9:45 a.m.

 

692. Baroque Forces

303, Hynes

Program arranged by the Division on Colonial Latin American Literatures. Presiding: Anna H. More, Univ. of California, Los Angeles

Ivonne del Valle, Univ. of California, Berkeley, “Colonial Baroque: Violence as History”

Lisa Voigt, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, “Festive Forces in Potosí”

José Francisco Robles, El Colegio de México, “Sigüenza y Vico”

Rachel Spaulding, Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, “The Baroque Voice: Syncretic Afro- Catholic Performance and Power in the Visions of Early Modern Brazil’s Rosa Maria Egipçiaca”

 

693. Theorizing Digital Practice, Practicing Digital Theory

Liberty A, Sheraton

Program arranged by the MLA Committee on Information Technology. Presiding: Victoria E. Szabo, Duke Univ.

Tanya E. Clement, Univ. of Texas, Austin, “What Text Mining and Visualizations Have to Do with Feminist Scholarly Inquiries”

Dana Solomon, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, “Building the Infrastructural Layer: Reading Data Visualization in the Digital Humanities”

Stephanie Boluk, Vassar Coll., “What Should We Do with Our Games?”

Respondent: Victoria E. Szabo

For abstracts, visit people.duke.edu/~ves4/mla13/.

 

10:15–11:30 a.m.

 

698. Intonation and Poetic Convention

Dalton, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Natalie E. Gerber, State Univ. of New York, Fredonia; Benjamin Glaser, Skidmore Coll.

Benjamin Glaser, “Libraries of Rhythm”

Thomas Cable, Univ. of Texas, Austin, “When Free Verse Is Not Free Enough”

Steve Willard, Univ. of California, San Diego “Suffused Selves: Intertextual Poetics, Intonation, and Prosody,”

Respondent: Natalie E. Gerber

For abstracts, write to gerber@ fredonia.edu.

 

700. May 4 Voices: Teaching about the 1970 Kent State Shootings through Oral History and Drama

Back Bay A, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Robert Balla, Univ. of Akron

Speakers: Robert Balla; Kenneth Bindas, Kent State Univ., Kent; Katherine Burke, Theatre of the Oppressed, Inc.; David Hassler, Kent State Univ., Kent

Roundtable discussion of May 4 Voices, an oral history play about the Kent State student shootings of 1970. The session will explore the play’s usefulness in multiple pedagogical settings. Panelists will describe their experiences with May 4 Voices in diverse disciplines and elicit audience responses, along with ideas for incorporating the play into humanities curricula.

 

701. Trauma, Affect, and Genre in African American Culture

Riverway, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Cherise Smith, Univ. of Texas, Austin

Speakers: Stephanie Batiste, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; Sonnet Retman, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Christina Sharpe, Tufts Univ.; Cherise Smith; Lisa Thompson, Univ. of Austin

In this roundtable, we turn to a range of cultural media, from plays and photographs to novels and musicals, to explore the ways that various African American artists historicize and politicize racial trauma through the innovative use of genre and its affective possibilities.

 

702. South Asian- izing the Digital Humanities

209, Hynes

A special session. Presiding: Rahul Gairola, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

Suchismita Banerjee, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, “Creating Alternate Voices: Exploring South Asian Cyberfeminism”

Waseem Anwar, Forman Christian Coll., “Digitizing Pakistani Literary Forms; or, E/Merging the Transcultural”

Rashmi Bhatnagar, Univ. of Pittsburgh“Reimagining Aesthetic Education: Digital Humanities in the Global South”

Respondent: Amritjit Singh, Ohio Univ., Athens

For abstracts, write to rgairola@uw.edu after 1 Dec 2012.

 

708. Victorian Oral Culture, circa 1861–1901

Public Garden, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Anne Zwierlein, Univ. of Regensburg

John Plunkett, Univ. of Exeter, “Ways with Words: Peepshows, Panoramas, and the Showman- Lecturer”

Janice Schroeder, Carleton Univ., “The Schooled Voice: Sound and Sense in the Reports of the School Inspectorate”

John M. Picker, Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., “Siri Love, circa 1900: Voice Engine Fictions in the Age of Synergy”

For abstracts, visit www.uni-regensburg.de/sprache-literatur-kultur/anglistik/staff/zwierlein/index.html

 

715. Philip Roth’s Music

Liberty B, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Aimee Lynn Pozorski, Central Connecticut State Univ.

Ira Nadel, Univ. of British Columbia, “Philip Roth and the Music of Seduction”

Aimee Lynn Pozorski, “Nationalism, Lyricism, and Self- Loathing in I Married a Communist and Indignation

Matthew Shipe, Washington Univ. in St. Louis, “Dream a Little Dream: Music as Counternarrative in Philip Roth’s Late Fiction”

Respondent: B. Jane Statlander- Slote, Miami International Univ. of Art and Design

For abstracts, visit rothsociety.org after 15 Dec.

 

1:45–3:00 p.m.

 

793. Anthropomorphism

206, Hynes

Program arranged by the Division on Comparative Studies in Romanticism and the Nineteenth Century. Presiding: Sara Guyer, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

Helmut Heinz Müller- Sievers, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, “Making the Gestell Sing: Romantic Music Theory, Virtuoso Performance, and the Aesthetics of Machines”

Jessica Kuskey, Syracuse Univ., “Industrial Anthropomorphism and the Victorian Factory Question”

Monique Allewaert, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, “Antimorphism”

 

795. Literature and Digital Pedagogies

Fairfax A, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Anaïs Saint- Jude, Stanford Univ.

“Teaching Modernism Traditionally and Digitally: What We May Learn from New Digital Tutoring Models by Khan Academy and Udacity,” Petra Dierkes- Thrun, Stanford Univ.

“Digital Resources and the Medieval- Literature Classroom,” Robin Wharton, Georgia Inst. of Tech.

“Toward a New Hybrid Pedagogy: Embodiment and Learning in the Classroom 2.0,” Pete Rorabaugh, Georgia State Univ.; Jesse Stommel, Marylhurst Univ.

For abstracts, visit litilluminations.wordpress.com/ after 1 Dec.

“after hours” by Flickr user haydnseek under Creative Commons License 2.0

The Plasticity of Listening: Deafness and Sound Studies

“Listening Post” by Flickr User Theory

Editor’s Note: Steph Ceraso‘s post wraps up Sounding Out!’s three-part February forum on the intersection of deafness, Deaf Studies, and sound studies.  However, SO! would like this series to open an ongoing conversation. If  you would like to respond to these posts and/or pursue your own avenue of inquiry, please direct your pitches to jsa@soundingoutblog.com. We’d love to hear from you.  By the way, if you missed (or want to re-read) Liana Silva‘s “Listen to the Word: Deafness and Participation in Spiritual Community” click here and C.L. Cardinale‘s “my mother’s voice, my father’s eye, and my other body: the sound of deaf photographs” click here.

There is no difference in being deaf or hearing—one will always appreciate the subtleties of sound because of the ability to feel things in greater depth to what the ear alone will allow us to hear. -Evelyn Glennie from Shirley Salmon’s Hearing—Feeling—Playing: Music and Movement with Hard-of-Hearing and Deaf Children

I am not deaf, nor am I someone who is affiliated with the scholarly field of disability studies. However, I am someone who is very interested in expanding notions about what it means to listen. For my dissertation research, I have been working on developing a theory of what I call “multimodal listening.” Rather than understanding listening as something that is dependent upon the ears, “multimodal” listening refers to the various ways in which sound is felt throughout the body (via vibration), and to the multiple senses in addition to the auditory sense that are employed during a listening event.

Photo by Flickr User jimmiehomeschoolmom

Because of my interest in moving beyond ear-centric models of listening, I really appreciated Liana M. Silva’s recent post on the Deaf International Community Church (DICC). I was especially struck by how her experience as a hearing individual attending a Deaf church service suddenly defamiliarized her own relationship to sound and voice. The visual nature of this service, which was conducted through the use of American Sign Language (ASL), prompted her to consider listening practices that do not rely on a fully functioning auditory system.

I wonder, though, if swapping the ears for the eyes is still too limiting—too dependent on a single mode. For instance, if a non-signing deaf person was attending a service similar to the one Silva described, visual listening (in a discursive sense) would not be a possibility. My use of “deaf” (with a small “d”) is a strategic choice here. The descriptor “Deaf” (with a capital “D”), as Silva uses it in her discussion of the church, is almost always employed to refer to the Deaf Community as a cultural and linguistic entity, whereas “deaf” refers to an audiological deficiency. Since the use of ASL is most often associated with individuals in the Deaf community, those who do not sign would most likely avoid churches like the DICC. However, depending on the acoustics and the material features of the church, a non-signing deaf person might be able to experience the sound of music through vibration in a more full-bodied kind of listening practice.

Photo by Flickr User curran.kelleher

Listening via vibration is something that Cara Cardinale Fidler writes about in her poetic account of growing up with deaf parents. She remembers,

In high school, I went to a dance at the Fremont School for the Deaf where my parents were chaperones. It was easy to find the dance; you could hear the throbbing bass from across campus.  It was so loud, it hurt. When I walked in, I wasn’t surprised to see a wall full of uncomfortably dressed teenagers holding balloons to feel the sound and bobbing their heads in tempo.

In this passage, Cardinale Fidler amplifies the tactile experience of sound—the ability of all bodies to listen-feel through the force of vibration. Sometimes we feel sound in our guts or throats or teeth, but this is not usually an aspect of listening that most people with a working auditory system meditate on, or try to refine in any way.

I think it is important to acknowledge, as Silva and Cardinale Fidler do by example, that the labels “deaf” and “hearing” are not as clear-cut as they may seem. There is a whole range of auditory function among people who are given these labels, or who fit somewhere between them. Sound scholars might think of deafness, then, not as a uniform lack, but as a range of listening practices in which sensory modes other than the ears are employed. Some people rely more on one mode than others, and some might develop synesthetic listening practices.

Evelyn Glennie, playing the marimba faster than the camera can cope with, Photo by Flickr User Bankside

For instance, in the documentary Touch the Sound, percussionist Evelyn Glennie uses the convergence of sound, sight, and touch in her own listening training. We need to start thinking about listening less in terms of binaries (e.g. you either have the capacity to listen or you do not), and more in terms of possibilities. The fact that bodies can be retrained to experience listening via multiple modes highlights the extremely flexible, plastic nature of listening habits and practices. In considering this diverse range of listening possibilities, I wonder how we might design more listening experiences that are truly multimodal—that require or at least present the possibility of listening with more than one sensory mode. How might we expand the listening capacities of all bodies?

Deaf space and architecture is one area that is beginning to take up such questions. Based on the concept of universal design, which emphasizes the production of products and environments that are accessible to both so-called “disabled” and “able-bodied” individuals, deaf architecture considers the ways in which deaf listening bodies move through and communicate within space. These spaces seem particularly well-designed for visual and tactile listening situations. For example, according to blogger Scott Rains, some key principles of deaf architecture include: the use of partial walls or open concept spaces, no sharp angles and curved corners to increase visual range, no sources of glaring light that might impede vision, and wooden floors for more pronounced vibration. Bodies, spatial and material configurations, and the senses were all taken into account in this kind of design. The visual and tactile elements in these spaces accommodate particular bodies and communication practices, but there would be no need for such spaces without the existence of those particular bodies and communication practices. The design of deaf architecture is based on the reciprocal relationship between cultural and physiological needs, which in turn broadens the listening possibilities of the inhabitants of deaf spaces.

The Myer Music bowl, where the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra accompanies Evelyn Glennie, photo by Flickr User learza.

Deaf studies and deaf scholars have much to contribute to sound studies. Expanding ideas about what it means to listen, coming up with new ways to extend the capacities of all listening bodies, and developing more dynamic and complex theories of listening will require sound studies scholars to think about listening not only in terms of the ears, but in terms of bodies, affects, behaviors, design, space, and aesthetics. In this sense, deafness may be one of the most significant and generative areas of research in the continuing development of sound and listening studies.

Conversely, sound studies can offer deaf studies fresh ways to think about how sound shapes/enhances/disrupts deaf cultural practices. As we have seen from the examples above, sound plays a powerful and sometimes complicated role in deaf contexts. Using sound studies approaches and methodologies, then, could help to augment the ways in which sound figures into deaf culture–a subject that has received very little attention thus far. Collaborations between these seemingly contradictory areas of study have the potential to enliven and enrich each other in mutually beneficial ways. Sound studies and deaf studies have a lot to say to each other. They just need to start listening.

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Steph Ceraso is a 4th year Ph.D. student in English (Cultural/ Critical Studies) at the University of Pittsburgh specializing in rhetoric and composition. Her primary research areas include sound and listening, digital media, and affect. Ceraso is currently writing a dissertation that attempts to revise and expand conventional notions of listening, which tend to emphasize the ears while ignoring the rest of the body. She is most interested in understanding how more fully embodied modes of listening might deepen our knowledge of multimodal engagement and production. Ceraso is also a 2011-12 HASTAC [Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory] Scholar and a DM@P[Digital Media at Pitt] Fellow. She regularly blogs for HASTAC.

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