In the N
um u tekwap uha, the Comanche language:
Haa ma r
uawe, haa n uhaitsi. N unahnia tsa Dustin Tahmahkera.
In this post, I talk about the phrase “becoming sound,” and also gesture to several examples across Indi’n Country to encourage us to listen for aural affirmations and disavowals of indigeneity and encourage active reflection on the roles of sound in becoming and being indigenous, now and in the future. By “becoming sound,” I’m interested in the interdependent relations between emitting sound as the formations of sonic vibrations in the air and becoming sound as a method toward restoring good health through cultural ways of listening and healing.
While the former use of sound gets situated more in sound studies, the latter sense of “sound” is evoked more by the medical humanities, such as when saying someone is “of sound mind,” though we know from the history of perceptions of mental illness that what constitutes a “sound mind” is not resoundingly agreed upon. For example, the U.S. heard the Paiute Wovoka’s visionary Ghost Dance and singing for peace and “becoming sound” again as “savage” and “insane,” and sent the 7th Cavalry to massacre Lakota children, women, and men in response. The misdiagnosis of “savage” has instilled a puritanical, restrictive worldview of what “being sound” means, and it’s been abused and amplified all the more in the metaphorically schizophrenic split between becoming “Indian, an unsound Indian,” and re-becoming a “sound indigenous human being.”
My thoughts here echo an epistemology of sound and being by the late John Trudell. In Neil Diamond’s 2009 documentary Reel Injun, Trudell theorizes on collisions between schizophrenic-like identities located in an expansive soundscape. He says:
600 years ago, that word ‘Indian,’ that sound was never made in this hemisphere. That sound, that noise was never ever made … ever. And we’re trying to protect that [the Indian] as an identity. … we’re starting not to recognize ourselves as human beings. We’re too busy trying to protect the idea of a Native American or an Indian, but we’re not Indians and we’re not Native Americans. We’re older than both concepts. We’re the people. We’re the human beings.
Following Trudell’s call for becoming the people again, and for resisting what he calls the genocidal “vehicle [that tries to erase] the memory of what it means to be a human being,” my attention, my ear bends toward asking about the roles of sound in human being-ness and toward the roles of listening in that ongoing process of becoming sound human beings, a process cognizant of the “cacophonies of colonialism,” as sounded forth by Jodi Byrd in The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism, and a process also grounded in indigenous sonic traditions and modernity.
What I’m sharing is in support of an emerging multimedia research lab, podcast, and book project I call Sounds Indigenous, a title which affords considerable space in sonic clashes between how indigeneity gets heard and unheard, how it is sounded and unsounded. Sounds Indigenous involves listening for sonic sovereignty in indigenous borderlands. For me, it’s particularly located in the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma and elsewhere in the 240,000 square miles of Comanche homelands known as la Comanchería.
As for method, Sounds Indigenous practices tubitsinakukuru, our word for listening carefully.
As I recently wrote elsewhere in a special indigenous-centric issue of Biography, “Nakikaru means listen, but to practice tubitsinakukuru is to listen closely and engage with the speakers and sounds, be they familiar or foreign, friendly or fierce, fictive or factual, or sometimes, in the eccentricities of humanity, all of the above.” It goes back to one’s beginning. As Muscogee Creek artist Joy Harjo says in her co-edited collection Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: “We learn the world and test it through interaction and dialogue with each other, beginning as we actively listen through the membrane of the womb wall to the drama of our families’ lives” (19).
In the context of colonialism, this project is about listening, too, through sonic dissonance. From the Latin word for “not agreeing in sound,” dissonance represents the disharmonius, that which lacks in agreement. But more importantly, it’s about using, not disavowing, the dissonance as audible ground from which to reimagine indigenous futures toward becoming sound. In an indigenous sound studies context, it means listening through Byrd’s “cacophonies of colonialism,” through ear-splitting “discordant and competing representations” of Indianness and indigeneity (xxvii). We know that what sounds indigenous often becomes sites of debate and critique, such as when hearing what Phil Deloria calls “the sound of Indian” (183) in Indians in Unexpected Places, be it the boisterous nonsensical grunts and ugs in cinema, the cadence of the tomahawk chop at sporting events, the clapping hand-to-mouth of cowboys-and-Indians televisual and school playground lore, or early ethnologists’ mis-hearings of indigenous songs across Indian country, all the performative made-up stuff of non-Native imaginaries that all too often makes up the popular “sonic wallpaper” of Indianness (222).
At the same time, Sounds Indigenous is also about the soundscapes, the sonic formations, of Comanches and other Natives. It’s about indigenous auditory responses, which includes not only the vocalized, the heard, but also sampling the “certain quality of being” that Africana Studies scholar Kevin Quashie calls “the sovereignty of quiet” in his study of the same title. Sounds Indigenous is about those auditory responses and expressive ways of sounding indigenous that reverberate through and against what my Mapuche colleague Luis Carcamo-Huechante calls acoustic colonialism, and what Ronald Radano and Tejumola Olaniyan call the “audible empire” (7): “the discernible qualities of [what] one hears and listens to—that condition imperial structurations.”
With that said, this is a nascent mix and remix of words in an always already failed search of communicating the ineffable: these are words in search of communicating holistically about sonic affect. Sonic affect is about far more than just “sound” or just “listening.” Sonic affect is also not just about the subjectivity of how certain sounds make us feel certain ways, but rather it is what deeply makes soundings possible and brings forth our expressions of and feelings about sound. Affect is not just emotion; affect is what allows us the capabilities to feel emotion.
Yet even with the ineffability of affect, “every word,” Trudell tells us, “every word has power” as we turn each word “into sound … into the world of vibration, the vibratory world, the vibration of sound. It’s like throwing a pebble,” he says, “into the pond. Something happens.” The “something” from words and other sounds may not be fully communicable in sonic expressions, but I’d like to think we know of the something when we hear it and feel it as human beings, even if it’s a recognition of seemingly unknowable mystery, especially in moments of what media scholar Dominic Pettman calls “sonic intimacy,” a process of “turning inward…to more private and personal experiences and relationships” in Sonic Intimacy: Voice, Species, Technics (or, How To Listen to the World), (79), such as seen and heard in this personal video I took with my phone during a sunset in early 2014 while sitting with my son Ira atop Mt. Scott, the tallest peak in the Wichita Mountains.
For me, Mt. Scott has long been one of the most remarkable sites in the world, a sacred site carrying a long history with Comanches but that for many may be just another tourist destination.
As a Comanche born in Lawton, Oklahoma, who grew up mostly just south of there in the Wichita Falls, Texas, area, I have crossed the Pia Pasiwuhunu, the Red River, innumerable times and visited nearby Mt. Scott, climbing its boulders with friends or driving on the roadway that snakes around it to the top.Once at the top, I, like my g-g-g-grandfather Quanah Parker, the most famous of all Comanches, have sat there: observing, listening, exploring, and praying. But as you may have heard from other folks’ voices in the background of the video with my son, it can be difficult these days to “get away” on Mt. Scott. You may hear tourists laughing, loud talking on cell phones, rocks being thrown, and the revving of Harley Davidsons or, better yet, Indian motorcycles in the now-spacious parking lot at the top.
The loudest noise, though, comes from nearby Fort Sill. Named after Joshua Sill who died in 1862 in the Civil War, it began in 1869 as an outpost against Comanches, Kiowas, and other Native Peoples. Now a military base that has been known to sometimes still go against us, Fort Sill is known for its Field Artillery School and, for those in the Wichita Mountains and Lawton where the base is located, known for its sonic booms of artillery testing, guns, bombs, missiles, and tanks as seen here in an old Fort Sill training film.
Over the decades, it’s become what some might consider elements of a naturalized and normalized soundscape. As long as I can remember, the sounds of artillery have been there, somewhere, in experiences of being in the Wichita Mountains; but not everyone interprets those sounds similarly. The author of the 2001 LA Times article “Military Booms Are Boon to Okla. Base’s Neighbors” claims you “would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t welcome the disruption.” They quote local residents saying things like “We do live with the boom-boom-boom of artillery fire 24 hours a day, but it’s very interesting about living here, you just don’t hear it anymore.” One former Fort Sill general-turned local banker says, “That’s the price you pay when you live in a community like this. To us, it is oddly comforting. It’s the sound of a healthy economy and a viable place to live.” Another Ft. Sill general adds, “At times the noise is bothersome. But it’s proof positive that we are still conducting our mission here. And the people of Lawton derive comfort from that.” A former mayor of Lawton says, “When I hear those guns out there popping, that’s the sound of freedom ringing in my ears …That’s the freedom bells ringing. Those are the guns that are going to be fired if we have to defend the United States of America.” Such rhetoric, spoken in the 21st-century, sounds rather reminiscent of Fort Sill’s origins in defense against the indigenous.
Still, it’s complicated, to be sure, made even more so by the fact that I come from a strong military family–of all Comanche families, Tahmahkeras rank second in having the most veterans and I’m proud of that, I’m proud of my relatives. Still, there’s something about the blasts hovering through the air and over our homelands. There’s a reminder, of imagined sonic memories of weaponry used against our Comanche ancestors, like “the world’s first repeating pistol, the” “‘Walker Colt’ .44 caliber revolver” that the Comanche Paul Chaat Smith says was “designed for one purpose: to kill Comanches.” As a Comanche elder recently told me in response to Fort Sill’s artillery explosions, “it’s not easily something you can overcome because it brings back the memories of over 150 years ago,” of what happened to the people.
In response to the militarized sonic booms, I’m intrigued by an idea sounded forth by four-time Comanche Nation chairman Wallace Coffey. In the early 1990s, Coffey wrote a letter to then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney at a time when the U.S. Government was shutting down Army bases. In a 2010 interview with Coffey recalls telling Cheney “to close Ft. Sill down and give it back to the Comanches, and we will heal it. Instead of bombing this land, we will heal it.” As he told me in a conversation in the Wichita Mountains in June 2017, “We may not be the titleholders [over all our homelands now], but we are still the caretakers.”
It brings to mind an old story from the late 1860s, that illustrates how one culturally-informed Comanche back then listened to militarized sounds. As Chickasaw citizen and retired Ft. Sill Museum director Towana Spivey recounted in his email to me on June 10, 2017: when generals Sheridan, Grierson, and Custer went “to the Medicine Bluffs area,” long held as a sacred site but also is where Ft. Sill is now located, “the soldiers gathered to explore the imposing bluffs along the creek” and “noticed the echo effects when shouting or discharging their weapons in the basin in front of the steep bluffs.
They continued to fire their weapons to create a corresponding echo.” In response, Asa-Toyet, or Gray Leggings, a Comanche scout who accompanied them, “was,” Spivey says, “particularly horrified with their antics in this sacred place.” To Asa-Toyet’s hearing and sensibility, those “antics” may suggest what I’d call sonic savagery on the part of the soldiers. They wanted him to climb to the crest with them, but he told the soldiers he was not sick, thus “reflecting the traditional [Comanche] belief that there was no reason to access the crest unless you were suffering from some malady.”
Medicine Bluffs is sacred for many Comanches, such as our current tribal administrator Jimmy Arterberry who says, “Medicine Bluffs is the spiritual center of my religious beliefs and heart of the current Comanche Nation.” You can imagine, then, the opposition to when the U.S. Army, in 2007, sought to build a $7.3 million warehouse for artillery training. When they proposed building it “just south of Medicine Bluffs,” in which certain views would be obstructed and Comanche ceremony disrupted, word eventually got to Towana Spivey who curiously had been left out of communications. As detailed in Oklahoma Today, “The Guardian,” Spivey, a cultural intermediary and longtime educator to Ft Sill leadership about practically anything indigenous, intervened immediately. He talked with Comanches who were obviously against the proposed warehouse. He also tried to talk with certain army officials; but for that, he received a loudly written order that read, and I quote, “Do Not Talk to the Indians,” a blatant attempt to try to silence the indigenous who gets reduced to that category of Indian that Trudell critiques. The Comanche Nation soon sued the Army, and the Comanches won, thanks in part to Spivey, who had been “subpoenaed to testify for the plaintiff.” U.S. District Judge Tim DeGiusti ruled that the U.S. Army failed to consider alternate locations and that “post officials” had “turned a deaf ear to warnings” from Spivey. Those warnings, I’d add, were indigenous-centered by a Chickasaw and U.S. ally of the Comanches who recognizes us as Trudell calls forth: as human beings.
In the audible imaginary of sonic duels and dissonance between the Indian and the people/human beings, the list grows elsewhere in Indi’n Country. Consider when Greg Grey Cloud was arrested in 2014 for singing an honor song (not chanting, as some media outlets reported), but an honor song “to honor,” he says, “the conviction shown by the senators” “who voted against the Keystone XL pipeline, Grey Cloud sings even as self-identifying Cherokee, Senator Elizabeth Warren, calls for order.
Or consider, too, when just last year, indigenous honor song singers and their handdrums at Standing Rock were met by LRADs, Long Range Acoustic Devices, among other weapons.
The LRAD Corporation boldly claims its device “is not a weapon,” with the “not” in bold typeface, underlined, and italicized as if that makes it true. They prefer the description “highly-intelligible long-range communication device.” Following echoes of Indian hating from the so-called “Indian wars” of history, reports came in of police confiscating handdrums, suggestive of fearing the sounds and songs they do not recognize. Laguna Pueblo journalist Jenni Monet quoted Arvol Looking Horse who said police “took … [ceremonial pipes]” and “called our prayer sticks weapons.” Ponca activist and actress Casey Camp-Horinek was there, too, singing while surrounded by other elders, a circle of human beings. She later reflected that “I’ve never felt so centered and grounded and protected as I did at that particular moment.”
“Even the noise cannon,” she adds, “didn’t effect me.”
In closing, the sonic dissonance reverberates between sites such as indigenous honor songs in support of tribal and planetary well-being, and the militarized sonic responses—from artillery testing near Mount Scott in Comanche country to sound cannons and the confiscation of sacred drums in Standing Rock—that attempt to silence indigenous soundways. But no one can silence us, including, for example, the Kiowa Zotigh singers here and their honor song for Standing Rock. No one can fully silence us from sounding forth, in efforts toward becoming not unsound Indians but becoming sound human beings.
And by the way, the next time that Ira and I travel to the top of Mt. Scott, we will listen again … we may hear artillery explosions and other sonic reminders of colonialism, but what we’ll also hear are ourselves, breathing, sounding, and becoming Comanche, becoming Numunuu, as we call to the mountain in taa Numu tekwapuha, in our Comanche language. Remember, Mt. Scott is the colonizer’s name. . .but we also have our own names for it, names that historically sustained us as being sound human beings speaking the Numu tekwaphua, and names that can continue to help us become sound now and in the future. Udah, nu haitsi. Thank you.
Featured Image: Greg Grey Cloud escorted from the Senate gallery, image from the Indoan Country Media Network
Dustin Tahmahkera, an enrolled citizen of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma, is a professor of North American indigeneities, critical media, and cultural sound studies in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. In his first book Tribal Television: Viewing Native People in Sitcoms (University of North Carolina Press, 2014), Tahmahkera foregrounds representations of the indigenous, including Native actors, producers, and comedic subjects, in U.S., First Nations, and Canadian television from the 1930s-2010s within the contexts of federal policy and social activism. Current projects include “The Comanche Empire Strikes Back: Cinematic Comanches in The Lone Ranger” (under contract with the University of Nebraska Press’ “Indigenous Films” series) and “Sounds Indigenous: Listening for Sonic Sovereignty in Indian Country.” Tahmahkera’s articles have appeared in American Quarterly, American Indian Quarterly, and anthologies. At UT, he also serves on the Advisory Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies program.
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Sonic Connections: Listening for Indigenous Landscapes in Kent Mackenzie’s The Exiles–Laura Sachiko Fugikawa
This year’s American Studies Association meeting in Baltimore, Maryland (October 19th-23rd) marks a real tipping point for Sound Studies within the interdisciplinary field of American Studies. First of all, there was the publication of Kara Keeling and Josh Kun’s co-edited special issue for American Quarterly, Sound Clash: Listening to American Studies, this past September 2011. Packed with 17 cutting-edge essays—culled from a record breaking 80+ submissions—this must-read issue is, according to Keeling and Kun’s introduction, “a sign not only of sound’s quantitative currency but the promise of its future as a field of ongoing inquiry, and its importance and relevance to the future of American Studies itself” (452). In addition to its vibrant blend of emerging scholars and senior folk, the issue is notable for its head-on engagement of sound and power in multiple, intersecting dimensions: race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and national identity. The issue’s intervention tracing the aural edge to U.S. citizenship privilege is especially important, and game-changing for both American Studies and Sound Studies. If you have access to Project Muse, you may download the entire issue (or selected essays) through this link here. The issue also kicks off a new audio-visual web interface for American Quarterly, and you can look here to see and hear more from several authors in the issue.
We at Sounding Out! are proud to be mentioned in the introduction to AQ’s Sound Clash and to have five members of Team SO! featured in the issue: yours truly, Editor-in-Chief and Guest Posts Editor Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman, and guest authors, D. Inés Casillas, Nina Eidsheim, Tara Rodgers, and Gayle Wald. Look for Sounding Out! posts in 2012 from more of the AQ special issue’s contributors, including Mack Hagood, D. Travers Scott, and Roshanak Kheshti. If you are headed down to B’more and you’d like to hear from many of these folks in person, American Quarterly is sponsoring a roundtable panel on Saturday, October 22nd, bright and early at 8:00 a.m. at the Hilton Baltimore Holiday Room 5. It will be moderated by Josh Kun (USC) and will feature Kara Keeling (USC), Asma Naeem (University of Maryland, College Park), Dustin Tahmahkera (Southwestern University), and Roshnak Kheshti (UCSD) as panelists. Look also for unscheduled guests to appear from the issue, such as Gayle Wald (George Washington) and myself (SUNY Binghamton)—ASA rules do not permit formal participation in more than one panel—and know that, despite the early tip-off time, Keeling and Kun will be taking full advantage of the session to give Sound Clash an enthusiastic and proper send off. Between now and then, I’ll be frantically figuring out how to clone myself, because a couple of the issue’s contributors, Tara Rodgers (University of Maryland) and Barry Shank (Ohio State), are unfortunately scheduled in two excellent competing sound studies panels that very morning (scroll down for full details)! Hopefully, when the ASA Sound Studies Caucus gets fully up and running, there will be less tortuously tantalizing research pile-ups like this one.
That’s right, I said the ASA Sound Studies Caucus. If the publication of the AQ special issue wasn’t awesome enough news, the word on the street is that next year, I may not have to do Sounding Out!’s beloved ASA conference pre-game round-up. Sound Studies is in the process of gaining that all-important indexing in the front of the American Studies Association conference program through the brand-new Sound Studies Caucus. Through ASA, the caucus is hoping to sponsor specific sound-related panels for forthcoming ASA meetings. This year’s reception is a planning session where interested parties can introduce themselves and become more involved in some of the caucus’s administrative tasks. The official meet up takes place on Saturday, October 22nd from 4-6 p.m. at the upstairs bar area of the Pratt Street Ale House (206 W. Pratt Street) and Team ASA SSC will be selling limited edition T-Shirts to fund raise for the group. Interested folks can join the Sound Studies Caucus Googlegroup in advance of the meeting and catch the latest breaking news.
The ASA Sound Studies Caucus came out of a 2010 working group of UC faculty called “Sounding Race” generously funded by a UC Humanities Research Institute Grant. The caucus centralizes race, gender, and sexuality to the study of sound and vice versa; in the words of their grant: “A new direction in sound studies suggests that sound, indeed, racializes, queers, and genders both the speaking subject as well as the listener.” The grant was authored by Deborah Vargas (UC Irvine), Roshanak Kheshti(UC San Diego), D. Inés Casillas (UC Santa Barbara and frequent Sounding Out! blogger), and Kevin Fellezs (formerly at UC Merced, now at Columbia University). We at Sounding Out! are thankful for their scholarship, enthusiasm, and their critical administrative labor; we look forward to hearing more from this collective both at the caucus meeting and at the sure-to-be-excellent roundtable: “ASA Committee on Ethnic Studies: Sounding Race” on Friday October 21st, at 10:00 a.m. in Hilton Baltimore Peale B. It will be moderated by Herman Grey (UC Santa Cruz) and will also include Kirstie Dorr (UC San Diego). Look for me at both events—I will be the one live-Tweeting furiously with a huge grin on my face, excited to be gathering with so many Sound Studies colleagues from across ASA’s many (inter)disciplines.
In addition, I will be representing Sounding Out! on a panel organized by Nicole Hodges Persley (University of Kansas) and sponsored by the American Studies Women’s Committee called “Digital Displays: Women Imagining Blogospheres as Alternative Public Spheres,” on Saturday, October 22nd from 2:00p.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 4. I will be joining Tanya Golash-Boza (University of Kansas, author of the blog Get a Life, Ph.D), Judy Lubin (Howard University, author of the blog Judy Lubin’s Leading Voices) and Jamie Schmidt Wagman (Saint Louis University) in a conversation about the role and power of blogging in contemporary academic careers. In particular, my paper, “Sounding Off About Sounding Out!: Emerging Scholars in an Emerging Field” will focus on the mission and history of our blog and its interventions in the problem of access for women, junior scholars, and scholars of color. Sounding Out! will continue the conversation beyond Saturday afternoon by publishing excerpts from my paper post-ASA. We hope that you will join us, either in person or by contributing your thoughts and comments when that post eventually goes live.
Below you will find Sounding Out!’s picks for panels, papers, and events of interest to Sound Studies scholars at ASA 2011. We’d like to thank IASPM (the US branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music for compiling the Popular Music Panels a few weeks back and add that our version of course understands “sound” more broadly: you’ll find music panels among work on urban soundscapes, theorizations of listening, research on sound and space, sound and race, sound and citizenship, as well as new research in the digital humanities for those interested in blogging and other audio-visual technologies, methodologies, and pedagogies. In addition to panels, I have also copiously trolled through the program looking for events of interest to sound studies scholars as well as individual papers housed on panels not ostensibly or exclusively about sound (another important measure of the health, usefulness, and influence of Sound Studies methodology across the board). If you find that I have missed you—or have placed your paper here in error—drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will rectify the situation ASAP.
Finally, I want to give a quick shout out to local organizations and research projects in Baltimore that study sound, both as a gambit for Sound Studies scholars at ASA to think about how to foster relationships with site-specific colleagues and professionals at this and future meetings, but also as a way of introduction (or a welcome back) to the city that we will live in and be a part of for a few precious days this week. Here are links to the Baltimore Soundscape Project, an interactive, collective soundmap facilitated by the private nonprofit group The Hearing and Speech Agency, which began in Baltimore in 1926 and functions as a “direct service provider, information resource center, and advocate for people of all ages and incomes who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech-language disabilities”; Baltimore Sounds, a website run by Joe Vaccarino, a local musician, writer, and restaurateur, “dedicated to the history of past and present pop musicians throughout the Baltimore regional area” that features an extensive “Big List” of all musicians and groups in the area between 1950 and 2000; and the enjoyable Sounds of the Baltimore Oriole for a ornithological taste of “wild” Baltimore beyond the built environment. Take a good listen and I’ll see you all very soon. For the virtual experience, look for my live tweets via our Facebook and Twitter pages or on the official ASA backchannel: #2011asa.
Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman is co-founder, Editor-in-Chief and Guest Posts Editor for Sounding Out! She is also Assistant Professor of English at Binghamton University and a Fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University.
2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
African American Soundscapes and Sound Theory, Hilton Baltimore Tubman B
CHAIR: Alexander Weheliye, Northwestern University (IL)
PAPERS: Anthony Reed, Yale University (CT), “Some Echo of Haunting Melody”: W.E.B. Du Bois’ Musical Modernity
Noelle Morrissette, University of North Carolina, Greensboro (NC), James Weldon Johnson’s Soundscape of Modernity: Black Manhattan
Benjamin S. Glaser, Cornell University (NY), “They require(d) of us a song”: Psalm 137 and the Negro Renaissance
Carter Mathes, Rutgers University, Newark (NJ), Narrative Acoustics: “Free” Writing Black Consciousness
Towards a Sensual Politics: Nation, Race, and Sense Perception, Hilton Baltimore Peale B
CHAIR: Todd Carmody, University of California, Berkeley (CA)
PAPERS: Britt Rusert, Temple University (PA), Fugitive Senses: Race and Empiricism in the Early Republic
Erica Fretwell, Duke University (NC), Sensitive Citizenship, Passing, and Other Nervous Conditions
Patrick Jagoda, University of Chicago (IL), How Videogames Think
COMMENT: Nihad Farooq, Georgia Institute of Technology (GA)
4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Folk, Pop, and Indie Rock: Race and Ethnicity in American Music, Hilton Baltimore Carroll B
CHAIR: Ulrich Adelt, University of Wyoming (WY)
PAPERS: Lorena Alvarado, University of California, Los Angeles (CA), Ambiguous Anthems: Narratives of the Immigrant Subject and Popular Music
Nicholas Francisco Centino, University of California, Santa Barbara (CA), Raza Rockabilly: Reclaimed Space, History, and Identity in Contemporary Los Angeles
Matthew Mace Barbee, Siena Heights University (MI), The Unseen Power of the Picket Fence: How Black Nationalism Created Indie Rock
Voicing a Riff: The Village Voice Music Section and Its Critical Legacy, Hilton Baltimore Johnson B
CHAIR: Eric Weisbard, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (AL)
PANELISTS: Joshua Clover, University of California, Davis (CA), Ann Powers, Independent Scholar, Greg Tate, Independent Scholar, Eric Weisbard, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (AL)
12:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Nijah N. Cunningham, Columbia University (NY), Strident Light, Radiant Sound: Reparation and Redress in a Flyer for a Forsaken Life, Reparative Justice and the Failures of Government, Hilton Baltimore Brent
4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Patricia Herrera, University of Richmond (VA), Sonic Memorials to Roberto Clemente, The Nuyorican Movement, Aesthetics, and Feminism, Hilton Baltimore Peale B
10:00 am – 11:45 am
Performative Black Christianity and the Logics of Religious Representation, Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 4
CHAIR: Daphne A. Brooks, Princeton University (NJ)
PAPERS: Ashon T. Crawley, Duke University (NC), Arthur, Crunch, and the Sound of Blackness in Baldwin’s Just Above My Head
Ronald Neal, Wake Forest University (NC), Spike Lee Can Go to Hell! Tyler Perry, Religion, and Southern Masculinity
Terrion L. Williamson, Michigan State University (MI), Juanita Bynum: Black Religiosity and the Making of a Good Christian Girl
COMMENT: Fred Moten, Duke University (NC)
Affective Histories, Critical Transformations: A Roundtable Discussion, Hilton Baltimore Latrobe
CHAIR: Jasbir K. Puar, Rutgers University, New Brunswick/Piscataway (NJ)
PANELISTS: Mel Y. Chen, University of California, Berkeley (CA), Dana Luciano, Georgetown University (DC), Robert McRuer, George Washington University (DC), Karen Tongson, University of Southern California (CA)
ASA Committee on Ethnic Studies I: Sounding Race, Hilton Baltimore Peale B
CHAIR: Herman S. Gray, University of California, Santa Cruz (CA)
PANELISTS: Deborah R. Vargas, University of California, Irvine (CA), Kirstie A. Dorr, University of California, San Diego (CA), Kevin Fellezs, Columbia University (NY), Dolores InÈs Casillas, University of California, Santa Barbara (CA), Herman S. Gray, University of California, Santa Cruz (CA)
12:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Musical Migrations, Political Transformations: Reassembling Caribbean Musics in the Post-War United States, Hilton Baltimore Johnson B
CHAIR: Brent Hayes Edwards, Columbia University (NY)
PAPERS: Alexandra Vazquez, Princeton University (NJ), Listening in the Cold War Years
Nadia Ellis, University of California, Berkeley (CA), From a Broken Bottle, Traces: Haunt and the Poetics of Diasporic Repair
Shane Vogel, Indiana University–Bloomington (IN), Madam Zajj and U.S. Steel: Duke Ellington’s Calypso Theatre
COMMENT: Brent Hayes Edwards, Columbia University (NY)
Transforming Scholarly Research in the Digital Age (Sponsored by the Digital Humanities Caucus), Hilton Baltimore Key Ballroom 09
CHAIR: Wendy Chun, Brown University (RI)
PANELISTS: A. Joan Saab, University of Rochester (NY), Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, University of Pennsylvania (PA), Tara McPherson, University of Southern California (CA), Mark Williams, Dartmouth College (NH)
2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
The Musical Imaginary: Race, Class, and Authenticity, Hilton Baltimore Paca A
CHAIR: Aldon Lynn Nielsen, Pennsylvania State University, University Park Main Campus (PA)
PAPERS: William Fulton, City University of New York, Graduate School (NY), Re-inventing Authenticity: Big Brother and the Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills as Haight-Ashbury Counterculture Statement
Sonnet Retman, University of Washington, Seattle (WA), Muddy the Waters: Other Stories of Love and Theft in the Making of the Delta Blues
Elizabeth Yeager, University of Kansas (KS), “Find[ing] myself a city to live in”: Middle Class American Imagination and Phish Scene Identity
Jack Hamilton, Harvard University (MA), Being Good Isn’t Always Easy: Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield and Janis Joplin in the 1960s
COMMENT: Danielle Heard, University of California, Davis (CA)
2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Daylanne English, Macalester College (MN), ArchAndroids and Their Antecedents: The Roots of Janelle Monae’s Afrofuturistic Post-human, Afrofuturism, Hilton Baltimore Peale A
4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Marisol Negron, University of Massachusetts, Boston (MA), From Mambo to Hip Hop: (Re)Imagining ìNuyoricanî with HÈctor LaVoe and La Bruja, Imagining Latinidad and Citizenship in Popular Cultures, Hilton Baltimore Brent
8:00 am – 9:45 am
American Quarterly Theme Session I: Sound in American Studies, Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 5
CHAIR: Josh Kun, University of Southern California (CA)
PANELISTS: Kara Keeling, University of Southern California (CA), Asma Naeem, University of Maryland, College Park (MD), Dustin Tahmahkera, Southwestern University (TX), Roshanak Kheshti, University of California, San Diego (CA)
**Other scholars appearing in the issue are invited to attend and participate. Confirmed attendance as of this posting: Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman, SUNY Binghamton (NY), Gayle Wald, George Washington University (DC)
Sounds of Response in the Age of Communicative Capitalism, Hilton Baltimore Key Ballroom 07
CHAIR: Travis Jackson, University of Chicago (IL)
PAPERS: Ruby Tapia, Ohio State University, Columbus (OH), Sonic Architectures of Memory: Digital Re-mixes and Structured Mournings at the Virtual WTC
Barry Shank, Ohio State University, Columbus (OH), Imagination and Transformation in Alarm Will Sound’s 1969
Shana Redmond, University of Southern California (CA), Manifold Music: On Markets and the Limits of Racial Exchange
COMMENT: Travis Jackson, University of Chicago (IL)
Automation or Imagination? Aesthetics and Politics in the History of Electrical Communication, Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 4
CHAIR: Patricia Ticineto Clough, City University of New York, Queens College (NY)
PAPERS: Mara Mills, New York University (NY), The Politics of Reading Machines, 1912–1971
Drew Daniel, Johns Hopkins University (MD), What Is a Digital Sound Object?
Tara Rodgers, University of Maryland, College Park (MD), The Liveliness of Synthesized Sound: From Helmholtz and Darwin to the Cybernetic Imagination
Orit Halpern, New School University (NY), The Autonomous Eye: Cybernetics, Perception, and Bio-politics
COMMENT: Patricia Ticineto Clough, City University of New York, Queens College (NY)
10:00 am – 11:45 am
Musical Lives and Imaginaries in B’More and the Chocolate City, Hilton Baltimore Carroll B
CHAIR: Lester Kenyatta Spence, Johns Hopkins University (MD)
PAPERS: Natalie Hopkinson, Independent Scholar, Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City
Al Shipley, Independent Scholar, Tough Breaks: The Story of Baltimore Club Music
Gavin Mueller, George Mason University (VA), The Ecology of Go-Go’s Informal Markets
COMMENT: Lester Kenyatta Spence, Johns Hopkins University (MD)
2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
ASA Women’s Committee: Digital Displays: Women Imagining Blogospheres as Alternative Public Spheres, Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 4
CHAIR: Nicole Hodges Persley, University of Kansas (KS)
PAPERS: Tanya Golash-Boza, University of Kansas (KS), How Academics Can Benefit from Blogging and How to Get Started
Judy Lubin, Howard University (DC), Reframing Shirley Sherrod: Black Women Bloggers and the Intersection of Race, Class and Gender
Jamie Schmidt Wagman, Saint Louis University (MO), A Woman’s Sphere: The Pill, The Net, and What’s Next
Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman, State University of New York, Binghamton (NY), Sounding off about Sounding Out!: Emerging Scholars in an Emerging Field
COMMENT: Nicole Hodges Persley, University of Kansas (KS)
4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Transforming Sound(s): A Reading and Discussion, Hilton Baltimore Tubman B
CHAIR: Jonathan Peter Moore, Duke University (NC)
PANELISTS: Mark McMorris, Georgetown University (DC), Nathaniel Mackey, Duke University (NC), Evie Shockley, Rutgers University, New Brunswick (NJ)
8:00 am – 9:45 am
Allison Perlman, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJ), Regulating the Color Line: Univision, Spanish Language Broadcasting, and Latino Speech Rights, Regulation, Citizenship, and Communication Technologies,Hilton Baltimore Armistead
10:00 am – 11:45 am
Jason William Loviglio, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (MD), Radio Free Baltimore: Neoliberal Transformation on the Local Public Airwaves, Behind The Wire, Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 6
Fran McDonald, Duke University (NC), Supreme Laughter: The Reparative Function of Laughter in the American Courtroom, Humor Studies Caucus: Humor as Reparation and Representation, Hilton Baltimore Key Ballroom 09
Lerone Martin, Eden Theological Seminary (MO), Play It Again!: The Phonograph and the Re-imagination, Reparation, and Transformation of Black Protestantism, 1925–1941, The Arts of African American Faith: Social Transformation and the Black Religious Imagination, Hilton Baltimore Peale B
12:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Felicidad Bliss Cua Lim, University of California, Irvine (CA), Audible/Visible: Racialized Stardom and Language in Philippine Cinema, American Quarterly Theme Session III: Visuality and Race, Hilton Baltimore Holiday Ballroom 5
2:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Clare Corbould, Monash University, Australia, Performance and the Oral History of Slavery: The WPA Ex-Slave Narratives of the Interwar Years, Imagined Spaces and Reparative Performances: Constructing Public Memory in the Americas, Hilton Baltimore Johnson B
James Deutsch, Smithsonian Institution, Hark the Noisy Streets: The Nineteenth-Century Sounds of Baltimore, The City and Its Spaces, Hilton Baltimore Peale C
4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Hishaam Aidi, Columbia University (NY), Hip Hop, Public Diplomacy and Indigenous Islam, Islamophobia: 10 Years after September 11, 2001, Hilton Baltimore Johnson A
8:00 am – 9:45 am
Business Meeting of the Science and Technology Caucus, Hilton Baltimore Chase
12:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Business Meeting of the Digital Humanities Caucus, Hilton Baltimore Stone
4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Business Meeting of the ASA Women’s Committee, Hilton Baltimore Chase
ASA Sound Studies Caucus Meeting, Pratt Street Ale House, 206. W. Pratt Street, Baltimore, 21201
10:00 am – 11:45 am
The Golden Years: Fifties TV and Radio, Hilton Baltimore Key Ballroom 07
CHAIR: Candace Moore, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MI)
PAPERS: Benjamin Min Han, New York University (NY), Cold War Talent: Ethnic Performers, Music, and Variety Shows in 50s America
Susan Murray, New York University (NY), Colortown: NBC’s Investment in Color, 1950–1959
Christina Abreu, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MI), From the Bronx to I Love Lucy: Lived and Televised Latinidad at the Tropicana Club in the 1950s
Patrick Roberts, National-Louis University (IL), Soul Machine: Agency and the Art of the Gimmick on Chicago R&B Radio, 1955–1963
COMMENT: Joel Dinerstein, Tulane University (LA)
Reparative Warhol, Hilton Baltimore Peale A
CHAIR: Eric Lott, University of Virginia (VA)
PAPERS: Jonathan Flatley, Wayne State University (MI), Liking and Likeness: Across the Color Line in Warhol
Homay King, Bryn Mawr College (PA), Moving On: Andy Warhol and the Exploding Plastic Inevitable
Gustavus Stadler, Haverford College in Pennsylvania (PA), Andy’s Wife: Fidelity and Faith in Warhol’s Aural Practices
COMMENT: Eric Lott, University of Virginia (VA)
10:00 am – 11:45 am
Albert Sergio Laguna, Columbia College (IL), Listening to Change: Radio, Humor, and the Future of Cuban Miami, Humor Studies Caucus: Ethnic Humor: Pleasures and Problems, Hilton Baltimore Key Ballroom 10
10:00 am – 11:45 am
Grace Wang, University of California, Davis (CA), Tiger Moms and Music Moms: On “Asian” Parenting; and Tamar Barzel, Wellesley College (MA), …pater le Punkeoisie—No Wave’s Queer and Jewish Interventions into Punk Rock’s Semiotic Terrain, Disciplining Gendered Bodies: The Strategic Performance of Ethnic Identity in Musical, Literary, and Visual Culture, Hilton Baltimore Peale C