Tag Archive | Seattle

Sound at SCMS 2014

SCMSlogo-roundWith a wide array of departmental affiliations and disciplinary backgrounds represented among its society membership, as well as an active and creative leadership, the annual meeting of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies is an excellent place to get a sense of where sound studies is and might be heading in the academy. To help read those tea leaves at this year’s upcoming conference in Seattle, we are thrilled to welcome one of the key figures working at the intersection of sound and media today, Denison University Communications Professor Bill Kirkpatrick.

Bill is not only a first-rate scholar — he’s at the forefront of emerging work on sound media and disability — but he’s also a producer, one of the people behind Cinema Journal‘s podcast Aca-Media, which is helping to show how sound can be not only a media studies topic, but a way of doing media studies. As one of the co-chairs of the Radio Studies Scholarly Interest Group at SCMS, Bill has also taken a leadership role in promoting the work of many other scholars, and we’re excited to hear from him on the state of the field. Here are his thoughts and a curated guide for how to make the most of the conference in the Emerald City this year.

– SCMS/ASA Editor Neil Verma

The Society for Cinema and Media Studies is clearly in a boom period for sound studies. In interviews for the March episode of Aca-Media, SCMS programmers Angelo Restivo and Bruce Brasell each noted the extraordinary rise in papers on sound as one of the key trends in the field, and the 2014 schedule bears this out with nearly 150 papers related to sound, music, and radio—an average of thirty each day of the conference, which will take place in Seattle from March 19-23.

Last year, in his 2013 SCMS preview for SO!, Neil Verma sounded a little nervous that this rise in sound-related papers was somehow too good to be true: “This year may mark the point at which sound studies became – likely temporarily, and perhaps distressingly – normal.”  It might be temporary, but the quantity and variety of papers on sound again this year is definitely not distressing. Even more than last year, this year’s conference goes well beyond radio, music, and soundtracks to offer papers on sound in airplanes, in museums, in video games, and on phones, as well as governmental policies connected to sound and more.

Here are some trends and highlights I noticed while going through the schedule:

  1. In my first read-through, I was alarmed by what appeared to be a decline in the number of radio-themed papers and panels.  We know that SCMS is still establishing itself as a good place for radio studies, which the still-nascent Radio Studies Scholarly Interest Group is beginning to help, but it would have been nice to see a few more panels in this area.  After my second reading of the schedule, however, it’s fairer to say that radio is holding steady, especially if we count podcasting. I hope to catch a lot of these papers, and you can’t go wrong with any of the Radio Studies SIG-sponsored panels (marked by * below). In the “something different” category, I’m particularly interested in Matt Sienkiewicz’s paper on “Radio Islam” in Afghanistan and Lana Lin’s “Psychoanalytic Reading of Upton Sinclair’s Mental Radio,” which will look at the intersections between radio and telepathy in the early social imaginary.
  2. Last year Neil urged sound studies to “keep it weird,” and there are definitely some papers this year that fit that bill. One of my favorites is Stephen Groening’s study of how the airplane environment affects issues of immersion and distraction, which is one of those topics I wish I’d thought of first.  I also hope to catch a paper by Dimitrios Pavlounis on how silent films before 1920 used the detective dictograph as a plot device, constructing the idea of sound recording in a silent medium. Sarah Street’s “Synthetic Dreams: Color-Film-Music in the 1920s” will examine some notable sound-image experiments (including Eisenstein’s) during the 1920s. And though I don’t know anything about it but the title, Todd Decker’s presentation on “Helicopter Music” has got to be good, right?
  3. For a town with as storied a musical history as Seattle, the music offerings this year do little to take advantage of place (something that Neil also noted regarding last year’s conference in the even more storied city of Chicago). Nonetheless there are all kinds of cool papers on music and musicals. Given the Beatles nostalgia this year, William Gombash’s paper on the promotional films for “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” seems apropos; pair it with Jessica Fowler on “The Monkees and the Birth of New Hollywood” and a talk on Elvis Presley’s musicals by Amanda McQueen for a DIY ’60s pop-musical mini-conference.  Or you could go the other direction with a panel on Wagner (H13) and several intriguing papers on opera (look for the papers by Sabine Hake, Ling Zhang, and Jennifer Fleeger).
  4. This is a good year for technologies of sound, from the cinematic apparatus to the architecture of listening spaces.  See, for example, Meredith Ward’s paper on “Architecting Listening in the Cinema House” or Rafael Freire on “The Conversion to Sound in Brazil,” to give just two interesting examples.
  5. The Scholarly Interest Groups for Sound Studies and Radio Studies will each be holding business meetings with special programming.   The Sound Studies SIG will meet over lunch on Friday (3/21, 12:15-2:00 in Ballard).  The Radio Studies SIG will meet the next morning (3/22, 9:00-10:45 in Ballard) and will feature a talk by folks from Seattle indie rock station KEXP about radio in a streaming age.
"Tower Records Seattle Music Mural" by Flickr user Zoomar, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“Tower Records Seattle Music Mural” by Flickr user Zoomar, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

To help you navigate these and the other offerings, I’ve provided not one but two conference guides. The first is arranged chronologically for all the sound-related panels. The second is arranged topically in four categories (Sound & Soundtracks, Music & Musicals, Radio and Podcasting, and Other: Museums, Airplanes, Phones, Video Games, and Policy).  I’ve also added content notes on just a few papers where I’ve been in contact with the author and learned a bit more about the talk.  I apologize in advance for the inevitable errors and omissions! [please report any flubs to SO! ASA/SCMS Special Editor Neil Verma, nkhv@soundingoutblog.com, we’ll make corrections as needed]

In closing, what should we look for—or at least hope for—from SCMS in 2015?  I’ll list my three biggies:

Music:  The quantity of papers this year on opera and classical music in film and media, while still small, suggests that SCMS might finally be emerging as a conference for music scholars beyond pop music, and I hope this trend will continue.  I can’t get into the methodological and theoretical rifts within the discipline of musicology here, but for years Norma Coates, Tim Anderson, and many others have been working to make SCMS a viable alternative to the dominant musicology conferences that, in large and small ways, are hostile to (or simply wrong for) critical-cultural music scholars, especially if their topic has a TV/film component. So let the word go out that they are welcome here!  As a side note, can someone please take better advantage of the amazing history of music in Montreal next year?

Sound:  Nothing to complain about here—sound is alive and well. I would like to see a few more papers on television and sound, and one could argue that the aesthetic and economic analyses of sound could be supplemented with more papers on political and social dimensions of sound.  But overall sound studies seems to be in excellent shape at SCMS.

Radio:  I’m not pessimistic about radio studies at SCMS, but it is also not where I had expected it to be at this point.  We need to encourage more international scholars to participate, and we can hope that the Montreal venue will make it easier and more attractive for European radio scholars—of whom there are many—to apply. Thematically, there remains a troubling “donut hole” in radio scholarship that I hope more scholars will address:  we have lots of work on early radio (into the 1950s), and lots of work on contemporary radio and podcasting, but that leaves a half-century gap that doesn’t receive nearly enough scholarly attention.  In other words, radio studies is far from exhausted, so I hope that radio scholars and the RS SIG can make 2015 a year of growth and diversification for radio at SCMS.

* = Sponsored by the Radio Studies Scholarly Interest Group

** = Sponsored by the Sound Studies Scholarly Interest Group

Featured Image: “KEXP, Seattle” by Flickr user Curtis Cronn, CC BY-ND-ND 2.0

Bill Kirkpatrick is Assistant Professor of Media Studies in the Communication Department at Denison University in Ohio. His research interests include broadcast history, media and disability, and media policy. He is currently working on an anthology on media and disability and a monograph on the intersections of radio and disability in the 1920s and ‘30s. He is also a co-producer of the film and media studies podcast Aca-Media (www.aca-media.org).

"Bumbershoot procession, 1974" by Flickr user Seattle Municipal Archives, CC BY 2.0

“Bumbershoot procession, 1974” by Flickr user Seattle Municipal Archives, CC BY 2.0

I. Chronological Index
Jump to WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2014
Jump to THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2014
Jump to FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
Jump to SATURDAY, MARCH 22, 2014
Jump to SUNDAY, MARCH 23, 2014

II. Topic Index
Jump to OTHER




Session A 10:00 – 11:45 a.m.

A4: French Auteurs: Becker, Demy, Bresson, Bunuel

Tracy Cox-Stanton, SAVANNA COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN, “Film Sound, Footsteps, and Unvoiced Desire in Bresson’s “Pickpocket” (1959) and Bunuel’s “Belle du Jour” (1967)”


A10: Knowing the Score

Kevin Donnelly, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON, “Phantom Power: Electrifying an Old Silent Film”

Ariane Lebot, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, “Composing the Narrative: Bernard Herrmann’s Contribution to De Palma’s ‘Obsession’ (1976)”

Megan Alvarado Saggese, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY, “From Sound to Cinema: Dissonance and Disruption between Adorno’s Theory of Film and Kagel’s “Antithese””

Christine Sprengler, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO, “‘The Broom That Sweeps the Cobwebs Away’: Vertigo’s Soundtrack as Sound Art”


A16: Re-viewing Feminisms

Elizabeth Watkins, UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS, “Gesture and the Female Voice”

Alexander Russo, CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA, “Androids as the New ‘Other’: Janelle Monae’s Feminist Afrofuturism in The Metropolis Suite” (focuses on the sonic attributes of race and gender, as well as her engagement with the sounds of masculine black music of the second half of the 20th century)


Session B 12:00 – 1:45 p.m.

B6: Policy: The Law and other Gatekeepers

Birk Weiberg, ZURICH UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS, “Roy J. Pomeroy, Dunning Process Co., Inc., and Paramount Publix Corporation vs. Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., Vitaphone Corporation, and Frederick Jackman: How the Movie Industry Learned about Patents.”


B15: Promotional Culture

William Gombash, VALENCIA COLLEGE, “The Evolution of Media Convergence and Popular Music: The Promotional Films for “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever”” (will include discussion of how the Beatles recorded the songs and how the evolving nature of the complexities of the production of their music mitigated against live performances)


B19: Avant-garde Aesthetic Strategies

Dustin Zemel, LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, “Polyphony and Documentary Presentness”  (explores the idea of Bakhtinian literary polyphony and it’s relationship/relevance to film, using Jonas Mekas’s The Brig as an example of how overlapping voices in the soundtrack can effectively facilitate the presentation of multiple, autonomous presences.)


Session C 2:00 – 3:45 p.m.

C6: Narrative Forms of/and American Authorship

Paul Cote, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, “Encountering Sonic Memories: Sound, Childhood, and Escapism in Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.””


C8: The Spaces of Media Production and Consumption

Meredith Ward, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, “Black Boxes and Rich, Repressed Sounds: Architecting Listening in the Cinema House”


C10: Listening to Films: Cinematic Sound and Media Culture in East Asia

Nicole Huang, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON, “Listening to Films: Radio and Communal Film Culture in 1970s China”

Kerim Yasar, UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME, “Otozukuri: Affect, Ontology, and Techne in Early Japanese Radio Drama and Talkie Sound Effects”

Giorgio Biancorosso, UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG, “Double Agents and The Poor Man’s Orchestra: Music and the Aesthetic of the Self in *Chunking Express* (1994)”

Ling Zhang, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, “The Flowing Ambiguity of Soundscape: Female Voice-over in Spring in a Small Town and Fei Mu’s Chinese Operatic Sound Aesthetic”


Session D 4:00 – 5:45 p.m. 

D4: The Globalization of Post-Millenial Persian Media

Matt Sienkiewicz, BOSTON COLLEGE, “Uncle Sam’s Koran: American Broadcasting, Koranic Values and Hybrid “Radio Islam” in Afghanistan”


D6: Objects: The Medium Is the Material

Paul Jasen, CARLETON UNIVERSITY, “Infrasound: Spectres of the Manmade Unknown”


D10: Physician, Heal Thy Selfie

Stephanie Brown, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, “‘A Waiting Room That Doesn’t Suck’: Negotiations of Agency, Authenticity, and Community in the “Mental Illness Happy Hour Podcast””


D13: New Histories of Animation

Lora Mjolsness, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE, “Sound, Synchronization, and Subversion: The Early Animation of the Brumberg Sisters”


D15: Distribution in the Digital Age

Tim Anderson, OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY, “Why Don’t We Give it Away?: Value and “Free” for an Emerging Music Industry”

Jeremy Morris, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON, “‘App’etite for Digitization: App-based Albums and the Virtual Commodification of Music”


"Sub Pop 20th Anniversary!" by Flickr user Rakka, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“Sub Pop 20th Anniversary!” by Flickr user Rakka, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Session E 9:00 – 10:45 a.m. 

E1: Gender and Contemporary Technologies

Jacqueline Vickery, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS, “Mobile Phones, a Girl’s Best Friend?: How the Mobile Phone Industry Legitimizes Surveillance, Commodifies Talk, and Genders Technology”


*E10: Sound: Aesthetics and Ideology

Justin Morris, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, “Radio Ranch: Emergent Seriality in 1930s Film and Radio”

Paula Musegades, BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY, “Silence is Golden: Aaron Copland’s Film Score for “The Heiress””

Yuki Takinami, UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO, “The Issue of Sound-Cinema Aesthetics in Early-1930s Japan: Theory and Practice”

Alejandra Bronfman, UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, “Screeches, Static, and Silence: The Fragmented Terrain of Caribbean Radio”


E13: Deleuzian Aesthetics

Justin Horton, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY, “Vibration, Resonance, Deformation: Deleuze’s Soundful Aesthetics”


E19: New/Media/Art/Objects

Alison Wielgus, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, “Watch Out! The World’s Behind You: Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable and the Promises of Expanded Cinema” (discusses the influence of La Monte Young and drone music on the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, and how the live performance of such music creates a new context for interpreting the Warhol films screened during the events; unfortunately Alison will not be able to attend the conference, but you can contact her for more information)


Session F 11:00 – 12:45 p.m.

F1: Reconsidering Psychoanalysis and Media Studies: Towards a Productive Intersection

Lana Lin, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY,  “Are These Thoughts My Own?: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Upton Sinclair’s “Mental Radio””


F5:  Margins of the New Wave: Japanese Cinemas of the 1960s

Michael Raine, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO, “Music, Musicals, and the Margins of the Japanese New Wave”


F16: Feminist Approaches to War Media

Debra White-Stanley, KEENE STATE COLLEGE, “Combat Medicine, Gendered Trauma, and Audio-Vision” (an interdisciplinary integration of sound studies with the idea of “women at war”)


F17: Negotiating Race in Digital Spaces

Sarah Florini, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON, “Networked Enclaves: Black Podcasters’ Responses to the George Zimmerman Verdict”


**F18: Documentary Sound and the Global City

Rita Safariants, VASSAR COLLEGE, “The Gig is in the Boiler Room: Filming Leningrad’s Rock-n-Roll Counterculture”

Josh Glick, YALE UNIVERSITY, “The Renegade in the Network: Joe Saltzman, CBS, and Soundtrack Innovations”

Ashish Chadha, UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND, “Sound in the City: Experimental Documentaries of Films Division in India”

Noelle Griffis, INDIANA UNIVERSITY, “Telling it Like it Is: The Camera as Voice in AFI Supported Minority Youth Films of the 1960s”


Session G 1:00 – 2:45 p.m.

**G18: Between Speech, Music, and Noise: The Voice in Recent Film and Television

John Richardson, UNIVERSITY OF TURKU, “Between Dialogue and Sound: The Voice, Audiovisual Flow, and the Aestheticizing Impulse”

Robynn Stilwell, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, “Walking and Talking and Singing and Dancing: Axes and Boundaries in the Television Soundscape”

Claudia Gorbman, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, TACOMA, “The Master’s Voice”

Mitchell Morris, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES, “Fictions of the Facture: Vocal Realities in “Velvet Goldmine”


Session H 3:00 – 4:45 p.m.

H3: Negotiating Identity, Belonging, and Citizenship in Transnational Latino Communities in the US

Veronica Zavala, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA, “Alivianadas: Spanish-Language Radio Incentives”


H4: French Film Archives: New Findings, New Forms

Charlie Michael, EMORY UNIVERSITY, “The Lescure Report and the Future of French Audiovisual Policy” (an analysis of the participatory blog that the French Ministry of Culture launched to have a public discussion about audiovisual reform)


*H9: Regionalism, Accent, and Dialect at the BBC, 1930-1955

Debra Rae Cohen, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA, ““There’s No Such Thing as Reet”: Reclaiming Region in Burbleton””

Ian Whittington, UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI, “Regional Voice, National Crisis: J.B. Priestley as Second World War Radio Celebrity”

Emily Bloom, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY, “Speaking Oirish: The BBC Third Programme and Irish Drama”

Damien Keane, UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO, “A Back-Window on Belfast: W.R. Rodgers’ The Return Room”


H13: Cinema & Wagner

Amy Stebbins, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, “Being Richard: History, Myth, and the Biopic”

Rebekah Rutkoff, CUNY, “Towards a Complete Order: Markopoulos and Wagner”

Ken Eisenstein, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO / BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY, “‘All Things Pass Into the Night’: Music, Montage, and Wagner in Billy Wilder’s “Love in the Afternoon” (1957)”


*H15: Branded Entertainment of the Past

Kathryn Fuller-Seeley, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY, ““The Dean of Radio Salesmen” vs. “The Huckster”: Jack Benny’s Struggle with Sponsor Lucky Strike, 1944-1948”

Cynthia Meyers, COLLEGE OF MOUNT SAINT VINCENT, “The Problems of Branded Entertainment: BBDO, Sponsors, and Blacklists on Radio and Early Television”

Lauren Bratslavsky, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, “Soft Hands and Soft Westerns: The True Stories of Death Valley Days, 1930-72”

Andrew deWaard, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES, “Marty Weiser, Exploitation Agent: Product Placement, Publicity, and the Tie-Up Business in Hollywood, 1940-1980”


H19: Intermedial Modernisms: Cinema’s Expanded Horizons in the 1920s

Sarah Street, UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL, “Synthetic Dreams: Color-Film-Music in the 1920s”


H25: Once More with Feeling: Audiences, Origins, and Affect in the Hollywood Musical

Desiree Garcia, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, “Life Upon the Wicked Stage: The Origins of the Hollywood Show Musical”

Sean Griffin, SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY, “Don’t Fence Me In: B Studio Musicals’ Appeal to Marginalized Audiences”

Caryl Flinn, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, “The Kitschy Feelings of Kitschy Musicals”

Kelly Kessler, DEPAUL UNIVERSITY, “I Dreamed a Dream of Close-Ups Gone By: “Les Misérables” and the Visual Excess of Stage-to-Screen Transfers in the FX Era”


Session I 5:00 – 6:45 p.m.

I4: Museum as Medium: Technology, Spectatorship, Space

Karine Bouchard, UNIVERSITY DE MONTREAL, “(Im)mobilized Sound: Towards Listening Experiences in the Museum Exhibition.”


**I10: Sounds of Labor: Musicians’ Employment in Hollywood’s Transition to Sound

Jennifer Fleeger, URSINUS COLLEGE, “Putting Opera to Work: Song, Stardom, and Labor in the Vitaphone Opera Shorts”

Rob King, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, ““I Want Music Everywhere”: Underscoring in the Hal Roach Studios’ Early Sound Films”

Daniel Goldmark, CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY, “The Musical Roots of “The Jazz Singer””


I11: Rethinking Wong Kar-wei: New Approaches to an Established International Auteur

Angelo Restivo, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY, “Wong Kar-wai: Sound + Image”


I19: Makes Me Feel Some Kinda Way: Television and Black Women’s Affect

Racquel Gates, COLLEGE OF STATEN ISLAND, CUNY, “The Ratchet Public Sphere: Love and Hip Hop Atlanta and Black Women’s Culture”


"Musicians and dancers at Pike Place Market, circa 1972" by Flickr user Seattle Municipal Archives, CC BY 2.0

“Musicians and dancers at Pike Place Market, circa 1972” by Flickr user Seattle Municipal Archives, CC BY 2.0


Session J 9:00 -10:45 a.m.

J1: What Is “The Symbolist Temptation?” The Aesthetics of Symbolism in Transnational Cinema

Tami Williams, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE, “A Music of Silence: Abstraction and Sensation in Belle Époque Symbolist Theater and 1920s French Art Cinema”


J3: Brazilian Cinema Revisited: Technologies, Exhibition, Reception

Rafael Freire, UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL FLUMINENSE, “The Conversion to Sound in Brazil”


*J10: Radio and Other Sounds

Hannah Spaulding, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, “Eavesdropping as Entertainment: The Enormous Radio and Shut Up Little Man!”

Jack Curtis Dubowsky, ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY,  “The Music of Brokeback Mountain”

Ming-Yuen Ma, PITZER COLLEGE, “Noises of Protest: Sound, Race, and Violence in Christian Marclay’s Guitar Drag and Paul D. Miller’s Rebirth of a Nation”


J19: Race, Gender, and the Body in Found Footage Film

Jaimie Baron, UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA, “Unintentional Singers and Racial Ventriloquism in Contemporary Found Footage Videos” (Explores how found footage (remix) videomakers are literally making their (speaking) subjects sing and how this constitutes a form of ventriloquism)


Session K 12:15-2:00 p.m.

*Meeting of the Sound Studies Scholarly Interest Group


K9: Medium and Method in “Early Television” History

Kate Newbold, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, “Television Ontology and Media Methodology: Exploring Televisual Fragmentation in Phonograph, Broadcast, and Print Industries, 1926-1940”

Luke Stadel, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, “Radio/Television/Sound, 1922-1941”


K18: Revisiting Kurosawa

Michael Bourdaghs, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, “Hearing the Cold War: Kurosawa Akira’s Soundtracks and Soviet Film Theory”


Session L 2:15-4:00 p.m.

**L10: Sound Waves: Technology and Practice in Film Sound

Charles O’Brien, CARLETON UNIVERSITY, “Multi-Track Sound and the Battle of Paris: American and German Films for French Distribution”

Eric Dienstfrey, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON, “Splits, Quad, and the Psychedelic: Dolby’s Rear Channels Examined”

Katherine Quanz, WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY, “The Industrial Impact of Toronto’s Transition to Digidesign Technology in the Mid-2000s”

Benjamin Wright, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, “Atmos Now: How Dolby is Transforming the Art and Craft of Sound Mixing”


"Sound Garden" by Flickr user The Kozy Shack, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“Sound Garden” by Flickr user The Kozy Shack, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Session M 9:00-10:45 a.m.

*Meeting of the Radio Studies Scholarly Interest Group (featuring guests from KEXP to talk about radio in a streaming age)


M4: What is Socialist Realism? Reexamining Soviet Post-montage Cinema

Vincent Bohlinger, RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE, “Soundtrack Design in Soviet Early Sound Film”


M7:  Playing with Avatars

Lyn Goeringer, OBERLIN CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC, “No Avatar Required: Audio-reactive Games and Physical Connectivity”


**M10: Global Approaches to Film Sound

Pavitra Sundar, KETTERING UNIVERSITY, “Thinking Sound, Rethinking History in Hindi Cinema”

James Lastra, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, “From Mickey Mouse to Peter Kubelka”

Esra-Gokce Sahin, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, “Soundscape and Humor in Acharaka Comedy in Prewar Japan”


M16:  Hispanic Musicals: Nationalisms and Transnational Stars

Valeria Camporesi, AUTONOMOUS UNIVERSITY OF MADRID,, “Latin Stars, Spanish Women: Lola Flores in the 1950s”

Ana Lopez, TULANE UNIVERSITY, “La Vecindad: A Musical Space for the Mexican Cinema”

Dolores Tierney, SUSSEX UNIVERSITY, and Sergio de la Mora, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS, “Re-mapping Mexican Cinema of the 1970s: Music and Female Sexuality in Zona Roja”

Enrique Garcia, MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE, “From Brechtian to Hollywood Approach: The Hispanic Community and Salsa Music in the Documentary Our Latin Thing (Nuestra Cosa) and the Biopic/Musical El Cantante”


M17: Forms of Non-Fiction: Voices, Realisms, Disciplines, Shadows

James V. Catano, LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, “Voiceover and the Essay Film”


Session N 11:00-12:45 p.m.

N2: The Precarious Aesthetic in Contemporary Moving Images

Arild Fetveit, UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN, “Death, Love, and Cinematic Nostalgia: The Precarious Aesthetic of Lana Del Ray” (linking the aesthetics of her videos to her music, in particular to the ways in which she uses her voice)


*N6: Locating Radio: The Symbolic, Cultural, and Political Dimensions of ‘Place’ in North American Radio Broadcasting

Brian Fauteux, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON, “Localities and Independent Music in Satellite Radio Programming”

Catherine Martin, BOSTON UNIVERSITY, “‘I’ve Got My Eyes Open and I Can’t be Crooked’: Female Virtue and National Identity in “Terry and the Pirates””

Eleanor Patterson, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON, “This American Franchise: Negotiating the Production of Local Public Radio for a Global Audience”

Jennifer Wang, INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR, “Some ‘Homemakers’ are More Than Housekeepers: Negotiating Modern Living, Gendered Spheres, and the Rural Lifestyle in Wisconsin Radio”


N11: The Little Flashlight of the Usher: Objects in Exhibition Between Spectator and Screen

Stephen Groening, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY, “‘If You Don’t Want to Look at It, No One Can Force You’: Spectatorship, Agency, and Headphones”


**N16: Teaching Post-Production Sound From a Sound Studies Perspective





Session O 1:00-2:45 p.m.

O4: Expanding the Meanings of Film: Cinema and the Nation in East Germany

Sabine Hake, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN, “The Popularity of High Culture: On the DEFA Opera Film”


O8: Sinophone Cinemas

Alison Groppe, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, “Multilingualism in Singaporean Film Dialogue: Authenticity or Argument?”

O14: Breath and the Body of the Voice in Cinema

Ian Garwood, UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW, “Lost in Non-Translation: Analysing Film Voices from a Position of Linguistic Incompetence”

Liz Greene, QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST, “The Gasping Breath: Controlling the Female Voice in Hollywood Cinema”

Nessa Johnston, GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART, “The Embodied Aural Encounters of Drama-Documentary”

Philippa Lovatt, UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING, “Breathing Bodies: Sound and Subjectivity in the War Film”


Session P 3:00-4:45 p.m.

P7: “Women Contained”: Figuring Feminism in the Films of Todd Haynes


Matthew Von Vogt, INDIANA UNIVERSITY, BLOOMINGTON, “Structural Anorexia in “Superstar””

Jess Issacharoff, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, ““Poison’s” Oath in Another Language: Todd Haynes’ Feminist Promise”

Michael Hetra, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, “Music and the Vicissitudes of Desire in Todd Haynes’s “Mildred Pierce””


P18: Beyond Bond: Alternative Perspectives on the James Bond Franchise

Meenasarani Murugan, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY,  “‘Unlike Men, the Diamonds Linger’: Bassey and Bond beyond the Theme Song”


*P22: Musics and Medias

Shawn VanCour, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, “In Search of Spectacular Sound: Aesthetic Innovation in Classical Music Programming on Early U.S. Television”

Lindsay Affleck, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES, “The Young Man with a Horn: Harry James and the Intersection of the Big Band Era and Classical Hollywood”

Christopher Cwynar, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON, “Unbuttoning National Public Radio: Assessing the Place of Popular Music in NPR’s Current Affairs Programming”

Norma Coates, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO, “5% of It is Good:” Leonard Bernstein, CBS Reports, and the Cultural Accreditation of Rock Music”


Session Q 5:00-6:45 p.m.

Q4: Staging Spain: Performance and Acting in Spanish Cinema

Tom Whittaker, UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL, ““Sounding Authentic: Direct Sound and Spanish Vocal Performance in the 1970s””


Q5: Indian Cinema in the 1930s: Scripts, Parsi Theater, and Melodrama in the Early Sound Film

Anupama Kapse, CUNY, QUEENS COLLEGE, “At Home in One’s Voice: Melodrama and Aural Performance in the Early Sound Film”


Q8: New Media History

Andrew Bottomley, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON, “What is Internet Radio? A Historical Genealogy of the Discourses of Radio in the Digital Era”


Q15: Roadshows to Revisionism: Mapping Shifts in Distribution and Exhibition from the 1950s to the Present

Dennis Bingham, INDIANA UNIVERSITY – PURDUE UNIVERSITY INDIANAPOLIS, “‘Hey, Big Spender’: How Bob Fosse Ran Afoul of Roadshows and Discovered the Revisionist Musical”


Q18: Sound, Vision, and Experience in Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel’s “Leviathan (2012)”

Respondent: Catherine Russell, CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY

Christopher Pavsek, SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY, “Where’s the Sense in Sensory Ethnography?”

Ohad Landesman, TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY, “Faraway, So Close: “Leviathan” and the Digital Future of Observational Ethnography”

Eirik Frisvold Hanssen, NORWEGIAN UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, “‘His Eyes Are Like the Rays of Dawn’: Color Vision and Embodiment in “Leviathan””


Q22: Cinematic Spaces in the Urban Global South

Paulina Suarez-Hesketh, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, “Dancing Pictures, Mobile Publics (Mexico City, 1930s -1950s)”


"KEXP Concerts at the Mural" by Flickr user Chelsea Nesvig, CC BY 2.0

“KEXP Concerts at the Mural” by Flickr user Chelsea Nesvig, CC BY 2.0


Session R 9:00-10:45 a.m.

R2: War/Film

Todd Decker, WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY ST. LOUIS, “Helicopter Music”


R7: Labor Practice and Labors Lost

Josh Heuman, TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY, “All of This Sometimes Tends to Look Like a Closed-Shop Operation: Organizing and Professionalizing Labor Markets and Relations in Early Broadcast Writing”

Michael Slowik, SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY, “Losing the Human Element: The Shift from Live to Recorded Music in Hollywood’s Early Sound Era”


**R10: Sound Effects and Sound Affects

Karly-Lynne Scott, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, “‘The Voice of Shouts and Moans’: Haptic Aurality, Resonance, and Affect in Pornography”

Ian Kennedy, WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY, “Damion Romero’s I Know! I Know! and the Sonic Translation of Nonhuman Affect”

Dong Liang, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, “Is There a Sound Effect in this Score?: SFX in Transition”

Kelly Kirshtner, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MILWAUKEE, “Bodies of Proof: Sound and the Aesthetics of Discovery in Televisual Space”


R20: Beyond Sight and Sound: Film and the Multisensory Experience

Respondent: Carl Plantinga, CALVIN COLLEGE

Joseph Kickasola, BAYLOR UNIVERSITY, “The Senses Know: Wong Kar‐Wai’s Multisensory Aesthetic”

William Brown, ROEHAMPTON UNIVERSITY, “A Touch of Nostalgia, or Time and Cinematic Synaesthesia”

Luis Antunes, UNIVERSITY OF KENT & NORWEGIAN UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, “Multimodal Segmentation in Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line”: Insight into the Time Window of Multisensory Integration”


R24: About Time

Jeff Heinzl, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH, “MTV Meets Slow Cinema: Feedback Loops and the Long Take in G.O.O.D. Music’s Mercy (2012)”


Session S 11:00-12:45 p.m.

S3: Nontheatrical Film Communities

Pamela Krayenbuhl, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, “Raising the Barre in Screendance Scholarship: An Archival Analysis of the Dance Company Film”


S8: New Hollywood and the Archive

Jessica Fowler, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES, “We’re the Young Generation and We’ve Got Something to Say: The Monkees and the Birth of New Hollywood”


S9: A Global Pre-History of Reality TV

Aniko Imre, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, “Socialist Idols: Reality Music Competition Programs in the Soviet Bloc”


**S10: Audible Cinema: Explorations in Sound

Kartik Nair, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, “‘The Body in the Voice’: Labor, Sound, and the Cinematic Scream”

Chunfeng Lin, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, URBANA-CHAMPAGNE, “The Sound Identity of the Early Chinese Sound Films: Symbolism as Skin, Realism as Body, and Politics as Soul”

James Osborne, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA, “Weaving a Sonic Dream: Voice, Sound, Music, and Meaning in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Magnolia””

Neil Lerner, DAVIDSON COLLEGE, “Investigating the Origins of Video Game Music Style, 1977-1983: The Early Cinema Hypothesis”


S11: Historicising Stars

Kyle Barnett, BELLARMINE UNIVERSITY, “Stars on the Stereo: Variations on Phonographic Celebrity”

Amanda McQueen, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON, “”All They’re Good for Is to Make Money”: The Industrial Significance of Elvis Presley Musicals in 1960s Hollywood”


S14: Agency in Media Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Empowerment

This is a workshop in which Elisabeth Soep of Youth Radio will be participating


S15: Playing with the Interface

Lauren Cramer, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY, “Race at the Interface: Rendering Blackness on WorldStarHipHop.com”

Kiri Miller, BROWN UNIVERSITY, “Gaming Gender in “Dance Central””


S16: Questions of Realism

Antonio Iannotta, UNIVERSITY OF SALERNO, “A Sound Laboratory for the Modern: Sound in Italian Cinema from Neorealism to the 60s”


Session T 1:00-2:45 p.m.

T5: Translation-Adaptation-Nation

Gerald Sim, FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY, “Cacophonies of Affection: Postcolonial Soundscapes”


T7: Histories of Technologies

Dimitrios Pavlounis, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, “Audio Surveillance Goes to the Movies : William J. Burns, the Detective Dictograph, and the Idea of Sound Recording, 1910-1920”


T17: Revisoning Black Time and Space through the Afrofuturist Moving Image

Kevin Ball, WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY, “The Incendiary Intergalactic: Sun Ra in Space Is the Place”

"Bumbershoot ad, 1974" by Flickr user Seattle Municipal Archives, CC BY 2.0

“Bumbershoot ad, 1974” by Flickr user Seattle Municipal Archives, CC BY 2.0

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“Once the word ‘sound’ was in the title, it opened up a kind of door”: A Conversation with Eric Weisbard

“Eric Weisbard” by Flickr user Joe Mabel undre Creative Commons 2.0 License

Last March, I attended the first Experience Music Project (EMP) Pop Conference in New York City. (See my pre-conference round-up for SO!, and my blog post for IASPM-US on my post-conference impressions.) Post-conference, I had the opportunity to interview Eric Weisbard, co-founder and organizer of EMP Pop Conference. One late March morning, we talked via phone about the story behind Pop Con, rock critics and academics, and the intersection of Sound Studies and Popular Music Studies.

Weisbard is currently a professor at the University of Alabama’s American Studies department. In addition to organizing Pop Con, he is also the Vice President of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (US Branch) and Associate Editor of the Journal of Popular Music Studies. He has also edited three collections of essays drawn from Pop Con presentations: This Is Pop: In Search of the Elusive at Experience Music Project (2004), Listen Again: A Momentary History of Pop Music (2007), and Pop When the World Falls Apart: Music in the Shadow of Doubt (2012).

In 2001, Weisbard was invited, along with his wife (rock critic and journalist Ann Powers), by the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle to organize their first rock music conference. “I was a grad-school-dropout turned New-York-media-rock-critic-guy” Weisbard explained, “and when I was asked to work on a conference my one framing idea was we will mix academics and non-academics.” The conference has been going strong for ten years now, and has expanded from Seattle to Los Angeles and, this year, New York City.

Part of Weisbard’s approach to Pop Con is rooted in his move from self-declared “grad-school-dropout” to music editor at The Village Voice and SPIN. Weisbard created the well-known Village Voice column “Sound of the City,” which he admits was inspired by Charlie Gillet’s 1970 book The Sound of the City. (Gillet’s book also inspired the theme of this year’s conference.) Weisbard saw in the conference a place where academics and non-academics alike could converse together about music. He pointed out, “this is a place where there’s room for enthusiasm, for intellectual work, but we call it a pop conference; we won’t put barriers to the ability of the ordinary person to come and put something out. The last few years it’s become a free conference, an important step to making it accessible and not just for academics.”

Considering the location of the conference, I asked him what the soundscape of this year’s Pop Con sounded like to him, in retrospect. Three things stood out to Weisbard: the collision of cultures in New York City’s soundscape, the sound of media (embodied in the voices present at the conference), and the music that came from the conference rooms. Weisbard reflected:

“Kimmel Center” by Flickr user edenpictures under Creative Commons License 2.0

“For me, I might point to three things: the most familiar and most cliché is the cultural collision side of the New York City soundscape. You’d have a conference panel at 905/907 [at the Kimmel Center, where the conference was held]; every time I was there I’d hear music from below [….] Another aspect, which is more specific and maybe undertheorized, is the sound of media. I don’t mean media as abstract tools for disseminating information but media in terms of people who have to say clever things on a regular basis and who have to use words all the time. To me, that’s a very particular kind of sound. One of the things that’s interesting of being in New York, and having the non-academic side of the conference (which had been ebbing and is suddenly coming back full swing) is that from academics to journalists to people in the business, [it] was a loud version of my sonic memory of being a media guy in New York. Media chatter, a kind of chatter that’s loudest in New York. New York allows you to be face to face with people all the time [….] Number three is how music itself floated through the other two realms. You might hear a song, as an example, or one night I saw vaudeville songs of the bowery, a late night offering. [This could be in reference to Poor Baby Bree’s presentation during the conference.–Ed.]  We’re not a music conference, we are a music writing conference, but nonetheless music is at the core. That would be third thing; typically you listen to music at a conference, at home, in car, and there are all more directly ways of listening to music. Music permeated things but at intervals. It’s appearance was not predictable. You didn’t know where it would pop up.”

Yes, music was everywhere, and so was sound. The title of this year’s conference opened up the conversation to Sound Studies Scholars. Weisbard pointed out, “when we came up with the theme, which is a riff on Charlie Gillett’s line on “the sound of the city,” we recast it as ‘Sounds of the City,’ in keeping with what we’ve always wanted to do at the conference, which is emphasize different kinds of music. In an interesting way, once the word ‘sound’ was in the title, it opened up a kind of door: in exactly the same way that being in New York we think about the city, when you think about cities you think about sound.”

From the beginning of the interview, Weisbard explained that he was still trying to understand what Sound Studies comprises and where it intersects with Popular Music Studies. More importantly, Weisbard pointed out that some may talk about Sound Studies to avoid associating with Popular Music Studies, which may point to a tension between the fields: “My biggest concern about the phrase ‘Sound Studies is that it is a defensive way for critics who think that if they talk about ‘Popular Music Studies,’ they won’t sound as serious.” Weisbard acknowledged that these questions of legitimacy have plagued Popular Music Studies for a while.

When I asked Weisbard about what Sound Studies can learn from Popular Music Studies, he admitted that he still didn’t have a clear grasp of Sound Studies to be able to offer a strong opinion. However, he shared an example of what he thought was a strong contribution to the field that was, also, accessible to people outside of the field: “The latest pop music collection, Pop When The World Falls Apart, has an essay from Martin Daughtry on listening as it’s undertaken by soldiers in Iraq. That was a presentation. When I saw the presentation as a 20-minute talk, I remember feeling more moved than any presentation on music I had ever heard. That’s where I feel like Sound Studies work can be as satisfying as any work on music [….] Daughtry wrote with a sense of almost confronting something terrifying, while trying to understand how people listen.”

The tension between the academic and the popular is something Weisbard grapples with in his own work. (He stated, “Anything that’s a purely academic version of how to present work is flawed and has to be challenged”).  At the moment he is working on a book on commercial radio formats. He describes it as such: “I’m interested in how formatting music (different from genres) creates parallel mainstreams. I’m interested in how every button can represent a different construction of the middle.” For Weisbard, his academic work and the work he does as a rock critic bleed into one another. “It’s about using the rock critic’s ability to enjoy cultural weirdness” he said, “and the historian’s tendency to keep on digging and get to the bottom of it. I definitely see my work in conversation with people who are grappling with the nature of pop music in general. I love that the word “pop” emphasizes the commercial, trashy, places where it’s least likely called authentic, or [seen as an] embodiment of progressive values. It simply has to live or die on its own. I think academic work should too.”

What’s next for EMP? It will return next year to Seattle, but the theme has not yet been decided. In fact, Weisbard says that EMP’s return the year after is never a sure thing:”There was no guarantee in 2002 that we’d become big [….] The provisional nature [of the conference] is one of its best qualities. There’s absolutely nothing guaranteeing whether it comes again. There’s no organization attached to it, you don’t have a job from it. It depends on the people working. A gathering doesn’t work if people don’t come.”

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

Sound at MLA 2012

Unlike MLA 2011 in Los Angeles, which overflowed with audio-themed research delights–see our last year’s round up here —MLA 2012 in Seattle seems, well, a lot less sonic.  I have a few theories as to why this may be (and of course, I would love to hear your thoughts as to MLA’s relative silence in the comment section. Drop us a line!).  First off, even in our networked universe, conferences always seem to take on some local flavor, so last year’s event in L.A., whose main industry continues to be entertainment, may have been a magnet for panels about music, sound, and other audio-visual inquiries.  Without implying that sound studies is mutually exclusive with Digital Humanities–quite the opposite–perhaps the move to Seattle, long a technology hub thanks to Amazon.com and Microsoft, helps account for the veritable explosion of  DH panels in the PMLA this year.  Being the Editor-in-Chief of a blog, I have included some of the many excellent DH panels in this round up that I think are of interest to fellow research bloggers and sound studies peeps; see Professor (and ProfHacker) Mark Sample’s comprehensive Digital MLA listing on his blog Sample Reality for the full line up (and a great discussion of the growth of digital humanities as a field).

While the sharp decline in overtly labeled “sound studies” panels at MLA seems a bit troubling for a fledgling field, it could also be a backhanded marker of its growing success.  As sound studies grows and expands into more academic venues, this extremely interdisciplinary field is becoming more diffuse and multivalent.  2011 marked the year that the American Studies Association hosted its first official meeting of the sound studies caucus, for example, and published a sound studies special issue of American Quarterly. Three years strong, the Sound Studies Special Interest Group of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies hosted a full slate of events and sound studies panels in New Orleans this past March. And the Sound Studies Special Interest Group at the Society for Ethnomusicology meeting this year in Philadelphia, two years old, did the same. Perhaps the time has come for us to coalesce at MLA in a similar way, forming a society with standing meetings and panels to ensure that the nexus of sound studies and literary inquiry continues to break new ground and thrive instead of waxing and waning along with the market and successive conference themes.  Far from being antithetical or ancillary to studies of soundscapes, recordings, and other audible forms, language constructs and shapes our sensory experience of and the meanings we make from “actual” sound; we are only beginning to understand how.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps the way in which sound studies research has been absorbed into studies of literature and language is not so much a muting but rather a healthy sign of what audio engineers refer to as “bleed.”  This year’s slate of panels shows how Sound Studies has proven undeniably useful to some of the core issues of the discipline: identity, translation, poetics, affect, tone, and especially voice. With the advent of sound studies, “voice” in literary study has ceased to be a solely a metaphor or an abstract symbol of agency, but panels like “Pinter’s Voice,” “Dissenting Voices,” and “Dickinson’s Fictions of Voice” suggest that the field now hears “voice” as a living, breathing, and sounding entity in its own right, a sensory element of literary craft bearing material traces (and social consequences–see “Gender and Voice: Orality, Dissent, and Community in the Late Middle Ages” and Arabic Language and Identity: Transregional Texts and Transnational Discourse”).

Finally, I must mention that the MLA’s strength continues to be its international range; sound studies is frequently critiqued for a largely U.S. and British-based focus, so it is refreshing to see sound studies work from (and on) Germany, France, Australia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Ireland, and Iraq (among others) as well as inquiries that question the idea of borders and nation-states altogether.   Whether revivifying the concept of voice or questioning the rhetorical construction of bodies and spaces across the globe, sound studies emerges as a critical mediator between sound and language at MLA 2012, a rich conversation that has really only just begun.

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!: jsa@soundingoutblog.com

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.

Jump to THURSDAY, January 5
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THURSDAY, January 5

Thursday, 5 January


8:30–11:30 a.m.

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

Willow A, Sheraton

Presiding: Alison Byerly, Middlebury Coll.; Katherine A. Rowe, Bryn Mawr Coll.; Susan Schreibman, Trinity Coll. Dublin

The workshop will provide materials and 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 (candidates for tenure and promotion) and administrators or colleagues who evaluate those materials, the workshop will propose strategies for documenting, presenting, and evaluating such work.

Preregistration required.


1:45–3:00 p.m.

.44.  Pinter’s Voice

303, WSCC

Program arranged by the Harold Pinter Society.  Presiding: Judith A. Roof, Rice Univ.

Saumya Rajan, Univ. of Allahabad, “Ruth: Harold Pinter’s Voice of Postmodernist Politics”

William Crooke, East Tennessee State Univ., “What Dyou Mean? The Cockney Voice in Harold Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter,”

Susan Hollis Merritt, Pinter Review, “Pinter’s Voices”


1:45–3:00 p.m.

67.  Race and Digital Humanities

 611, WSCC

Program arranged by the Division on Black American Literature and Culture. Presiding: Howard Rambsy, Southern Illinois Univ.

Kimberly D. Blockett, Penn State Univ., Brandywine, “Digitizing the Past: The Technologies of Recovering Black Lives”

Bryan Carter, Univ. of Central Missouri, “Digital Africana Studies 3.0: Singularity, Performativity, and Technologizing the Field”

Maryemma Graham, Univ. of Kansas, “The Project on the History of Black Writing and Digital Possibilities”

For abstracts, write to hrambsy@siue.edu.


3:30–4:45 p.m.

.70.  Multimediated Brecht 

Cedar, Sheraton

Program arranged by the International Brecht Society. Presiding: Kristopher Imbrigotta, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

Michael Shane Boyle, Univ. of California, Berkeley, “‘Literarization’ and the Radical Potential of Media”

Julia Draganovic, Modena, Italy, “Brecht’s Radio and Its Italian Legacy”

Michael Ryan, Duke Univ., “Brecht’s Media Theory: A Popular Reassessment”

Respondent: Henning Wrage, Haverford College


82.  Arabic Language and Identity: Transregional Texts and Transnational Discourses

Columbia, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Karin C. Ryding, Georgetown Univ.

Elizabeth M. Bergman, Miami Univ., Oxford,  “Animating Linguistic Nationalism in Jordan”

Clara Shea, Georgetown Univ., “The Sound of the People: Popular Music and Identity in Lebanon”

Georgette Jabbour, Defense Language Inst., “The Way Forward to Teaching Arabic: Incorporating Dialect with Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)”

Emily J. Selove, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, “A Baghdadi Party Crasher in Isfahan”

For abstracts, write to rydingk@georgetown.edu


97.  Voicing Documentary

307, WSCC

Program arranged by the Division on Language and Society. Presiding: James V. Catano, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge

Jose Capino, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, “Voice- Over Narration in the Cold War Documentary”

Rebecca Sheehan, Harvard Univ., “The Essay Film and the Ontology of the Epistolary Image: Akerman, Marker, Godard”

James V. Catano, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, “Voicing Authority: Confessing before God and Errol Morris”


5:15–6:30 p.m.

115.  Gender and Voice: Orality, Dissent, and Community in the Late Middle Ages

Virginia, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship. Presiding: Dorothy Kim, Vassar Coll.

Katherine G. Zieman, Univ. of Notre Dame, “Performing Ourselves: Gendering and Voicing in Pater Noster Commentaries”

Nicole Nolan Sidhu, East Carolina Univ., “Gender and the Unruly Female Voice in Piers Plowman

Dorian Lugo- Bertrán, Univ. of Puerto Rico, “The Inscription of the Voice and Medieval Materiality in Teresa of Ávila’s Camino de perfección

Anthony J. Cárdenas- Rotunno, Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, “The Gendered Voices of Leonor López de Córdoba and Teresa de Cartagena”

For abstracts, visit hosted .lib.uiowa .edu/smfs/mff/


7:00–8:15 p.m.

142.  Affect, Distance, Confession: Emotion and Popular Music

620, WSC

Program arranged by the Division on Popular Culture. Presiding: Sonnet Retman, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

John W. Mowitt, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities, “(I Can’t Get No) Affect”

Barry Shank, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, “Approaching Odd Future (OFWGKTA) from a Distant Place”

David R. Shumway, Carnegie Mellon Univ., “‘A Compulsion to Be Honest with My Audience’: Joni Mitchell and Confession”

Respondent: Sonnet Retman


150.  Digital Humanities and Internet Research

613, WSCC

A special session. Presiding: John Jones, Univ. of Texas, Dallas

Robin A. Reid, Texas A&M Univ., Commerce, “Creating a Conceptual Search Engine and Multimodal Corpus for Humanities Research”

John Jones, Univ. of Texas, Dallas, “What the Digital Can’t Remember”

Jennifer Sano­ Franchini, Michigan State Univ., “Toward a Rhetoric of Collaboration: An Online Resource for Teaching and Learning Re­search”

For abstracts, visit http://robin-anne-reid.dreamwidth.org/


Thursday Individual Papers of Interest 

Mark Deggan, Univ. of British Columbia, “‘Not Bleeding, Singing’:The Operatic Legacy of ’Twixt Land and Sea,” 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 616, WSCC

Emilie Brancato, Univ. of Toronto, “Exploring Marguerite’s Voice in the Middle English Translation of the Mirouer des simples âmes,” 3:30–4:45 p.m., Virginia, Sheraton

Eric J.Hyman, Fayetteville State Univ., “The Filtered Voices of Margery Kempe,” 3:30–4:45 p.m., Virginia, Sheraton

John Melillo, Univ. of Arizona, “Empathic Noise,” 3:30–4:45 p.m., 608, WSCC2.

Benjamin Conisbee Baer, Princeton Univ, “Césaire’s Voice Lessons,” 5:15–6:30 p.m., 618, WSCC

Robert J. Patterson, Georgetown Univ., “She Heard Nothing: Traumatized Cat and the Unsympathetic Listener in Gayl Jones’s Corregidora,” 5:15–6:30 p.m., 615, WSCC

Yonsoo Kim, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, “Women’s Voiced Desire and Muted Passions: Teresa de Cartagena and Santa Teresa,” 7:00–8:15 p.m., 620, WSC


Statue of Jimi Hendrix at the Corner of Pike and Broadway, Seattle, WA by Flickruser bleachers

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Friday, 6 January



8:30–9:45 a.m.

166.  Tone in Narrative

617, WSCC

Program arranged by the International Society for the Study of Narrative. Presiding: Molly Hite, Cornell Univ.

James Phelan, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, “Dialogue, Voice, and Tone; or, Exploring a Neglected Channel of Narrative Communication”

Debra Fried, Cornell Univ., “Taking a Wrong Tone”

Chris Rideout, Seattle Univ. School of Law, “Voice, Self, and Tonal Cues in Legal Discourse”


174.  The Opera Libretto

620, WSCC

Program arranged by the Lyrica Society for Word-Music Relations. Presiding: Jeff Dailey, Five Towns Coll.

Edward Anderson, Rice Univ. “Staging Authority—Ariosto, Early Opera, and the Society of Dead Poets”

Matthew Paul Carlson, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, “English Verse Translations of Die Zauberlöte: Auden and Kallman versus McClatchy”

Ryan Kangas, Univ. of Houston, “Encountering the Mirror in ‘The Birthday of the Infanta’ and Der Zwerg

Douglas Fisher, Florida State Univ., “Willie Stark: Carlisle Floyd’s Libretto Based on William Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men

For abstracts, visit http://www.lyricasociety.org/


188.  Jimi Hendrix and the Poetics of Song

611, WSCC

A special session. Presiding: Jacob Wilkenfeld, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Jeffrey Carroll, Univ. of Hawai‘i, Mānoa, “Dancing in Dylan’s Head: Jimi Hendrix and the Folk Tradition”

Daniel Barlow, Univ. of Pittsburgh, “Jimi Hendrix and the Politics of Blackness”

Michael New, Penn State Univ., University Park, “Voodoo Child: Jimi Hendrix and the African American Experimental Tradition”

Jacob Wilkenfeld, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, “Are You Experienced? Jimi Hendrix and the Poetics of Black Experience”


10:15–11:30 a.m.

236.  Remixing Present-Day English

306, WSCC

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Present-Day English Language. Presiding: Dulce M. Estevez, Arizona State Univ.

Nils Olov Fors, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania, “A Critical Analysis of Language Use Constructs in Discourses Related to Language Education in South Texas, 2000–10”

Jennifer M. Santos, Virginia Military Inst., “Agog or a Gag? Lady Gaga’s Remixes Remixed”

Dulce M. Estevez, Arizona State Univ., “Mixteando Languages in the United States”

Sarah Catherine Dean, Arizona State Univ., “Remixing English to Represent Trauma and Identity”


12:00 noon–1:15 p.m.

244.  Dickinson’s Fictions of Voice

303, WSCC

Program arranged by the Emily Dickinson International Society. Presiding: Elizabeth Petrino, Fairield Univ.

Vivian R. Pollak, Washington Univ. in St. Louis, “Dickinson and Sincerity: The Nineteenth-Century Context”

Margaret Rennix, Harvard Univ., “The Speaking Dead: Animated Corpses and National Crisis in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson and Alfred Tennyson”

Ai’fe Murray, San Francisco, CA, “The Influence of Her Servants’ Ethnic Vernaculars on Emily Dickinson’s Language”

For abstracts, write to epetrino@ fairfield.edu


245.  Narrativity and Musicality: The Confluence of Language, Literature, and Culture

305, WSCC

Program arranged by the College Language Association. Presiding: Warren Carson, Univ. of South Carolina, Spartanburg

Kameelah Martin Samuel, Georgia State Univ., “Of Blues Narrative and Conjure Magic: A Symbiotic Dialectic in the Fiction of Arthur Flowers and J. J. Phillips”

Dolan Hubbard, Morgan State Univ., “DuBois, Hansberry, and a Knock at Midnight”

Thabiti Lewis, Washington State Univ., Vancouver, “Teaching Hip-Hop and Black Vernacular Tradition While Tackling the Boogie Man”


249.  Building Digital Humanities in the Undergraduate Classroom

Grand A, Sheraton

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

Speakers: Kathryn E. Crowther, Georgia Inst. of Tech.; Brian Croxall, Emory Univ.; Maureen Engel, Univ. of Alberta; Paul Fyfe, Florida State Univ.; Kathi Inman Berens; Janelle A. Jenstad, Univ. of Victoria; Charlotte Nunes, Univ. of Texas, Austin; Heather Zwicker, Univ. of Alberta

This electronic roundtable assumes that “building stuff” is foundational to the digital humanities and that the technical barriers to participation can be low. When teaching undergraduates digital humanities, simple tools allow students to focus on the simultaneous practices of building and interpreting. This show-and-tell presents projects of variable technical complexity that foster robust interpretation.

For abstracts, visit briancroxall.net/buildingDH


259.  Representation in the Shadow of New Media Technologies

304, WSCC

Program arranged by the MLA Committee on the Literatures of People of Color in the United States and Canada. Presiding: Lan Dong, Univ. of Illinois, Springield

Aymar Jean Christian, Univ. of Pennsylvania, “Web Video and Ethnic Media: Linking Representation and Distribution”

Daniel Greene, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, “Among Friends: Comparing Social Networking Functions in the Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Afro-American in 1904 and 1933″

Lisa Nakamura, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, “Digital Trash Talk: The Rhetoric of Instrumental Racism as Procedural Strategy”


273.  Queer Performance: Space, Bodies, and Movement(s)

620, WSCC

Program arranged by the GL/Q Caucus for the Modern Languages. Presiding: Francesca Therese Royster, DePaul Univ.

Aimee Carrillo Rowe, Univ. of Iowa“Race-ing Time through Queer Xicana Performance”

Robert McRuer, George Washington Univ., “Crip Out: Freakish Performance and the Rogue Queer History”

Sharon Bridgforth, DePaul Univ., “Ring or Shout”

For abstracts, write to ltorres@ depaul.edu.


1:45–3:00 p.m.

283.  What Makes Language Literary?

Metropolitan A, Sheraton

A linked session arranged in conjunction with The Presidential Forum: Language, Literature, Learning (202). Presiding: Sabine Wilke, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

Speakers: Charles Francis Altieri, Univ. of California, Berkeley; Daniel Dooghan, Univ. of Tampa; Frances Ferguson, Johns Hopkins Univ., MD; Alexander C. Y. Huang, George Washington Univ.

This roundtable asks whether the familiar pairing “language and literature” is more than just an academic convention. Is literature a necessary function of language, or is language merely the vehicle with which literature pursues its own ends? At stake are questions of rhetoric and criticism, poetic language, the standing of translation, and the tensions between historical experience and aesthetic autonomy.


294.  Humor and Subversion: Approaches to Pacific Literature and Orature at the Universities of Hawai‘i and Guam

 608, WSCC

A special session. Presiding: Caroline Sinavaiana, Univ. of Hawai‘i, Mānoa

Caroline Sinavaiana, Univ. of Hawai‘i, Mānoa, “bro’Town and he Naked Samoans: Ritual Clowning Goes Prime Time”

Ku‘ualoha Ho‘omanawanui, Univ. of Hawai‘i, Manoa, “Mokes with Jokes: Nah Nah Nah Nah—‘Bussing Laugh’ as Colonial Resistance”

Nicholas J. Goetzfridt, Univ. of Guam, “The Illusions of Betrayal: Mudrooroo, Indigenousness, and the Stage I Make”

Brandy Nalani McDougall, Univ. of Hawai‘i, Mānoa, “Anticolonial Humor and Poetic Resistance in the American Colonies of the Pacific”

Respondent: Craig Perez, Univ. of California, Berkeley

For abstracts, write to sinavaia@hawaii.edu


298.  Reading across Media

Aspen, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Division on Twentieth-Century German Literature. Presiding: Deniz Göktürk, Univ. of California, Berkeley

Lutz Koepnick, Washington Univ. in St. Louis, “Reading on the Move”

Heather Love, Indiana Univ., Bloomington, “Fighting Stupidity and Playing Music: Musil, Adorno, and the Performativity of Interpretation”

Daniel Gilillan, Arizona State Univ., “Literature on the Radio: Sound and the Intermedial Modulation of Knowledge”


307.  Theorizing Hip- Hop: New Approaches to Hip-Hop as Intellectual Production

618, WSCC

A special session. Presiding: Jill Richardson, Borough of Manhattan Community Coll., City Univ. of New York

Shante Paradigm Smalls, Davidson Coll., “Queer Hip-Hop Diasporas: A History”

James Ford, Occidental Coll., “The Shadows of Tomorrow: Hip- Hop, Madlib, and the Archive”

Michael Ralph, New York Univ., “Hip- Hop Is Not What You Think It Is”

Jill Richardson, Borough of Manhattan Community Coll., City Univ. of New York, “Performing Male Desire: The Intersection of Hip- Hop and Drug Culture”

For abstracts, write to jilltrichardson@msn.com


3:30–4:45 p.m.

325.  Ireland and the Politics of Language

304, WSCC

Program arranged by the American Conference for Irish Studies. Presiding: Richard Russell, Baylor Univ.

Laura B. O’Connor, Univ. of California, Irvine, “Muse Energy: Releasing and Reinscribing the Spéirbhean”

Spurgeon W. Thompson, Kaplan International Colls., “‘English Is Dead’: Assassinating English in Finnegans Wake

Kelly Matthews, Framingham State Univ., “‘Johnny, I Hardly Knew You!’: Sean O’Faolain, the Gaelic League, and Debates over Language and Literature in the Mid- Twentieth Century”


332.  Digital Narratives and Gaming for Teaching Language and Literature

Aspen, Sheraton

Program arranged by the MLA Committee on Information Technology and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Presiding: Barbara Laford, Arizona State Univ.

Steven Thorne, Portland State Univ., “Narrative Expression and Scientific Method in Online Gaming Worlds”

Jonathon Reinhardt, Univ. of Arizona; Julie Sykes, Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, “Designing Narratives: A Framework for Digital Game- Mediated L2 Literacies Development”

Edmond Chang, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Timothy Welsh, Loyola Univ., New Orleans, “Close Playing, Paired Playing: A Practicum”

Respondent: Dave McAlpine, Univ. of Arkansas, Little Rock


5:15–6:30 p.m.

.349.  Digital Pedagogy

Grand A, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Katherine D. Harris, San José State Univ.

Speakers: Sheila T. Cavanagh, Emory Univ.; Elizabeth Chang, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia; Lori A. Emerson, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; Adeline Koh, Richard Stockton Coll. of New Jersey; John Lennon, Univ. of South Florida Polytechnic; Kevin Quarmby, Shakespeare’s Globe Trust; Katherine Singer, Mount Holyoke Coll.; Roger Whitson, Georgia Inst. of Tech.


Friday Individual Papers of Interest

Kimberly Wedeven Segall, Seattle Pacific Univ., “Heteroglossic Iraq: Voices of Women and War,” 8:30–9:45 a.m., 303, WSCC

Imani Perry, Princeton Univ., “Of Degraded Tongues and Digital Talk: Race and the Politics of Language,” 10:15 a.m.–12:00 noon, Metropolitan A, Sheraton

Emily M. Harrington, Penn State Univ., University Park, “Lyric and Music at the Fin de Siècle: The Cultural Place of Song,” 3:30–4:45 p.m., 611, WSCC

James D. B. McCorkle, Hobart and William Smith Colls., “Of Moan and Stutter: M. Nourbese Philips’s Hauntological Zong!” 5:15–6:30 p.m., 614, WSCC


The Experience Music Project, Seattle photo by Flickr user Brad Coy


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Saturday, January 7

Saturday, 7 January


10:15–11:30 a.m.

450.  Digital Faulkner: William Faulkner and Digital Humanities

 615, WSCC

Program arranged by the William Faulkner Society. Presiding: Steven Knepper, Univ. of Virginia

Speakers: Keith Goldsmith, Vintage Books; John B. Padgett, Brevard Coll.; Noel Earl Polk, Mississippi State Univ.; Stephen Railton, Univ. of Virginia; Peter Stoichef, Univ. of Saskatchewan

A roundtable on digital humanities and its implications for teaching and scholarship on the work of William Faulkner.

For abstracts, visit faulknersociety .com/ panels.htm 

Discussions about digital projects and digital tools often focus on research goals. For this electronic roundtable, we will instead demonstrate how these digital resources, tools, and projects have been integrated into undergraduate and graduate curricula.


12:00 noon–1:15 p.m.

468.  Networks, Maps, and Words: Digital-Humanities Approaches to the Archive of American Slavery

615, WSCC

A special session. Presiding: Lauren Klein, Georgia Inst. of Tech.

Lauren Klein, Georgia Inst. of Tech.,“‘A Report Has Come Here’: Social-Network Analysis in the Papers of Thomas Jefferson”

Cameron Blevins, Stanford Univ., “Slave Narratives in Space: Mapping the World of Venture Smith”

Aditi Muralidharan, Univ. of California, Berkeley, “Using Digital Tools to Explore Narrative Conventions in the North American Antebellum Slave Narratives”

Respondent: Amy Earhart, Texas A&M Univ., College Station


477.  Postnational Readings of the Audiovisual

Aspen, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Division on Twentieth-Century German Literature and the Division on Film. Presiding: Nora M. Alter, Temple Univ.,Philadelphia; Deniz Göktürk, Univ. of California, Berkeley

Kalani Michell, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities,“Sounds of the Berlin School”

Ian Thomas Fleishman, Harvard Univ., “International ‘Auditorism’: The Postnational Politics of Reading of von Donnersmarck’s The Lives of Others”

Jaimey Fisher, Univ. of California, Davis, “Surveying the Border Crossing: Terrorist Films and the Postnational Imaginary”


479.  Digital Humanities in the Italian Context

Cedar, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Manuela Marchesini, Texas A&M Univ., College Station

Stefano Franchi, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, “Digital Humanities in the Italian Culture Landscape”

Alberto Moreiras, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, “Life and the Digital: On Esposito and Tarizzo’s Inventions of Life”

Massimo Lollini, Univ. of Oregon “Humanist Studies and the Digital Age”

Silvia Stoyanova, Princeton Univ., “Giacomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone: From Card Index to Hypertext”

For abstracts, write to mmarchesini@tamu.edu


484.  Dissenting Voices

Columbia, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Division on ArabicLiterature and Culture. Presiding: Anouar Majid, Univ. of New England

Ibtissam Bouachrine, Smith Coll., “Why Moroccan Women Rebel”

Nouri Gana, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, “Hip- Hop Insurgency”

Olivier Bourderionnet, Univ. of New Orleans, “Building Bridges with Songs: Amazigh Kateb and Abd al-Malik”


499.  Literary Multilingualism and Exile in Twentieth-Century Fiction

Ravenna C, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Salvatore Pappalardo, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick

Celine Piser, Univ. of California, Berkeley, “Multilingualism and the Construction of a Hy­brid Identity in Twentieth­ Century Judeo­ French Lit­erature”

Hassan Melehy, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, “Jack Kerouac’s Translingual Exile”

Maria Kager, Rut­gers Univ., New Brunswick, “Ahksent on Last Syllable: Mispronunciation in Nabokov’s American Novels”


1:45–3:00 p.m.

506.  Voice and Identity in Australian Literature

 616, WSCC

Program arranged by the American Association of Australian Literary Studies. Presiding: Nathanael O’Reilly, Texas Christian Univ.

Jennifer McGovern, Univ. of Iowa, “Death by Torture in the Country of the Mind: Metaphors of Captivity and Freedom in Patrick White’s Voss (1957)”

Sarah Chihaya, Univ. of California, Berkeley, “The Un-death of Maggs: The Returned Convict as Revenant in Jack Maggs

Nicholas Dunlop, Univ. of Birmingham, “Suburban Space and Multicultural Identities in Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap

Nathanael O’Reilly, Texas Christian Univ., “Rejecting Suburban Identity in George Johnston’s My Brother Jack


522.  The Seattle Sound

618, WSCC

Program arranged by the Division on Popular Culture. Presiding: Hillary L. Chute, Univ. of Chicago

Lindsay E. Waters, Harvard Univ. Press, “Theory Alone Nothing; Theory plus Dancing Change the World: The Seattle Sound of Sleater-Kinney and Hendrix”

John Melillo, New York Univ., “Nirvana: Noise and Empathy”

John McCombe, Univ. of Dayton, “Virginia Woolf in the Trailer Park: Isaac Brock; Nowhere, WA; and the Lonesome, Crowded West”


3:30–4:45 p.m.

539.  # alt- ac: Alternative Paths, Pitfalls, and Jobs in the Digital Humanities


Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Computer Studies in Language and Literature. Presiding: Sara Steger, Univ. of Georgia

Speakers: Brian Croxall, Emory Univ.; Julia H. Flanders, Brown Univ.; Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education; Matthew Jockers, Stanford Univ.; Shana Kimball, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Bethany Nowviskie, Univ. of Virginia; Lisa Spiro, National Inst. for Tech. in Liberal Education

This roundtable brings together various perspectives on alternative academic careers from professionals in digital humanities centers, libraries, publishing, and humanities labs. Speakers will discuss how and whether digital humanities is especially suited to fostering non-tenure- track positions and how that translates to the role of alt-ac in digital humanities and the academy. Related session: “# alt- ac: he Future of ‘Alternative Academic’ Careers” (595).


5:15–6:30 p.m.

581.  Digital Humanities versus New Media

611, WSCC

Alison Byerly, Middlebury Coll., “Everything Old Is New Again: The Digital Past and the Humanistic Future”

Andrew Pilsch, Penn State Univ., University Park, “As Study or as Paradigm? Humanities and the Uptake of Emerging Technologies”

David Robert Gruber, North Carolina State Univ., “Digital Tunnel Vision: Deining a Rhetorical Situation”

Victoria E. Szabo, Duke Univ., “Digital Humanities Authorship as the Object of New Media Studies”

For abstracts, visit www .duke .edu/ ~ves4/mla201


Saturday Individual Papers of Interest

Erich Nunn, Auburn Univ., Auburn, “Music, Race, and Nation in Johnson’s Autobiography,” 1:45–3:00 p.m., 307, WSCC

Leslie Petty, Rhodes Coll., “‘Every Woman . . . Should Raise Her Voice’: Rethinking White Women’s Activism in William Wells Brown’s Clotel,” 5:15–6:30 p.m., 307, WSCC


Flyer for a Seattle Phonographers Union Performance, For information on the artists' collective see http://www.seapho.org/


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SUNDAY, January 8

Sunday, 8 January


8:30–9:45 a.m.

638.  Gettin’ Around: Transnational Jazz Literature

618, WSCC

A special session. Presiding: Jürgen E. Grandt, Gainesville State Coll., GA

Rashida Braggs, Williams Coll., “From Harlem to Paris: A Transatlantic Interpretation of James Baldwin’s ‘Sonny’s Blues’”

Marc-Oliver Schuster, Univ. of Vienna, “Swinging Variety: Jazz in the Literature of the German Democratic Republic”

Aldon Lynn Nielsen, Penn State Univ., University Park, “The Transplanetary Nation Blues and the Abstract Truth”

Respondent: DoVeanna Sherie Fulton Minor, Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

For abstracts, write to jgrandt@gsc.edu.


10:15–11:30 a.m.

664.  Sound and Voice in the Creative Writing Classroom: Practice-Based Pedagogies

614, WSCC

A special session. Presiding: Christopher Drew, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

David Bartone, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, “Avoiding Meaning: A Classroom Exercise to Improve Students’ Homophonic Sensibilities”

David Yost, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee“Into the Trenches: Breaking the Student-Author Binary with ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’”

Liane LeMaster, Georgia Perimeter Coll., North Campus, “Speciicity of Dialogue: A Coke Is a Soda Is a Pop Is a Cola”


665.  Debates in the Digital Humanities

615, WSCC

A special session. Presiding: Alexander Reid, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York

Matthew K. Gold, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York, “Whose Revolution? Toward a More Equitable Digital Humanities”

Elizabeth Mathews Losh, Univ. of California, San Diego, “Hacktivism and the Humanities: Programming Protest in the Era of the Digital University”

Jeff Rice, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, “Twenty-First- Century Literacy: Searching the Story of Billy the Kid”

Jentery Sayers, Univ. of Victoria, “Why the Digital Humanities Needs Theory”

For abstracts and discussion, visit dhdebatesmla12.wordpress.com.


12:00 noon–1:15 p.m.

691.  Gertrude Stein and Music

Cedar, Sheraton

Program arranged by the Lyrica Society for Word-Music Relations and the Association for the Study of Dada and Surrealism. Presiding: Jeff Dailey, Five Towns Coll.

Tanya E. Clement, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, “Sounding Stein’s Texts by Using Digital Tools for Distant Listening”

Judith A. Roof, Rice Univ., “Gertrude’s Glee and Jazz Mislaid Jazz”

Brandon Masterman,Univ. of Pittsburgh, “‘This Is How hey Do Not Like It’: Queer Abjection in Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts”


716.  Digital Material

613, WSCC

A special session. Presiding: Charles M. Tung, Seattle Univ.; Benjamin Widiss, Princeton Univ.

Speakers: Paul Benzon, Temple Univ., Philadelphia; Cara Elisabeth Ogburn, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Charles M. Tung; Benjamin WidissZachary Zimmer, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ.

Is there gravity in digital worlds? Moving beyond both lamentations and celebrations of the putatively free- loating informatic empyrean, this roundtable will explore the ways in which representations in myriad digital platforms—verbal, visual, musical, cinematic—might bear the weight of materiality, presence, and history and the ways in which bodies—both human and hardware—might be recruited for or implicated in the efort.

For abstracts, write to bwidiss@princeton.edu

1:45–3:00 p.m

736.  Close Playing: Literary Methods and Video Game Studies

University, Sheraton

A special session. Presiding: Mark L. Sample, George Mason Univ.

Speakers: Edmond Chang, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Steven E. Jones, Loyola Univ., Chicago; Jason C. Rhody, National Endowment for the Humanities; Anastasia Salter, Univ. of Baltimore; Timothy Welsh, Loyola Univ., New Orleans; Zach Whalen, Univ. of Mary Washington

This roundtable moves beyond the games-versus-stories dichotomy to explore the full range of possible literary approaches to video games. These approaches include the theoretical and methodological contributions of reception studies, reader-response theory, narrative theory, critical race and gender theory, disability studies, and textual scholarship.

For abstracts, visit www .samplereality .com/ mla12.


745. Affecting Affect

615, WSCC

A special session, Presiding: Lauren Berlant, Univ. of Chicago

Speakers: Ann L. Cvetkovich, Univ. of Texas, Austin; Neville W. Hoad, Univ. of Texas, Austin;Heather K. Love, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Tavia Nyong’o, New York Univ.

For a list of questions for roundtable participants (and the potential interlocutors from the audience), visit www.supervalentthought.com.


Sunday Individual Papers of Interest

Toni Wall Jaudon, Ithaca Coll., “Sound and Separateness: The Hindu Widow’s Cries in Early-Nineteenth-Century United States Print Culture,” 1:45–3:00 p.m., 304, WSCC

Grunge: One of Seattle's Signature Sounds, Photo by Flickr User Sands

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