How did sounds shape the lives of individuals and their communities in the early modern world? In recent years scholars have started to address this question. Richard Cullen Rath’s How Early America Sounded(2003) is pioneering in its approach to indigenous and European soundscapes in colonial America, and 2019 marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Bruce Smith’s equally provocative analysis of aurality and orality in The Acoustic World of Early Modern England. Yet there are several issues that remain unresolved when considering historic sounds – especially the tension between the particular and the universal. Are there any commonalities between soundscapes, or are all soundscapes unique? Moreover, what is a soundscape and are definitions dependant on disciplinary perspective? Alternatively, is there a collective way that all scholars can and should conceptualise soundscapes?
This workshop will bring together early career and established interdisciplinary scholars to discuss their own approaches to historic sounds and sonic interactions. Confirmed speakers and respondents include: Iain Fenlon (King’s College, Cambridge), Alexander Fisher (University of British Columbia, Vancouver), Penelope Gouk (Manchester), Deborah Howard (St John’s College, Cambridge), Christopher Marsh (Queen’s University Belfast), Jennifer Richards (Newcastle), Makoto Harris Takao (Max Planck Institute, Berlin), William Tullett (Derby), Richard David Williams (SOAS, London), Rachel Willie (Liverpool John Moores).
If you would like to contribute to our discussions, please email a short expression of interest, including a very brief outline of your current research (100-200 words) to Emilie Murphy by 17:00 GMT on Friday 4 January 2019. Attendance at the workshop is free for the first 20 participants, which will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Subsequent delegates will be asked to pay £20 (to cover refreshments). We have a limited number of early career scholar bursaries, up to the value of £100 per person, to cover travel and one night’s accommodation. Please indicate in your email if you are an early career scholar and would like to be considered for a bursary. To qualify as an early career scholar, you must be either completing a PhD or within 8 years of the award and without access to institutional funding.
This workshop is part of an ongoing collaborative project between Rachel Willie (LJMU) and Emilie Murphy (York). The poster for the workshop can be downloaded here.
Past & Present is pleased to support this event and others like it. Applications for conference and workshop funding are welcomed from scholars of at all career stages working on all time periods.
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