SOUNDS OF ANTI-JEWISH PERSECUTION. Researching the Sonic in the Shoah - CFP: TRACING THE AGENCY OF SOUND
In historical research, sound has been increasingly recognized as an important aspect of the human experience, the analysis of which allows insights into structures of sensation, emotion, knowledge and power. Nevertheless, sound in such investigations often appears as a mere layer of information.
This two-day workshop aims to depart from understanding sound as a passive “background” or neutral “medium”. We want to shift our attention to sound as influence, agent, and/or actor: Sound evokes emotions (tone and inflection of voice, socio- and dialect, laughing and weeping), it shapes thinking (configuring metaphors and patterns of thought), it impacts bodies and contributes to their movement (via shouts/orders, dancing, sounds of war), and takes part in shaping language (though possibilities and limits of its representation in speech and text).
Together, we want to reflect on methods that allow us to pass beyond “how it sounded” to the question “what was sound capable of doing?” How do we approach the agency of sound? And what are the conditions for sound to “act”? By focusing on agency, we aim to detect traces of sound in other spheres of human life, which themselves may not necessarily be filled with sound. Thus, we look for ways to extend the decodability of sound.
The workshop is organized in two parts. The first part is devoted to understanding the various ways sound can be thought of as having agency in its own right. In the second part, we will examine approaches and methods for reconstructing this agency in the analysis of historical events and constellations. This will include questions of the mediation of this agency in sources and the challenges for interpretation raised by it.
This workshop is open to a wide range of different subjects.
We welcome contributions from different fields and disciplines (anthropology, psychology and neuroscience, history of emotions), as long as they are applicable for historical research.