Sounding Science Fiction

Call For Papers: New Edited Collection
Closing Date: July 1st 2008

Sounding Science Fiction will be an edited collection that examines the way that sound, in all its aesthetic and technological forms, is deployed to audio-sense a science fiction encounter, world, or universe. The collection will be concerned with sound design and sound signification, and with affect and feeling, so that questions of form, style, narrative, authorship, production, subjectivity, and embodiment, will all work their way into the book. Science fiction film and television, live cinema, music video, computer games, advertising, weblogs, digital art, mixed media installations, radio, and music, are all potential sites of investigation and analysis.

The questions that energise this call for papers centre on:

  • How does one sound science fiction?
  • How do the sounds of science fiction affect/move/interpolate audiences?
  • What semiotic, ideological, spatial, phenomenological, psychoanalytical relations are in play when one sounds science fiction?
  • What is the relationship between science fiction sound and image, or sound and space, or sound and exhibition context?
  • When one hears (but does not see) science fiction, what images are brought to the mind, what feelings of the ‘future’ are created?

Essays could take any number of approaches to the topic, but could include:

  • Otherworldly sounds
  • Hearing the uncanny
  • Sound as prophecy and enlightenment
  • Alien sounds and otherness (sex, race, gender, class)
  • Sound design (and full future world immersion)
  • Sound effects/affect
  • Composition/composers
  • Sounding future weapons/warfare/cities/movement/travel/invasions/space
  • Sounding Global (catastrophe)
  • The interiority of science fiction sound (existential sound)
  • Sound as trauma, loss, dystopia
  • Sounding science fiction paranoia
  • The carnality of science fiction sound
  • Posthuman sound
  • Sounding cyborg
  • Contrapuntal music and the science fiction image/artefact
  • Sounding scientific/rationalist (in dialogue, speech, voice-over)
  • Live science fiction sound
  • The sound image
  • The ‘moment’ of sound (close textual analysis of a key sequence)
  • Authoring science fiction sound: key auteurs of sound design Cultish science fiction sound

Sounding Science Fiction’s multi-disciplinary and multi-site focus will build on the work done in single case studies such as William Whittington’s Sound Design and Science Fiction (2007), and on edited collections such as Philip Hayward’s Off The Planet: Music, Sound And Science Fiction Cinema (2004), which take film/cinema as their central/sole text.

Proposals of approximately 500 words can be sent electronically, preferably as a word attachment, to:

Sean Redmond
Senior Lecturer in Film Studies,
Victoria University of Wellington,
New Zealand
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Cultural Politics 4 (1), March 2008

The latest issue of Cultural Politics has just been published:

The Voice of the People? Musicians as Political Actors
Seth Hague, John Street, and Heather Savigny on Bob Geldof, Live 8 and the legacies of Rock Against Racism

Making Space: Image-Events in an Extreme State
Johanna Drucker asks whether in our image-saturated culture works of imaginative art can have any impact?

Enjoying Neoliberalism
Jodi Dean on Slavoj Zizek, ideology, and the global formations of the neoliberal order

‘Wikivism’: From Communicative Capitalism to Organized Networks
Paul Stacey on the cultures of networked technologies, Wikis, and postrepresentative politics

Field Report
Can a Place Think? On Adam Sharr’s Heidegger’s Hut
Timothy Clark on Heidegger’s work hut at Todtnauberg, contemporary thought, and the ‘earth’

Book Review Essay
Academics Behaving Badly
Ian Gordon on intellectuals, their duties, and their engagements in Eric Lott’s The Disappearing Liberal Intellectual and Stefan Collini’s Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain

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Cultural Politics, Volume 4, Number 1, March 2008

Multiculturalisms and art research

School of Arts, University of Turku, Finland
August 29-30, 2008

Call for Papers

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Anne-Marie Fortier, Lancaster University
Jocelyne Guilbault, University of California, Berkeley
David Leiwei Li, University of Oregon
Maria Roth-Lauret, Sussex University

Possible paper topics for 20-minute presentations might include but are not limited to the following:

  • representations of multiculturalisms
  • multiculturalisms in the arts
  • multiculturalisms and the media
  • gender and multiculturalisms
  • multiculturalisms in the Nordic countries

Abstracts of no more than 250 words in English should be received by Conference Secretary Outi Hakola (outi.hakola@utu.fi) by May 15, 2008. Messages of acceptance will be sent by the end of May 2008.

The conference is organized by the School of Arts (Art History, Comparative Literature, Finnish Literature, Media Studies, Musicology and Women’s Studies) and the International Institute for the Study of Popular Culture at the University of Turku in Turku, Finland.

Beyond the Dance

Study Day on the subject of Electronic Dance Music

Keele University
22 May 2008

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Hillegonda Rietveld (London South Bank University)
  • Dr Rupert Till (University of Huddersfield)

Research students from the UK and abroad are invited to submit proposals for papers and compositions related to Electronic Dance Music/Electronica.

Calls are also to be found on the Study Day website

If you have any questions regarding the Calls or the Study Day, please contact Rupert Till

Musicology in the contemporary societies

Meeting for students in musicology and young musicologists
ESMUC, Barcelona, 8-10 May 2008

The students in musicology of the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC) organize a meeting for students and young musicologists, in the School. The aim is to share questions and interests about our discipline and to create a web of communication that allows for the collaboration and interchange between us. Among other things we will discuss subjects like musicologists’ labor market and current curriculums of the discipline.

You will find more information in the School’s website. If you have any doubt contact info.jornades@esmuc.net.

Bad Vibes

The hunt for the worst sound in the world

Fingernails scraping down a blackboard… the scream of a baby… your neighbour’s dog barking: what is the worst sound in the world? This is what this website has been trying to find out:
Vote for the worst sound

Acoustic science is concerned with the production, transmission, manipulation and reception of sound, from unwanted traffic noise to beautiful music. Acoustics is about both the physical properties of sound waves and the reaction of humans. This website is interested in the often complex ways in which people perceive and interpret sounds. The aim is to increase awareness of sound psychology by examining what makes a sound unpleasant to hear. Your votes on the site will also give us an insight into what is the worst sound in the world, and maybe why it is the worst sound.

The project is being led by Prof. Trevor Cox of Salford University’s Acoustic Research Centre.

Improvisation, Community and Social Practice

Call for papers

Paper proposals are invited for an international, interdisciplinary conference on Text, Media and Improvisation, to be held at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on June 21 and 22, 2008. This conference is organized by members of an inter-university research project entitled Improvisation, Community and Social Practice.

While papers may touch on a wide range of themes related to the conference title, areas of concern might include the following:

  • problems in the notation and description of improvisatory practice;
  • cross-media, multimedia or intermedial improvisatory practices;
  • the status of improvised practice as text or discourse;
  • the relationship of sonic and graphic forms in improvisation;
  • improvised practice and cultural memory;
  • social and technological issues in the transmission and reception of improvisational practice.
  • While musical improvisation will be a core theme of the conference, papers on improvisation in relation to other cultural and social practices are welcome. Proposals for papers should include a title, the name and affiliation of the author and an abstract of 300-400 words. Please send proposals by January 31, 2008 to Will Straw

    Popular Music and place in contemporary Latin America

    SLAS Conference
    March 28-30
    University of Liverpool

    Call for papers

    Music is a present element in the life of individuals living as part of communities and nations. Music in Latin America holds a rich variety of expressions originated within and outside the region. In an expansive trend of cultural globalisation, the study of music in its relationship to place and identity becomes a tricky task. This panel invites paper proposals by researchers working in the field of popular music in contemporary Latin America. Special interest is drawn to topics which relate to the complexities of the relationship between music and nation, identity, and memory.

    Deadline for proposal submission 10th of February (Please not that you need to register to the conference no later than the 15 th of February).

    If you would like to present on this panel please send an abstract to Violeta Mayer

    Information on www.slas.org.uk/events.htm#conf08

    Music and the idea of the North

    Call for papers

    Music and the idea of the North

    6-7 September 2008
    Venue: Sullivan Room, Leeds Town Hall

    A conference to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of Leeds TownHall, hosted by: The Institute of Northern Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University Leeds University Centre for English Music (LUCEM), University of Leeds Leeds International Concert Season Opera North

    On 6 September 1858, Queen Victoria travelled to Leeds by rail to open the new town hall, built to an ambitious prize-winning design by the young Hull architect Cuthbert Brodrick. In the festivities which unfolded over her two-day visit, music played a prominent role, from the 32,000 Sunday-school children who sang hymns as the procession passed, to the massed choral forces which delivered the Hallelujah Chorus at the climax of the ceremony itself. In the decades that followed, Leeds Town Hall became one of the most widely recognised emblems of civic pride in the north of England, and a prestigious venue for the festival premières of works such as Edward Elgar’s Caractacus, William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony.

    To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the town hall, LUCEM and the Institute of Northern Studies present a two-day conference addressing connections between music and global northern identities: how does music express ideas of ‘the north’ and ‘northerliness’, and how have musical cultures been shaped by the dynamics of north vs south?

    Papers are invited on any aspect of music and the north, but are particularly encouraged on the following themes:

  • music and northern landscapes;
  • northern venues and institutions for music;
  • regional variation in audiences, markets, and consumption of music;
  • musical tensions between north and south (within nations, regions, cities, etc.);
  • cultural policy and regeneration;
  • comparative studies of music in northern centres;
  • music and ethnic-minority communities;
  • popular, folk, and traditional musics;
  • northern styles and genres;
  • music, industrialisation, and civic identity;
  • music, politics, and radicalism.
  • Proposals (up to 200 words) for papers of c. 20 minutes’ duration should be sent by 31 March 2008 to the programme committee:
    Professor Tony Collins, Leeds Metropolitan University
    Dr Rachel Cowgill, University of Leeds
    Professor Dave Russell, Leeds Metropolitan University
    Professor Derek Scott, University of Leeds

    Our keynote speakers will be:
    Professor Sherrill E. Grace, University of British Columbia, author of Canada and the Idea of North (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001)
    Professor Peter Davidson, University of Aberdeen, author of The Idea of North (Reaktion, 2005)

    Further details will be posted on the LUCEM and Institute of Northern Studies websites in due course.