On Sound

Call for articles
The Velvet Light Trap
Issue #74: On Sound (New Directions in Sound Studies)
Submission Deadline: 1 August 2013

The medium of sound, long placed in a secondary position to the visual within media studies, has experienced a considerable increase in scholarly attention over the past three decades, to the point that “sound studies” is now a distinct field of scholarship. Within media studies, sound-related research today expands well beyond the film and television score or soundtrack to include a broad range of scholarship on radio and popular music. And while sound studies still tends to cohere around media studies departments, an increasing amount of sound media research is interdisciplinary in nature. A “sonic turn” is under way across the humanities and social sciences with sound studies work coming out of philosophy, sociology, anthropology, history, science and technology studies, cultural geography, American studies, art history, and cultural studies. Recent issues of differences (2011) and American Quarterly (2011) and anthologies like The Sound Studies Reader (Jonathan Sterne, 2012) are just a few examples of this expanding range of interest.

This issue of The Velvet Light Trap aims to build upon many of the new lines of inquiry that are coming out of this intersection between sound media and various other scholarly perspectives. In that spirit, we are seeking essays for an issue on the research and study of sound in and across a range of media.

Potential areas of inquiry may include, but are by no means limited to:

• analysis of music, voice, and sound effects in film, radio, television, video games, podcasting, and other digital or “new media”, including significant developments in audio aesthetics and style
• convergence of sound and visual media
• sound art and experimental forms of sound media
• materiality of sound, including sound reproduction and other technologies of sound
• media industries, production cultures, and issues related to sound labor, audio production practices, or the commodification of sound
• histories of audio media and archaeologies of mediated sound
• aural representations of identity, power, difference and the politics of sound media
• mediation of voices and language, noise and silence, and muteness, deafness, and other issues of the body and disability
• listening practices and sound media in perception and everyday life
• psychoacoustics and cognitive studies of sound media
• architecture, acoustics, and space, including “soundscapes” and sound media in relation to public health and public policy
• theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of sound media

Submissions should be between 6,000–7,500 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced), formatted in Chicago style. Please submit an electronic copy of the paper, along with a one-page abstract, both saved as a Microsoft Word file. Remove any identifying information so that the submission is suitable for anonymous review. The journal’s Editorial Board will referee all submissions. Send electronic manuscripts and/or any questions to thevelvetlighttrap@gmail.com. All submissions are due 1 August 2013.

The Velvet Light Trap is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal of film, television, and new media studies. Graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas-Austin coordinate issues in alternation. Our Editorial Advisory Board includes such notable scholars as Charles Acland, Richard Allen, Harry Benshoff, Mark Betz, Michael Curtin, Kaye Dickinson, Radhika Gajjala, Scott Higgins, Barbara Klinger, Jon Kraszewski, Diane Negra, Michael Newman, Nic Sammond, Jacob Smith, Beretta Smith-Shomade, Jonathan Sterne, Cristina Venegas, and Michael Williams.