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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