Salomé Voegelin took part in a fascinating round table at Cambridge University, as part of their ‘Auralities’ research network events. Auralities is concerned with investigating, debating and understanding practices of audition, broadly conceived. The round table was on the topic Technologies of Listening, and took place on the 16th of October 2019. Salomé joined Michael Bull, from the University of Sussex, and Melissa Dickson, from the University of Birmingham, and the discussion was moderated by David Trippett and with Steven Connor as Respondent, both from the University of Cambridge.
You can listen to Salomé’s contribution on technologies of listening here:
The Auralities research network understands its research as necessarily plural: practices of audition are shaped by wider cultural practices that shift across different times and places; differences between ‘hearing’ and listening’ have preoccupied philosophers and scientists alike; and even definitions of sound itself presume a normalized baseline of human sound perception (traditionally cited as 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz), averaged across large populations. On an individual level, too, pluralities prevail, as audition is typically understood as a psychoacoustic process that involves two ears – ‘binaurality’ – in which sound, space and time become closely entangled. Our seminar will explore these plural facets of sound, hearing and listening by bringing together scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines across the humanities, social and natural sciences.
In particular, the project aims to extend the current domains of sound studies chronologically, geographically, biologically, and culturally, to question assumptions about shared norms of hearing/listening. They are especially interested, somewhat paradoxically, in what we might understand as a post-aural moment in sound studies, where literal audition or the presence of audible sound are no longer presumed as a necessary part of aurality.
For more information about the Auralities research network, and for the full length audio of the round table, head to http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/28730