Sensing The Sonic

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“What happens when hearing doesn’t do what it purportedly should?” This question is at the center of a promising and inspiring workshop held this summer, June 15-16 in Cambridge at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) and supported by the ERC Project ‘Sound and Materialism in the 19th Century’ (University of Cambridge).


Conceptualized and organized by Melissa Van Drie an Melle Kromhout from the University of Cambridge this workshop invited a large number of the crème de la crème of sound studies scholars to explore alternatives to an an ear-centric perspective – engaging various historical, theoretical and methodological positions. Putting forward an exploratory format, participants will ignite discussions that challenge notions of embodied presence and investigate different materials and research strategies for hearing differently from the 19th century to the present. How can we reconsider the modalities and practices of the sensing body (human and non human, disabled or augmented)? How can we address the particularities of the material event of sound itself? How can we think about the sorts of energetic and ‘presencing’ spaces that sound produces?

Participants include: Zeynep Bulut, Seth Kim Cohen, Melissa Dickson, Nina Eidsheim, Bastien Gallet, Douglas Kahn, Aleks Kolkowski, Mara Mills, Gascia Ouzounian, Matthieu Saladin, Holger Schulze, Jonathan Sterne, David Trippett, Shelley Trower, and Sander van Maas.

Conference website:

Sensing the Sonic: Histories of Hearing Differently (1800-now), 15 June 2018 – 16 June 2018