Colloquium Sound & Sensory Studies

Holger Schulze
Colloquium Sound & Sensory Studies

trumps listening,

we are no good
at receiving.«

Michel Serres, The Five Senses (1985/2008), S. 139

Be it sound art-pieces, academic articles, blogposts or a PhD-treatment, an artistic research proposal: in this biweekly research colloquium we immerse ourselves in discussing new approaches to sound studies.

Part of the interdisciplinary Research Group Sound & Senses we invite all researchers, artists, students or listeners to take part and to propose topics and materials for our future meetings.

As a collaborative workshop this meeting provides an opportunity for researchers of all levels (experienced scholars as well as PhD-/MA-students or artistic researchers) to discuss their approaches from various interdisciplinary fields with a special sensibility concerning sound.


biweekly, alternating between presence & online meetings (more or less – please check dates!)


Sound Studies Lab
On Zoom or in Room 16.4.63
Department of Arts & Cultural Studies
Københavns Universitet
Karin Blixens Vej 1
2300 København


Cf. on website Sound in Media Culture


* ZOOM tuesday 31.8. kl.15:15-16:30CET:

Topic: Katherine McKittrick, Dear Science and Other Stories (Duke 2021)

On the first date we plan our activities this fall & I wish to introduce you to this great book we should probably also devote a larger discussion on: (you find the book on REX)

* KU tuesday 14.9. kl.15:15-17:00CET

Room 16.4.63
Topic: [TBC]

* ZOOM tuesday 28.9. kl.15:15-16:30CET

Topic: Emmy Tither (Albuquerque/US): Memory and Sonic Homemaking During the C-19 Pandemic (a project proposal)

* ZOOM tuesday 12.10. kl.15:15-17:00CET

Topic: Akvile Buitvydaite (Copenhagen/DK):
The Poetics of Climate Change – Listening to the Epistemologies of Climate Change Through Sámi Popular Music and Soundwalking in Sápmi

* ZOOM tuesday 26.10. kl.15:15-16:30CET

Topic: Ania Mauruschat & Carla Maier (Copenhagen/DK & Berlin/DE): Reading Dylan Robinson’s “Hungry Listening” (part II)

* ZOOM tuesday 9.11. kl.15:15-17:00CET

Topic: Ania Mauruschat & Jenny Gräf Sheppard (Copenhagen/DK): Sound & Energies

* ZOOM tuesday 23.11. kl.15:15-16:30CET

Topic: Noé Cuéllar and Joseph Kramer a.k.a. Coppice: Legend of Passing Time with Instruments and Captions

* ZOOM tuesday 7.12. kl.15:15-17:00CET

Topic: Mike von der Nahmer: Underscoring Aircraft Ballets – Sonifying Air Traffic Control Data to heighten Situational Awareness – A Composer’s Perspective

Overview on the project: Sonification in air traffic control

* * * ARCHIVE * * *

* ZOOM: tuesday 19.1. kl.15:15-16:30
Topic: Giada dalla Bontà (Berlin/DE): On the sound storage medium of Roentgenizdat

* ZOOM: tuesday 2.2. kl.15:15-16:30
Topic: Remapping Sound Studies, edited by G. Steingo & J. Sykes.

* ZOOM: tuesday 17.2. kl.17:00-18:00
Topic: Macon Holt (Copenhagen/DK): Childish Gambino’s “This is America”: A Black Comic Sonic Fiction of Code Switching and Bass Materialism.

Abstract: Following the release of the song and music video for Childish Gambino’s “This is America”, numerous attempts were made to read the song as a straight forward political statement. While many were interested in and attempted to decode the complexly layered signifiers and messages laced throughout the media artefact, others were frustrated with what they saw as a muddled vague enunciation being communicated to a broad and large audience. Gambino (Donald Glover) himself refused to clarify the ideas behind the song, relying instead on the oft invoked cliché that it was up to the viewer/listener to make up their own mind about the music video’s theme.

In this paper, I will argue that the insufficiencies of these two critical perspectives on this music video make the same fundamental error in how they approach this cultural intervention. Instead of something to be decoded or made to conform to existing political discourse, “This is American” needs to be regarded and amplified as what Kodwo Eshun might call a “sonic fiction”. More specifically it is a black (in every sense) comedy that explores ideas of US racial politics in terms that can be understood as a combination of the linguistic practice of code-switching and what Steve Goodman has termed “bass materialism”.

This methodology of co-creation as analysis reveals more incisive levels of critical cultural narration within the song and music video. Levels that more conventional modes of analysis miss, or ignore in the service of a narrow political reading. Furthermore it may help to understand this music video as an invitation for further related creative investigations that make material attempts to shift the racist discourses that are characteristic of the atmosphere of capitalist realism in both the US and, in different ways, throughout the postcolonial world.

* ZOOM: tuesday 2.3. kl.15:15-16:30
Topic: D’Arcee Charington (Columbus, Ohio/US): A Black Ghost Made Flesh: How to Weaponize Disability Erasure in Spectre: AV

* ZOOM: tuesday 16.3. kl.15:15-16:30
Topic: Madli Oras (Vienna/AT): Climate Walk – Developing Sonic Interventions for Understanding Experiences of Climate Change.


* ZOOM: tuesday 13.4. kl.15:15-16:30
Topic: We will be discussing this article: Hartman, Saidiya. “Venus in Two Acts.” Small Axe 12, no. 2 (2008): 1-14.

* ZOOM: tuesday 27.4. kl.15:15-16:30
Topic: Salomé Voegelin: Sonic Methodologies of Sound (Chapter 15 in “The Blocmsbury Handbook of Sonic Methodologies”, p. 269–280)

* ZOOM: tuesday 11.5. kl.15:15-16:30
Topic: Ania Mauruschat: Radiophonics, Noise & Understanding. Towards an Epistemology of Radio Art

* ZOOM: tuesday 8.6. kl.15:30-16:45
Topic: Jenny Gräf Sheppard (Copenhagen/DK): Tactile Speakers & Communicating Vessels