The Bloomsbury Handbook of the Anthropology of Sound

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Almost twenty years ago I started my journey into an anthropology of sound:

a proposal to decenter, to reweave, and to substantially craft anthropology anew from the bottom up – starting with minuscule moments and percepts, sensory experiences and shared sensibilities, alienated self-perceptions and surprising collectivities; inspired by the Berlin School of Historical Anthropology, primarily by the works of Christoph Wulf, Helga Peskoller, Hajo Eickhoff and many, many others.

Since then, through a long series of workshops, research projects, conferences, collected volumes, special issues, and intense academic discussions I was guided to The Sonic Persona (published in 2018) – and to the outline of this handbook.

The Bloomsbury Handbook of the Anthropology of Sound

Along this way a growing number of collaborators, colleagues and, yes, friends joined this endeavour; and Bloomsbury Academic articulated its interest in publishing this daring volume. Still I feel immensely and unmeasurably blessed for having received all these great chapters and contributions over the recent years, all the support and encouragement along the way.

Every chapter in this new handbook, The Bloomsbury Handbook of the Anthropology of Sound, now opens up a completely new lifeworld of sound and a thoroughly new experiential access to one particular sound culture, its practices and experiential affects alone. The exciting and surprising discoveries in each of these chapters are tangible.

You, the readers, will surely also track down some flaws and oh so many glorious moments, an endless sequence of deeply strange, maybe disturbing and surprisingly familiar encounters.

And I hope that some among you might feel encouraged to further expand & to build your own research upon the work that these 37 brilliant authors gave to you, to us – a generous gift.


Table of Contents and (soon to come) an excerpt: