WS: Tracing the Agency of Sound

08.02.2019 - 10:00 to 09.02.2019 - 16:15 Add to calendar

“Tracing The Agency of Sound” is an international workshop held at the Institute of History at the University of Bern on 08.-09. February 2019. It is organized by the Sounds of anti-Jewish Persecution research group at the University of Bern.

The workshop aims to bring together historians, sound studies scholars, anthropologists, psychologists and linguists in order to think about the impact of sound experience in changing historical contexts.

In historical research, sound has been increasingly recognized as an important aspect of the human expe­rience, the analysis of which allows insights into structures of sensation, emotion, knowledge, and power. Nevertheless, sound in such investigations often appears as a mere layer of information.

This two-day workshop aims to depart from understanding sound as a passive “background” or neu­tral “medium”. We want to shift our attention to sound as influence, agent, and/or actor: Sound evokes emotions (tone and inflection of voice, socio- and dialect, laughing and weeping), it shapes thinking (con­figuring metaphors and patterns of thought), it impacts bodies and contributes to their movement (via shouts/orders, dancing, sounds of war), and takes part in shaping language (through possibilities and limits of its representation in speech and text).

Together, we want to reflect on methods that allow us to pass beyond “how it sounded” to the ques­tion “what was sound capable of doing?” How do we approach the agency of sound? And what are the conditions for sound to “act”? By focusing on agency, we aim to detect traces of sound in other spheres of human life which themselves may not necessarily be filled with sound. Thus, we look for ways to extend the decodability of sound.

Event organizer: 
Historisches Institut, Universität Bern
Nikita Hock
Phone number: 
+41 (0)31 631-3633
UniS, Room B-102
Schanzeneckstrasse 1
Event language(s): 
Additional event information
Cost information
Event cost: 
0.00 CHF
Registration information
Registration not necessary