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Sound Clash

, 440 pages

29 halftones

September 2012



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Sound Clash

Listening to American Studies

The field of American studies has a long tradition of scholarship and research into the social and cultural worlds of sound. The essays in this volume highlight the key role of sound in the formation of central themes and areas of inquiry within contemporary American studies.

The editors have adopted an interdisciplinary approach to their study of sound, reflecting on its cultural, political, technological, economic, socio-historical, spatial, temporal, affective, and formal contexts. The selected essays analyze sound and explore inter-American soundscapes within several areas, including

• media technologies and consumption• race, sex, and gender• citizenship, belonging, and community• nationalism and citizenship• time and historical method• the public sphere and social change

How have sound technologies and sonic media practices informed American identities? What role have hearing and listening played in formations of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, community, and class? What are the political economies of sound? The contributors to Sound Clash address these questions and more as they think through sound as a critical space, listening as a critical and cultural act, and sonic media as key technological sites of investigation.

Supplementary sound clips are available at the American Quarterly website,

Kara Keeling is an associate professor in the School of Cinematic Arts and in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. She is author of The Witch's Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense. Josh Kun is an associate professor of communication and journalism at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. He is the author of Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America.

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