Tuesday, November 12, 2013

May 2, Montréal

Call for Papers:

The Forgotten Sounds of Industry

(A Session for "Deindustrialization and Its Aftermath," in Montréal, Quebec):


Recent research into the history of industrial sound has addressed noise abatement efforts that emerged at the height of industrial activity (Smilor, Thompson, Bijsterveld, Coates). While aversive responses to the clatter of unwanted sound is well documented, the affective responses to industrial sound is less researched. Historical accounts of the closing of factories and mills show that the disappearance of industrial sound was a lamentable loss.

Acoustic archaeology tends to focus upon reconstructing and understanding sound producing instruments and spaces of the past (Scarre) with a main goal of ascertaining intentionality. Most archaeoacoustic research has focused on learning more about the sonic world of people within prehistoric timeframes (Devereux, Rainio, Reznikoff, Lund). Aligned with the work of sound artists and soundscape researchers (Westerkamp, McCartney, Vitiello) the archaeoacoustic approach can be extended into the historic/industrial era.

The sound environment of the past is "a recoverable category of information" (Mills 2005) and archaeology - with an awareness and dependency upon sensory dependent investigation - is well placed to gather and synthesize various and diverse sonic forms, across all periods. Recent research in the history of sound has called for more nuanced distinctions than the noisy/quiet dichotomy (Rath, Smith). This session seeks to comprehensively address the phenomenon of industrial sound, and its disappearance.

We seek papers and presentations addressing:

Industrial sound and (in)tangible industrial heritage
The musicality of industry
The theory and principles of archaeoacoustic research as applied to industrial sound
Affective and aversive responses to the sounds of industry
The social legacy of hearing loss

Jeff Benjamin, Michigan Technological University (Session Chair)

Hilary Orange, UCL Institute of Archaeology

Ron Wright, Sheffield Hallam University