Literature, a seemingly silent form of art, lends itself to explorations of sound.
English graduate students have seen Fordham’s Music and Sound Studies Reading Group into its third year. According to Kevin Stevens, the group’s president, the group aims “to foster interest in the burgeoning field of sound studies.”
Group members learn about sound studies and theories of music that they often incorporate into their own literary research. Group members also become familiar with the scholarly trends in the field, and, in so doing, they learn to address the challenges of interdisciplinary research.
Professors Andrew Albin, an expert on sound studies, and Larry Kramer, an expert on musicology, attend the group’s meetings and add their expertise to the group’s conversations.
The group meets once a month, usually on a Friday, to discuss various monographs, articles, and sometimes the members’ own sound-related research. At their last meeting, the group discussed Brian Kane’s monograph Sound Unseen: Acousmatic Sound in Theory and Practice and engaged with his concept of “acousmatic sound,” or a sound one hears without seeing its source.
In the past, the group has also studied political theories on noise, phenomenological accounts of hearing, and musicologist accounts of hermeneutics, as well as attended Voices Up! concerts.
The group expressed gratitude to the English department for its ongoing support. “The department generously funds some of our books,” said Stevens.