The Politics of Recorded Sound

The Politics of Recorded Sound
This issue of "Social Text" offers fresh perspectives on the study of sound, music, and politics by centering its attention on recording. The contributors to "The Politics of Recorded Sound" seek to tell a broader story, both politically and historically, about the role of recording in modernity, moving beyond the usual focus on music alone, and portraying it as dialectically engaged with historical formations of race, gender, labor, disability, and nation.

One essay uncovers the lost history of studio recordings of lynching reenactments in the 1890s and analyzes the place of these reenactments among representations of blackness in early phonography. Another essay provides a detailed account of the piano roll's centrality in technological and cultural conceptions of sound reproduction, while yet another essay exposes the role of experiments with the deaf in the development of sound recording technology. The final essay addresses the utopian impulse in contemporary global pop.

Publication Date: 
April 1, 2010