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Vol. 1 No. 2 (2020): Soundscapes, Sonic Cultures, and American Studies

Soundscapes, Sonic Cultures, and American Studies: Introduction to the Special Issue

October 27, 2020


What happens when we imagine the sonic worlds of literary texts, when we focus on voice in film, or when we study the sound of social protest? How can we integrate sound studies into our academic practices? How does sound relate to space and place? How can American studies scholars understand the link between sonic and social relations? Music, voices, noise, and silence are constitutive elements of phenomena that we as American studies scholars regularly investigate. However, in contrast to the well-established prominence of visual culture studies, sound features less prominently in our field's research—an oversight (pardon the pun!) this issue of JAAAS seeks to remedy.


  1. Bull, Michael, and Les Back. "Introduction Into Sound ... Once More with Feeling." In The Auditory Culture Reader, edited by Michael Bull, 1-18. Oxford: Berg, 2003.
  2. Keeling, Kara, and Josh Kun. "Introduction: Listening to American Studies." American Quarterly 63, no. 3 (2011): 445–459.
  3. Netzwerk "Hör-Wissen im Wandel," ed. Wissensgeschichte des Hörens in der Moderne. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017.
  4. Pinch, Trevor, and Karin Bijsterveld. "New Keys to the World of Sound." In The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies. Edited by Trevor Pinch and Karin Bijsterveld, 3-35. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
  5. Schafer, R. Murray. "The Soundscape." In The Sound Studies Reader, edited by Jonathan Sterne, 95-103. New York: Routledge, 2012.
  6. Shank, Barry. The Political Force of Musical Beauty. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.
  7. Smith, Mark M. "Why Historians of the Auditory Urban Past Might Consider Getting Their Ears Wet." In Soundscapes of the Urban Past, edited by Karin Bijsterveld, 67-76. Bielefeld: transcript, 2013.
  8. Sterne, Jonathan. "Soundscape, Landscape, Escape." In Soundscapes of the Urban Past: Staged Sound as Mediated Cultural Heritage, edited by Karin Bijsterveld, 181–194. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2013.

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