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Sound Bridges, Sound Walls – call for papers

November 12, 2010

During a break of the 2009 IAMHIST conference in Aberystwyth, Wales, I sat down to coffee with my colleague Thunnis van Oort and it soon came up that he sat on the board of the Dutch/Flemish Vereniging Geschiedenis Beeld en Geluid (Association for the History of Sound and Vision) and I on the board of the Studienkreis Rundfunk und Geschichte (the German Society for the Study of Broadcasting and History).  So we got to talking, as one does, about whether the two organizations might want to collaborate on something, someday…

And voilà:

Call for Papers

The Studienkreis Rundfunk und Geschichte and the Vereniging Geschiedenis Beeld en Geluid, in cooperation with the Institute for Sound and Vision (Hilversum) are pleased to announce this call for papers for their first joint symposium

Sound Bridges, Sound Walls

Broadcasting in the Historical Formation, Mediatization and Localization of Sound

18-19 March 2011, Hilversum

The area of sound studies has broadened greatly over the last decade, opening up new narratives in social, cultural and media history. In this symposium, we seek to focus this renewed interest in sound specifically on the historical role of broadcasting, understood here as programme-oriented auditive or audiovisual distribution. In particular, we welcome papers that help us to consider the role of broadcast sound in constructing and/or transgressing borders and boundaries.

Key themes to be explored historically in the symposium include:

Technologies of sound: How have technologies of (re)production, transmission or reception shaped and been shaped by practices of producing and consuming sound?

Digitality: How has the rise of digital sound with its new recombinatory, distributional and archival possibilities changed sound practice, and how have digital sound practices changed the notion of production, distribution and archiving in broadcasting?

The notion of acoustics: How have domestic, local, regional and national spaces for sound been normalized by and for broadcast sound, and how have physical spaces shaped broadcast phenomena?

Transmedial, intermedial, and remediated aspects of sound: What is the role of broadcast sound in shaping (multi)media events? How does radio sound function in television or film? How did the coming of television or internet change radio practice, etc.?

Aesthetics of electronically mediated sound: How have various discursive constructions such as quality, authenticity, fidelity, intimacy, sincerity etc. of sound shaped and been shaped by practices and technologies of sound?

Geographies of sound: How have electronically communicated sounds formed bridges or walls between nations – particularly in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany? How have broadcast and sound media contributed to the constitution of sub- or transnational acoustic communities?

Temporalities of sound and place: How does electronically-mediated sound mediate time and anchor and/or destabilize spatial narratives or boundaries?

Proposals, papers and presentations can be in German, Dutch or English.
Conference abstracts, slides and discussions must be in English.

Proposals (abstracts of max. 200 words plus an extra sheet with your name and address) should be sent to Dr. Veit Scheller (c/o ZDF ABD / Unternehmensarchiv, 55100 Mainz, Germany; by 15 December 2010 (Deadline). All proposals will be blind-reviewed.

Queries can be sent to

Alexander Badenoch, Utrecht University:

Golo Föllmer, University of Halle:

Gerlinde Frey-Vor, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk:

Thunnis van Oort, Utrecht University:

Hans-Ulrich Wagner, University of Hamburg:

Additional reviewers:

Andreas Fickers, University of Maastricht

Frank Schätzlein, University of Hamburg

Holger Schulze, Universität der Künste, Berlin                      


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