Theorizing Sound Writing

Deborah Kapchan, Editor. 2017. Weslyan University Press.

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Praise for Theorizing Sound Writing

“The book explores the relationship of writing and aurality (the study of listening) in order to pursue two aims: It theorizes how to write about sound, and it uses its premise of listening to point toward compassionate scholarship."

Sharon Harris Jeter, hastac

"Listen to how writing culture meets sound studies. These patient and passionate essays reveal critical stakes for research ethics and aesthetics. In doing so they stimulate resonant theoretical alliances between performance studies, media studies, musicology, and ethnomusicology."

Steven Feld, author of Sound and Sentiment, and Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra

"Having come of age, Sound Studies can no longer pretend that writing about sound and experiencing sound belong to different orders of knowledge. The essays in this collection―performative, resonant, sonorous―show that sound, listening, and inscription have far more in common than is usually assumed. Theorizing Sound Writing takes Sound Studies to the next level."

Veit Erlmann, author of Reason and Resonance


The study of listening — aurality — and its relation to writing is the subject of this eclectic edited volume. Theorizing Sound Writing explores the relationship between sound, theory, language, and inscription. This volume contains an impressive lineup of scholars from anthropology, ethnomusicology, musicology, performance, and sound studies. The contributors write about sound in their ongoing work, while also making an intervention into the ethics of academic knowledge, one in which listening is the first step not only in translating sound into words but also in compassionate scholarship.