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2016 AAA Invited Session: THE 2016 AAA MSIG SOUNDTABLE
Title Cont. MUSIC, SOUND, AND THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF RACE AND RACIALIZATION This roundtable seeks to bring the study of race, racialization and the study of sound into renewed conversation. How, we ask, does attention to sound open routes for reimagining questions of race and racialization? How does the scholarly pursuit of the one provide distinctive critical purchase on the other? And how might we make their historical entanglement more audible? Scholarship on music and sound has contributed to a wide range of research within anthropology, including work on the senses, the voice, religion, and forms of interspecies and ecological research, with questions of race and racialization cross-cutting many of these central thematic conversations. Music scholarship, further, has long played a central role in anthropological work on race and racialization, from insights gained in critical reflection on recording, circulation, and minstrelsy to the sonic and phonic constitution of broader diasporic formations around African and African American musics. Work on sound in a broader sense has contributed to our understanding of processes of circulation across a ‘Black Atlantic’; allowed us to hear racializing ideologies in the origins of phonography; and provided critical purchase and a cautionary perspective on the ‘naturalization’ of the post-human moment. Indeed, it is hard to imagine the landscape of contemporary critical theoretical analyses of race and racialization without such pathbreaking music-, sound-, and language-focused scholarship. Recent years have witnessed a renaissance in research focused on bringing music and sound to the task of theorizing and problematizing our understandings of race and racialization. This roundtable centers this renaissance, revisiting musical and sonic dimensions of racialization in light of recent scholarship on the voice, language, music, and embodied performance. Panelists will address a series of related questions with the aim of catalyzing conversation and audience discussion and participation. These include: How might work on sound draw attention to forms of racialized violence? How do we approach the voice as a site of racialized identification, distinction, alterity, or provocation? How do music and sound direct analysis to spatial dimensions of race and racialization? How might conceptual equipment developed in the study of sound allow analysis not just of the naturalization of race, but also the racialization of nature? And how might multi-naturalism and post-human analytics complicate these heuristic dichotomies? In short, what does the study of sound offer the study of race, and conversely, how does the study of race and racialization lend insight into our understanding of music and sound?