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Powers of Sound: International Conference on Sonorities Research

Wednesday, January 9, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephanie Sturgis
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Call for abstracts



June 5th to 7th, 2019

UFSC, Florianópolis, Brazil


A man with a loudspeaker is more imperialistic than one without

because he can dominate more acoustic space”

(R. Murray Schafer, The Soundscape)


The 1st International Conference on Sonorities Research - Powers of Sound is an initiative by the Image, Sonorities and Technology Studies Group (GEIST), formed by researchers from six Brazilian institutions: UFSC, UFES, IFRS, UFRGS, UNISINOS and UFF. The initiative seeks to promote and develop discussion of sound and its intersections with related fields – Technology, Audiovisual Media, Music, Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Communication, Economy, etc – through a multidisciplinary perspective, in different countries, expanding the reach of the Sound Studies field in Brazil in dialog with foreign institutions and researchers.


The possibility of sounds that never stop sounding or sounds that are heard without us being able (or needing) to identify their origins transforms the act of listening to and creating sounds into a relation of power. Contemporary society not only fills the environment with an incalculable number of new and powerful sounds, but simultaneously inserts these sounds into modes of producing sense. In a moment of ideological hardening where the state and society have seen often violent disputes, sound has been shown to be an efficient instrument of control and of the infliction of damage upon people and objects. Sounds work with identities, whether in groups or individually; sounds configure relations of power, among individuals or institutions; sounds unveil historical structures of production; sounds are essential components of the entertainment industry; sounds cause pain and death and pleasure.


More than an object of research, sound should be thought of as an instrument and as a method of investigation, as a mediator among different models of listening and the relations of power, economy, culture, aesthetics etc. that are constructed from those previously mentioned phenomena. With this breadth in mind, the Powers of Sound conference emphasizes materialities of sound — those that mobilize practices of listening and sounding, or the artifacts and devices, technological or not, that shape and make potent what can be accomplished with sounds. For this first edition of the conference – to be held at UFSC, Brazil, from June 5th to 7th, 2019 – we invite researchers from across the globe for a three day discussion, arranged in working groups with specific research themes, roundtables with invited experts and international keynote speakers, and the exhibition of sound performances relevant to the main theme of the conference.


Presentations will be organized according to the following themes:

a) Sound media archaeology

b) Sound, affect and signification

c) Sound technologies and sociocultural practices

d) Sound and culture

e) Sound art


Researchers, professors and undergraduate and graduate students can participate as attendees or presenters. The abstracts must have: up to 300 words; 3 to 5 keywords; affiliation and degree of the authors; suggestion of the theme it fits within (see below); written in Portuguese, Spanish or English. They are to be received by February 8th, 2019, and submitted to cipspoderesdosom@gmail.com. Detailed information about registration and submission can be found on the event website.

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