Jennifer Stoever: The Sonic Color Line and the Listening Ear
Sat, 25. Aug 2018
7 - 9pm
Florence Peel Centre
190 Young St, Fitzroy
For a very long time now, America has — audaciously and impossibly — labored under the illusion that it is a “colorblind” nation: that skin color simply “doesn’t matter” when it comes to employment, or schooling, or opportunity of any sort. That it is possible to “not see color” when it comes to intimate relationships, to hiring or firing, to renting a home, to policing a neighborhood. And, more cynically, that, in a market-driven nation, it our nation is only possible — and profitable — when everyone sees only “green,” the color of dollars earned toward that American Dream, open to all, equally, provided of course you can afford it.
But money and class have proven time and again not to be the great colorblind equalizer for people of color, for whom success often means living and working in predominately white spaces, contending with invisible racial protocols that deem their voices, speech, music and other cultural expressions of blackness to be hyperaudible noise: too loud, too inappropriate, too unprofessional, too different, too much, too ratchet, too urban, too [insert white euphemism for “black” here]. Indeed, that’s exactly how these sonic signs of not-belonging operate for the white people — as codes that allow them to politely surveille and legally police for blackness, to continue to objectify and mark blackness as such and put it to heel, quiet it or segregate the people who make it out of their soundscapes at will. And all this without using overt racial designations, doing the work of racism while evading the title.
In “Sonifying Race, Surveilling Space: The Sonic Color Line and the Listening Ear” scholar Jennifer Stoever will unsettle the exclusive relationship between race and looking that colorblind racism depends upon and show how listening works to police racial boundaries in everyday life. explain the findings of her research on race, sound, and listening in the United States, first by introducing the concept of the sonic color line — my term for the racial boundaries anyone who grows up or spends much time in this country is socialized to hear and amplify — and then by using this concept to listen to racism in the US, showing why sound matters in our contemporary struggles against racism, systematically in our classroom and courtrooms, and in our everyday interactions in public places. Interweaving theory, archival research, analysis of court cases and viral videos, and representations in popular culture, Stoever argues that that the only way that colorblindness could ever have taken root as a functioning ideology in a nation so riven with unrepaired and deeply historical racial hierarchies is because we hear America’s color lines as well as we see them, maybe even more so in a nation so stubbornly insistent it is possible — or even desirable — for everyone to “overlook” race.
Following Jennifer’s lecture she will be in discussion with Professor SUNDHYA PAHUJA, Director of Melbourne Law School’s Institute for International Law and the Humanities (IILAH) and author of Decolonising International Law: Development, Economic Growth and the Politics of Universality (Cambridge University Press, 2011).
JENNIFER STOEVER is an Associate Professor at SUNY Binghamton, where she teaches courses on African American literature, sound studies, and race and gender representation in popular music. She also is the project coordinator for the Binghamton Historical Soundwalk Project, a multi-year archival, civically-engaged art project designed to challenge how Binghamton students and year-round residents hear their town, themselves, and each other. She is Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief for Sounding Out!: The Sound Studies Blog and her book The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening was published by New York University Press in 2016.
Presented in partnership with Liquid Architecture.
2019 Editor Call Out: un Magazine vol. 13
un Projects is currently seeking Expressions of Interest for an Editor/s for un Magazine vol. 13, publishing two issues, 13.1 and 13.2 in April and October 2019 respectively.
This is a unique and exciting opportunity to take a leading role in the development and production of one of Australia’s most respected independent contemporary arts publications.
Total remuneration is a $3,500 fee per issue, a total of $7,000. Download a detailed Position Description here
Submissions close 5pm, Tuesday 4th September 2018.
We strongly encourage submissions from diverse writers, including Indigenous Australians, queer and/or trans writers, people of colour and writers of all genders and abilities. un Magazine is published in Narrm Melbourne but Editors can be based elsewhere in Australia.
Questions? Please get in touch with un Projects’ General Manager Sarah Gory on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0401 210 641. We welcome emerging and experienced editors/writers as well as alternative approaches and are happy to discuss your application prior to submission.
Please note: un Projects recognises the importance of Indigenous Australian and First Nations people in dialogue around contemporary art. Including culturally-informed Indigenous content and contributions will continue to be a priority in 2019.
Image: un Magazine 12.1, Footscray Community Arts Centre, May 2018. Photo: Daniel Gardeazabal.
un Writer in Residence
We are so delighted to announce writer and artist Hannah Donnelly will join us as the inaugural un Writer in Residence.
The un Writer in Residence program is a new initiative that offers an emerging-to-mid career Australian arts writer a paid writing residency, with the scope and the space to develop new work and support the resident writers' creative and critical practice.
During her residency, Hannah Donnelly will focus on developing her ongoing writing experiments with speculative fiction and Indigenous Futures. This will encapsulate both critical theory and creative writing in the form of research and future tense interviews with various artists and curators. Hannah’s interviews are conducted from a sovereign future with the aim of collecting stories for imagined archives.
Hannah Donnelly is a writer renowned for her ‘cli-fi’, she works with Indigenous Futurisms and responses to climate trauma. Hannah is the creator of Sovereign Trax promoting First Nations music through energising decolonisation conversations and community in music. Her recent group exhibitions include The Future Leaks Out, Liveworks, Sydney 2017; Future Eaters, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne 2017; Feedback Loop, Blak Dot Gallery, Melbourne 2017; and State of the Nation, Counihan Gallery, Melbourne, 2016.
Over the next six months, we will be publishing Hannah's work online and announcing any special residency events - sign up to our newsletter so you don't miss a beat!
un Magazine 12.1 OUT NOW
Issue 12.1: The Unbearable Hotness of Decolonisation is co-edited by Maddee Clark & Neika Lehman.
"Decolonise your knowledge, decolonise your desire, decolonise your body, decolonise your fashion, decolonise your spice rack, decolonise your gut, decolonise your reading list, decolonise your seating arrangement, decolonise your watch, decolonise your pedagogy, decolonise your arts practice, decolonise your IG account, decolonise your meme. It starts with colonised peoples talking about their empowerment and, necessarily, it’s a wide open road with Indigenous and non-Indigenous participation. But with these white artworld people in particular … I am wondering, is it decolonising or re-colonising? ..."
--- from Editorial, un Magazine 12.1
Featuring writing & art by: Rene Kulitja + Linda Rive with John Dallwitz + Susan Lowish, Kate Rendell, Tristen Harwood + Lauren Burrow, Genevieve Grieves, Suzanne Kite, Ainslee Meredith, Tawhanga Nopera, Ellen O'Brien, Rebecca McCauley, Natasha Matila-Smith, Kenzee Patterson, Susie Anderson, Julie Gough, Georgina Watson, Beth Sometimes + Lorrayne Gorey, Fran Edmonds + Lily Graham + Jessica Bennett, Dean Cross, Katie West, Megan Cope, Steven Rhall & Timmah Ball.
The Lost World (part 2) (video still) 2013
HDMI video, H264, 16:9, 1:15:32 hr:min:sec, colour,
sound. Edited by Jemma Rea