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Sonic Interventions

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Sonic Interventions makes a compelling case for the importance of sound in theorizing literature, subjectivity and culture. Sound is usually understood as our second sense and – as our belief in a visually dominated culture prevails – remains of secondary interest. Western cultures are considered to be predominantly visual, while other societies are thought to place more importance on the acoustic dimension. This volume questions these assumptions by examining how sound differs from, and acts in relationship to, the visual. It moves beyond theoretical dichotomies (between the visual and the sonic, the oral and literature) and, instead, investigates sonic interventions in their often multi-faceted forms. The case studies deal with political appropriations of music and sounds, they explore the poetic use of the sonic in novels and plays, they develop theoretical concepts out of sonic phenomena, and pertain to identity formation and the practice of mixing in hip hop, opera and dancehall sessions. Ultimately, the book brings to the fore what roles sound may play for the formation of gendered identity, for the stabilization or questioning of race as a social category, and the conception of place. Their intricate interventions beckon critical attention and offer rich material for cultural analysis.

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