The Sawyer seminar “Hearing Modernity” will raise the curtain by tackling the big questions. Jonathan Sterne is the author of what many consider to be the seminal text in sound studies, The Audible Past; Veit Erlmann’s Reason and Resonance is a dazzling and ambitious study that traces the intellectual lineage of aurality in the history of ideas from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century. Both works present a narration of sound and modernity that has certain totalizing tendencies, while each anchors their narration in different discourses. In making these two stories resonate with each other, we are hoping to open the seminar by grappling with some fundamental issues of aurality that we will periodically revisit in the course of the seminar.
With response by Ingrid Monson.