Exploring Sound and Anthropology

Posted January 9th, 2017 at 9:36 am.

Project Team

Amanda Weidman, Christine Boyland, Melanie Bahti

Courses Involved

Anth B 266 Waves of Power: The Anthropology and Cultural Politics of Sound


Platform development: Summer 2016
Piloted in course: Fall 2016

Goals and Description

This is a new course that builds an anthropological understanding of sound as a product of human creativity, human conflict, and human interaction with the material world. Weidman and her students explore the ways that sound is conceptualized and endowed with meaning; how sound becomes linked to identity and social and political hierarchies; and how sound can become a call to action in different cultural and historical contexts.

Students also learn about different ways to record, document, and write about sound by engaging in sound-based ethnographic research of their own throughout the semester. A series of projects involves documenting (in audio/video format as well as through written analysis) different sounds and “soundscapes.” They also learn about sound-related projects in the context of the digital humanities.


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