Because we often can’t “see” sound, it’s difficult to conceive of all its repercussions, affects, and consequences as a phenomenon. Sound moves into our ears and out of our mouths, but what does sound say to and about us? Sound travels through space, but it is also is determined and limited by it. Sound is mediated by our architecture and through our devices: our iPods and headphones, our walls and buildings, our stethoscopes and laptops. We can be constrained, deceived by, or severed from sound, but we can also enhance it, control it, and learn through it.

This course is designed to explore the ways in which sound impacts our lives regularly, and how it allows us to make sense of the world and our place within it. How do our experiences of sound make us human? How does sound organize a society? How do the evolving technologies through which we experience sound make us not-so-human? Sound and Social Space navigates these questions and more through examining the historical changes in humanity’s relationship to sound during the industrialization of society, the potential for sound as a mode of activism and occupying space, the technological history of sound reproduction, the functions of sound in the digital era, the meaning of silence, and much more. Sound and Social Space consists of a combination of lecture, class discussion, and applied activities. 

To see the full syllabus, contact me.