Hearing Landscape Critically: Music, Place, and the Spaces of Sound
University of Stellenbosch (South Africa), 9-11 September 2013
‘We live in densely storiated landscapes […there are] song-lines, if you will, joining place to place.’ (Robert Macfarlane)
Landscapes are divided and dissonant sites of private and collective being. They bear traces of present, past and future ambitions, injustices, and interventions. And yet, their grammars and sounds, whether intimate, commodified or instrumentalised, push at the limits of theory and representation and simultaneously construct systems of aesthetic, ideological, historical and political appropriation.
The second meeting of the ‘Hearing Landscape Critically’ network (Stellenbosch University 9-11 September 2013) is concerned with finding ways to articulate and listen to landscape that challenge establishedpatterns of cognition and intervention, and which probe the archival and everyday silences and ruptures exacerbated by social, political and intellectual intervention. Following the first meeting at Oxford University, May 2012, the Stellenbosch symposium marks the continuation of an inter-disciplinary and inter-continental project addressing the intersections and cross-articulations of landscape, music, and the spaces of sound. Whilst this symposium aims to bring together a wide-ranging set of subjects and disciplinary approaches, contributions concerned with the unique dynamics of music and sound in (South) African
landscapes are especially welcome.
The following themes are envisaged as central concerns:
*Spaces and sounds of power and politics: interpreting reservation,
academy, capital, legitimation;
*Spaces and sounds of contestation: how landscapes suture and structure
struggles of class, nationality, education, and race;
*Philosophical approaches to the spaces of sound: transcendental
metaphors, the nature/culture debate, ontologies and epistemologies,
non-representational theories of musical and social space;
*Spaces and sounds of transformation/devastation: ‘junk space’,
inter-state freeways, sprawling suburbs, shopping malls, non-places;
*Landscape as utopia, dystopia or heterotopia;
*Urban landscapes, or landscapes that confound simple urban/rural divides.
Prof. Richard Taruskin (Department of Music, University of California,
Prof. Cherryl Walker (Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology,
All proposals should be emailed to
firstname.lastname@example.org (size limit = 5MB) by 18 January 2013. Please include name, affiliation (if applicable), postal address, email address and AV requirements on a
separate cover sheet.
Individual papers (20 minutes) – abstract of no more than 300 words. Panel sessions – describe individual papers and overarching theme in no more than 500 words. Alternative formats – describe your proposal (i.e. performance, round table, film discussion, or whatever it may be) in no more than 500 words. NB. Unfortunately, funding for travel will NOT be generally available for delegates. However, there may be some funds for student travel bursaries. If you would be interested in this, please indicate so on your cover sheet.
Further information will be made available at the website:
Sent on behalf of the organising committee of the Hearing Landscape Critically network: Daniel Grimley (Oxford), Stephanus Muller (Stellenbosch), Carina Venter (Oxford), Michael Uy (Harvard) and Jonathan Hicks (Oxford).