1st Edition

A Cultural History of Sound, Memory, and the Senses

Edited By Joy Damousi, Paula Hamilton Copyright 2017
    270 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    278 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The past 20 years have witnessed a turn towards the sensuous, particularly the aural, as a viable space for critical exploration in History and other Humanities disciplines. This has been informed by a heightened awareness of the role that the senses play in shaping modern identity and understanding of place; and increasingly, how the senses are central to the memory of past experiences and their representation. The result has been a broadening of our historical imagination, which has previously taken the visual for granted and ignored the other senses. Considering how crucial the auditory aspect of life has been, a shift from seeing to hearing past societies offers a further perspective for examining the complexity of historical events and experiences. Historians in many fields have begun to listen to the past, developing new arguments about the history and the memory of sensory experience. This volume builds on scholarship produced over the last twenty years and explores these dimensions by coupling the history of sound and the senses in distinctive ways: through a study of the sound of violence; the sound of voice mediated by technologies and the expression of memory through the senses. Though sound is the most developed field in the study of the sensorium, many argue that each of the senses should not be studied in isolation from each other, and for this reason, the final section incorporates material which emphasizes the sense as relational.

    Introduction: Leaning In

    [Joy Damousi and Paula Hamilton]

    1. Sound Studies Today: Where Are We Going?

    [Bruce Johnson]

    Part I: Sound and Voice

    2. "The World Wanderings of a Voice": Exhibiting the Cylinder Phonograph in Australasia

    [Henry Reece]

    3. "Are You Sitting Comfortably?": The Changing Position of Storytellers on Early Australian Radio

    [Jennifer Bowen]

    4. Lindbergh’s Voice

    [David Goodman]

    5. Noisy Classrooms and the "Quiet Corner": The Modern School, Sound and the Senses

    [Kate Darian-Smith]

    Part II: Sound and Violence

    6. Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Voice, Power and Sexual Violence in Penal New South Wales

    [Penny Russell]

    7. Startling Reports: Gunfire as Social Soundscape in Early Colonial Australia

    [Diane Collins]

    8. Sounds and Silence of War: Dresden and Paris During World War II

    [Joy Damousi]

    9. Hearing the 1965–66 Indonesian Anti-Communist Repression: Sensory History and Its Possibilities

    [Vannessa Hearman]

    10. "For a Few Seconds, Imagine": An Aural Experience of Six Days of Terror at the Stadium of Chile, 12–17 September 1973

    [Peter Read]

    Part III: Sensory Memories

    11. "Big Smoke Stacks": Competing Memories of the Sounds and Smells of Industrial Heritage

    [Lisa Murray]

    12. Intimate Strangers: Multisensorial Memories of Working in the Home

    [Paula Hamilton]

    13. Botanical Memory: Materiality, Affect, and Western Australian Plant Life

    [John Charles Ryan]

    14. "If I Ever Hear It, It Takes Me Straight Back There": Music, Autobiographical Memory, Space and Place

    [Lauren Istvandity]

    15. Seeing in Black and White: Visualising "Shadow Sisters" Among Metaphors of Light and Dark

    [Emma Dortins]


    Joy Damousi is Professor of History at the University of Melbourne.

    Paula Hamilton is adjunct Professor of History at University of Technology, Sydney.