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.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Leaning In
[Joy Damousi and Paula Hamilton]
1. Sound Studies Today: Where Are We Going?
Part I: Sound and Voice
2. "The World Wanderings of a Voice": Exhibiting the Cylinder Phonograph in Australasia
3. "Are You Sitting Comfortably?": The Changing Position of Storytellers on Early Australian Radio
4. Lindbergh’s Voice
5. Noisy Classrooms and the "Quiet Corner": The Modern School, Sound and the Senses
Part II: Sound and Violence
6. Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Voice, Power and Sexual Violence in Penal New South Wales
7. Startling Reports: Gunfire as Social Soundscape in Early Colonial Australia
8. Sounds and Silence of War: Dresden and Paris During World War II
9. Hearing the 1965–66 Indonesian Anti-Communist Repression: Sensory History and Its Possibilities
10. "For a Few Seconds, Imagine": An Aural Experience of Six Days of Terror at the Stadium of Chile, 12–17 September 1973
Part III: Sensory Memories
11. "Big Smoke Stacks": Competing Memories of the Sounds and Smells of Industrial Heritage
12. Intimate Strangers: Multisensorial Memories of Working in the Home
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
15. Seeing in Black and White: Visualising "Shadow Sisters" Among Metaphors of Light and Dark
Joy Damousi is Professor of History at the University of Melbourne.
Paula Hamilton is adjunct Professor of History at University of Technology, Sydney.