1st Edition

Techniques of Hearing History, Theory and Practices

Edited By Michael Schillmeier, Robert Stock, Beate Ochsner Copyright 2023
    196 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    196 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Hearing, health, and technologies are entangled in multi-faceted ways. This edited volume addresses this complex relationship by arguing that modern hearing was and is increasingly linked to and mediated by technological innovations.
    By providing a set of original interdisciplinary investigations that shed new light on the history, theory, and practices of hearing techniques, it is able to explore the heterogeneous entanglements of sound, hearing practices, technologies, and health issues. As the first book to bring together historians, scholars from media studies, social sciences, cultural studies, acoustics, and neuroscientists, the volume discusses modern technologies and their decisive impact on how "normal" hearing, enhanced and smart hearing, as well as hearing impairment have been configured. It brings both new insights into the histories of hearing technologies as well as allowing us to better understand how enabling hearing technologies have currently been unfolding an increasingly hybrid ecology engaging smart hearing devices and offering stress-free hearing and acoustic well-being in novel auditory environments.
    The volume will be of interest to all scholars and students of disability studies, sound studies, sociology of health and illness, medical history, health and society, as well as those interested in the practices and techniques of self-monitored and smart hearing.

    Foreword – How to use your ears
    David Howes

    Introduction - Techniques of Hearing: Histories, Practices and Acoustic Experiences
    Michael Schillmeier, Robert Stock, Beate Ochsner

    Chapter One – An Unquiet Quiet: The History and ‘Smart’ Politics of Sound Masking in the Office
    Joeri Bruyninckx

    Chapter Two – Technologies of Silence
    Jens Schröter

    Chapter Three – Pleasure and Pain with Amplified Sound: A Sound and Music History of Loudspeaker Systems in Germany, ca. 1930
    Jens Gerrit Papenburg

    Chapter Four – Measuring Listening Effort: An Attempt to Quantify Mental Exertion
    Jürgen Tchorz

    Chapter Five – Hearing Echoes as an Audile Technique: From "Facial Vision" to Experimental Psychology and Echolocation
    Robert Stock

    Chapter Six – Mobile Music Listening and the Self-Management of Health and Well-Being
    Eva Schurig

    Chapter Seven – Better Hearing for All - Smart Solutions for the Clinical, Subclinical and Normal-Hearing Population
    Jan Rennies

    Chapter Eight – "The Future is Ear" (Hunn 2014): Infrastructures of ‘Smart Hearing’
    Beate Ochsner and Shintaro Miyazaki

    Chapter Nine – Listening or Reading? Rethinking Ableism in Relation to the Senses and (Acoustic) Text
    Miklas Schulz

    Chapter Ten - Binaural Gaming Arrangements: Techno-Sensory Configurations of Playing the Audio Game A Blind Legend
    Markus Spöhrer

    Chapter Eleven – Hearing Like an Animal: Exploring Acoustic Experience Beyond Human Ears
    Judith Willkomm and Asher Boersma

    Chapter Twelve – "Adaptive Environments": Ambient Media and the Temporalities of Sonic Selfcare
    Maren Haffke

    Chapter Thirteen – The Shepherd’s Farewell: Shared Hearing as (a Mode of) Healing – Music, Imagery and Emotion-Neural Dynamics
    Jörg Fachner

    Chapter Fourteen – Dis/abling Smartness: AAC Devices, Music and Acoustic Wellbeing
    Robert Stock and Marvin Sieger

    Tia DeNora


    Michael Schillmeier is Professor for Sociology at the Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of Exeter (UK). He is widely published, investigating the empirical and conceptual understanding of the social and societal. Fields of interdisciplinary research include Science, Technology and Society (STS), Health and Illness, Disability Studies, Bodies, Senses, and Art.

    Robert Stock is Assistant Professor for Cultures of Knowledge at the Department of Cultural History and Theory at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. His main research interests are cultures of knowledge, digital media and dis/abilities, politics of inclusion and access work. He is co-founder of the scientific network Dis/Abilities and Digital Media funded by German Research Foundation, DFG.

    Beate Ochsner is Professor of Media Studies at the University of Konstanz. She is spokeswoman for the research unit "Media and participation" (mediaandparticipation.com) where she also heads the project "Techno-sensory processes of participation". Her research focuses on participatory media cultures, intersections between media and dis/ability, and gaming cultures.