Currents in Electronic Literacy (2011) - Writing with Sound

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Digital Writing and Research Lab - The University of Texas at Austin
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Currents in Electronic Literacy (ISSN 1524-6493) solicits submissions related to the theme below. Submissions are due on Monday, January 10, 2011.

Spring 2011 issue: Writing with Sound

Today we live in a society defined--in many senses, and by almost all the connotations associated with the word as well--by the word 'current'.... The old hierarchies of linear thought, sublime (and sublimated!) engagements with art, poetry, music, science, and history are no longer needed to do the ideological work now conducted again along the lines of 'current.' (Miller 32)

This call for projects begins with a sample, with the echoing of a familiar call to listen to a new kind of logic. The sample comes from Rhythm Science by Paul Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid), who encourages us to go with the flow, to find a good mix, and to listen for new ways of thinking and linking. In conjunction with Miller's appearance as part of the Digital Writing and Research Lab's annual Speaker Series, we are excited to announce that the Spring 2011 issue of Currents will focus on writing with sound.

The issue will open with a compelling radio piece by Avital Ronell in which she--along with the flute accompanying her--insists that Nietzsche was a DJ. Remixing, it seems, is everywhere. For some time now, sampling and remixing has been a powerful metaphor for writing in digital culture; indeed, the College Composition and Communication Convention took remixing as its theme in 2010. The challenge now is to literalize the metaphor, to allow audio technologies to enter into the field's descriptions of "the writing process(es)," which will change not just the way we think about and teach writing, but our processes, and so our "products," as well. In order to encourage and embrace these changes, Currents invites—along with traditional academic submissions—audio essays, podcasts, oral histories, interviews, and other audio recorded genres, as well as webpages, videos, animations, slide presentations, etc., that address sound-related issues. Videos may be uploaded to and shared with (Other video hosting sites may be used. However, meets more accessibility standards than sites like Vimeo.) Audio may be uploaded to and shared with Both YouTube and SoundCloud allow for private sharing. During the submission process, please make your audio and video materials available to a limited audience. Audio/video/visual submissions should also include a 500-word document explicating method and performance.

Some potentially interesting lines of inquiry include but are by no means limited to the following:

* How does the mixing of audio recording and writing create new genres? How do soundscapes and text work together?
* How do technical instrumentalities, such as, the materials used to record sounds affect the message? Can sound ever be virtual?
* What have we not heard by focusing our attention on the printed page? How can teaching with sound revitalize the rhetorical canons (especially memory and delivery), as well as the issue of "voice"?
* What roles do silence and accessibility play in the discussion of "voice"? What does "voice" mean for deaf and hard of hearing individuals as students, professors and authors? How can new technologies and pedagogies help educators meet the goal of providing direct and uninhibited language communication access to curriculum? How can we listen to the "oral" histories, poems, songs, and stories that belong to the signing Deaf community and Deaf culture?
* How does the practice of remixing change the way we think about literacy?
* Multimedia encourages a shift in roles from writer to producer--what are the implications of this shift?
* Alphabetic writing and audio recording both begin as inscriptions on a surface, but in what ways does the waveform of audio recording differ from alphabetic writing?
* How might workspaces in the world of audio recording change the way we write?
* Many theorists, rhetoricians, and philosophers have argued in favor of an "ethics of listening." What further rhetorical and pedagogical implications might such an ethics entail?
* Through phonography, audio recording, and writing share a history, what parts of this history do recorders and writers need to bring to light, retell, and reimagine?
* Through dictation, writers have written with sound for a variety of reasons in a multiplicity of social and technological configurations, not all of which have been mutually beneficial. How might we imagine a productive dictating relationship that ethically distributes power?
* From recording for the blind and dyslexic to screen readers, sound reproduction has often been used to extend our (sense)abilities. What kinds of dictation, transcription, reading, and writing tools are on the horizon of assistive technology?
* As the tools and techniques for capturing and storing literacy narratives and oral histories proliferate, we increase our ability to build and study archives of audio material from many different cultures. What literal and virtual spaces are shared by fields such as sound studies, ethnomusicology, rhetoric and literature? What are the risks and benefits of building and studying archives? Who might be the secret beneficiaries?
* In a classroom setting, how might the use of sound recordings introduce students to the affective and emotional textures of historical experience? In other words, how might sound influence students' understanding of historical context?
* In terms of both pedagogy and research, how might we use sound to convey intangibles such as Barthes' "grain of the voice"? What other kinds of intangible, ephemeral, or otherwise ghostly affects and ideas are better captured through sound rather than the written word?

All submissions should adhere to MLA style guidelines for citations and documentation. Submissions should state any technical requirements or limitations. Currents in Electronic Literacy reserves all copyrights to published articles and requires that all of its articles be housed on its Web server. It is the policy of Currents that all accepted contributions must meet Section 508 accessibility standards (e.g., captioning for video and transcripts for audio). While all Currents articles are accessible, readers are advised that these same articles may contain links to other Web sites that do not meet accessibility guidelines.

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To view this CFP on our website, please visit: