Listening Sonic Modernity in Latin America: Soundscapes, Aftersounds, and Phonographies

deadline for submissions: 
August 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Francisco Laguna Correa and Carlos Abreu Mendoza ​
contact email: 

Whether framed as divergent (Ramos), cruel (Franco), subaltern (Saldívar, ed), vanguardist (Sanders), multiple and baroque (Bolívar Echeverría), kaleidoscopic (Schelling), contradictory and hybrid (García Canclini), truncated (Roniger), enchanted (Morello et all), or with a dark side (Mignolo), discussions of modernity have predominated in the field of Latin American Studies. These deep explorations into the nature of modernity have also shown a particular preference for spatiality, a visual category which privileges a critical vocabulary that seeks to map, survey, visualize, and picture a series of landscapes and territories. Moreover, Latinamericanist scholars continue to act as cartographers of a lettered city that is more scrutinized and surveyed than ever. The attempts to go beyond the spatial matrix of the lettered city (Rappaport and Cummins), to unearth its archeology (Nemser), and to historically situate its decline and fall (Franco), attest to the privileging of visual artifacts (texts, archives, literature, film, visual media) in our field of study. The power of this “ocularcentrism” shows that we, as cultural critics, literary scholars, and researchers traversing interdisciplinary fields, are the inheritors of the sensorium inaugurated by modernity in which vision reigns by repressing other senses. We are the contemporary perpetuators of the shift from orality to literacy; with our gloved hands perusing the dust of the archives and our eyes constantly examining a growing bibliography, we have become the “silent scanners of written words, isolated readers in the linear world of texts” (Schmidt).

This edited volume attempts to break from the vision-dominated storyline of Latin American modernity by using sound and sonic experiences as thresholds of interdisciplinary inquiry. The assumption that “sound, hearing and listening are foundational to modern modes of knowledge, culture, and social organization” (Sterne) forces us to revisit the contested ways in which modernity takes place in Latin America whether as multiple, peripheral, contested, or hybrid soundings. Following Leigh Eric Schmidt’s call to unearth how the sense of hearing has been framed within the metanarratives of modernity and Alejandra Bronfman and Andrew Grant Wood’s invitation to rejoin the sensory with the epistemological, we seek to build a more intricate historical narrative of the continent’s aurality.

As reflected by the growing interest in fields such as sound studies, ethnomusicology, sonic modernity, and anthropology, theorizations of aurality are in high academic fashion. However, most of the global approaches to sensorial history ignore Latin American cultural productions and scholars working on Latin America are overwhelmingly left out of anthologies, readers, and compilations. Despite this lack of epistemological representation, scholarly production from different academic fields focusing on Latin American cultural productions has been receptive to this growing interest in the sonorous, paying special attention to electronic mass communications media (Gallo), the construction of social profiles through music genres (Ramos-Kittrell), transnational sonic encounters at the border (Madrid), and acoustical explorations of the written archive (Ochoa Gautier), among other sonic phenomena. Our volume will contribute to this growing bibliography by looking at the sonorous interstices within the registry of the experience of modernity in Latin American cultural production across continental borders. 

Read the complete CFP:


Abstracts of maximum 500 words can be sent to Profs. Francisco Laguna Correa (University of Denver) and Carlos Abreu Mendoza (Texas State University) by August 15th, 2018 to The language of publication will be English; however, abstracts can be sent in Spanish, and support could be provided for the translation of articles once approved. Please include in your abstract the title and main thematic focus of your paper, as well as your c.v. and affiliation (if applicable). Every abstract submitted will be assessed and authors will be contacted by Nov 1st. Final acceptance will be based on completed articles, which are due July 30, 2019. Finished articles must be 3000-6000 words, including all notes and references.