“The Politics of Sound” - Intersections | Cross-sections (IS|CS) Annual Graduate Conference 2022

deadline for submissions: 
January 10, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture , at X* University & York University
contact email: 

“The Politics of Sound” - Intersections | Cross-sections (IS|CS) Annual Graduate Conference 2022

Presented by the joint graduate program in Communication & Culture , at X* University & York University

March 18th - 19th, 2022 - Virtual and in-person programming.

Call for presentations: “The Politics of Sound”

Deadline for submissions: Monday January 10th, 11:59pm EST.


Can we imagine a world without sound and frequencies? The Intersections | Cross-sections (IS|CS) conference committee invites you to participate in this year’s interdisciplinary conference and artistic exhibition on sound, the sonic, and listening. This conference will take place at both X* University and York University in a hybrid online/in-person conference model from March 18th to 19th, 2022. The IS|CS invites papers and artworks that consider the potential uses, materiality, and affective/ embodied dimensions of sound, reflecting on what we transmit through practices of sound making and listening in relation to the arts, media, geography, history, and technology. Recognizing the use of sound as never neutral, we value scholarship and creative work that explores the role of sound and its adjoining concepts in relation to unpacking race, gender, sexuality, technology, disability, imperialism, and colonialism.

Though the formation of ‘Sound Studies’ as a discipline is relatively new, the study of sound has long been, and continues to be, an important preoccupation in disability studies, Black studies, queer and trans studies, amongst other disciplines. As feminist sound scholar Annie Goh asks in her recent article, “Sounding Situated Knowledges,” what is at stake in considering how sound and listening produce knowledge? What role can sound scholarship and sound art play in disrupting dominant systems of power, narrative, and hegemonic epistemologies? Alexander Weheliye’s 2005 book Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity explores the intertextual relationship between sound, music, and Black cultural production and labour. Katherine McKittrick’s more recent work, Dear Science and Other Stories performs a similar intertextual analysis of different artists in relation to Black and anticolonial methodologies. In considering the relationship between sound counter-narratives, performance artists like Camille Turner use their sonic creative practices to stage archival interventions into official Canadian histories of land and space, while sound artist and musician Sherry Ostapovich explores practices of place-making and queer memory in their collection of sound works, In a Queer Time and Place.

Across the board, these scholars and artists consider the connection between sound and knowledge, and consider other ways of being, knowing, and relationality that move us away from global orders of capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, and racism, towards organizing new imaginaries and other, more hopeful futures. We therefore invite artists, researchers, scholars, students, and practicing professionals to submit abstracts that push or exist outside of the boundaries of expectations, habituations, and biases about the role of sound in our daily lives. In other words, how might sound intervene to disrupt the status quo, the way that things work in the everyday? We invite any research, artwork, and practice that considers, but is not limited to, the following themes/questions:

●      What is the role of sound in art, music, voice, performance, and cultural production? What kinds of aesthetic, material, and embodied experiences can the sonic generate that may differ  from or complement the visual in relation to the arts, performance, and media-making?

●      What does sound tell us about practices of place-making, our relationships to land, and how we occupy space?

●      How might we engage with silences, gaps, interruptions, and delays in the transmission of sound?

●      What is sound’s relationship to affect, embodiment, and materiality? How does sound move and impact us?

●      How does sound shift our social interactions, our understandings, assumptions, identities, and infer or erase presences?

●      How has our present understanding of sound been framed by industrialization, urbanism, technology, and the mechanics of everyday life?

●      How do we archive, [un]record, imitate, perform through sound? How might methods of oral storytelling and sonic archives counteract traditional methods of narrativizing history?

●      What kinds of listening practices, auralities, and sonic epistemologies can move us away from neoliberalism and coloniality, towards other ways of being/knowing?

●      What role has (or can) sound play in your/our embodied experiences of liberation, alternative power relations, temporary autonomous zones, or normal everyday acts of authentic human experience and connection?

This year’s conference will take place in a hybrid format both online, as well as in person at X University and York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

●      Submissions for academic presentations should be submitted to Intersections, with all panels being presented virtually, and talks being in-person or online.

●       Artistic and creative submissions or presentations should be submitted to Cross-sections, with the option to present in-person, online, or to submit to our virtual exhibition space.

●      Creative submissions may take the form of formats including an artist talk, workshop, performance, project demonstration, etc. Please include a detailed description of your presentation’s format, technical requirements, accessibility needs, and whether you wish to present online or in person in the submission form.

For submissions to Intersections, interested graduate students are invited to submit a brief abstract containing the following information via the Intersections submission form (https://forms.gle/6MFGu5GGGDyRpPWW7).

●      Your name + pronouns if you wish to include them

●      Level of study

●      Name of your university

●      Title of your presentation

●      Type of presentation

○      Long talk (15-20 minutes, ideal for formal paper presentations)

○      Short talk (5-8 minutes, ideal for papers/ideas in progress)

●      Online or in-person

●      Abstract (up to 350 words) and how it connects to this year’s theme

●      Your accessibility needs

For submissions to Cross-sections, interested graduate students are invited to submit a brief abstract describing their and the following information via the Cross-sections submission form (https://forms.gle/2d2Lk72HmzaFhzyE6).

●      Your name + pronouns if you wish to include them

●      Level of study

●      Name of your university or organization

●      Title of your presentation

●      Type of presentation and details about the medium or format of the presentation (i.e. is this an artist talk, film screening, installation, performance, etc.)

●      Abstract describing your presentation (up to 350 words) and how it connects to this year’s theme

●      Technical requirements for your presentation and whether you are planning on presenting in-person or using our online exhibition space

●      Artist bio/short paragraph detailing your creative practice (up to 150 words)

●      Supporting materials you may wish to share (up to 3 mins for videos or audio, please include time range for longer videos & audio).

●      Your accessibility needs

IS|CS values a wide range of perspectives and voices. If you are an under-represented and/or marginalized person in academia, we invite you to speak to your various positionalities if you wish to do so in the submission form.


*X University = Ryerson University. For more information as to why the institution must be renamed, please read this open letter.