Anthropology News

AN Call for Proposals: Music and Sound

The AAA Music and Sound Interest Group gathered for the first time in 2009 to recognize the increasing production and impact of aural anthropology projects. Anthropologists of music and ethnomusicologists are today developing innovative work on musical experience and performance, sound recording and broadcast technologies, public soundscapes and more. As recording technologies become more accessible, the topics available for study and methods for approaching them continue to expand. For example, scholars are currently researching the music and verbal art of gospel choirs living with HIV in South Africa, playback singing in Bollywood film, and the use of sound in military practices during the Iraq war. Their research contributes to broader anthropological literatures in areas ranging from linguistics to aesthetics to economics.             

Still, significant room for growth remains. As interest group convener David Novak noted in February 2010 AN, “aurality is underrepresented in comparison with visuality as an area of anthropological research.” The December 2010 AN issue offers contributors an opportunity to (1) consider both the challenges facing the anthropology of music and sound as a growing discipline, and the unique and compelling insights it can provide; (2) share current scholarship in this topical area; and (3) examine the interrelationships among various disciplinary approaches to the study of music and sound. In addition to textual and visual submissions, we also welcome sound recordings, to be posted online in conjunction with print publication of the issue.


To participate, email a 300-word abstract and 50-100-word biosketch to Anthropology News Managing Editor Dinah Winnick. Proposals for photo essays should also include five high resolution photographs (tiff or jpg), each with a caption and credit. Proposals for audio submissions should also include selected sound clips, to illustrate audio quality, style and content. Selected authors will be notified of their status in late June, and full articles—commentaries of 1000-1400 words or shorter pieces of other article types—will be due by October 1.

Proposal submission deadline: Extended to June 1, 2010.

Early submissions are encouraged.