Black Geosonicologies

CONTACT:  april-l-graham@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)sibahle@berkeley.edu


The Black Geosonicologies Working Group explores the racialization of sound and how it is mediated, contextualized, and experienced through place-based orientation. We draw from Black geographies, sound studies, and ethnomusicology to examine what it means to be a racialized “listening subject” and how Blackness as sound is managed through auditory governance and sociosonic processes that structure our worlds. Methodologically, we draw attention to the ways Western epistemologies privilege the act of seeing that ignores how sonic methodologies and deep audible engagement informs new modes for understanding the confluence of race, sound, music, and geography. Through Black acoustemologies—how Black people know and order their environments through sound—we emphasize the sonic fluidity of a “Black sense of place” across multiple scales. We also diagram the “sonics of intersectionality” to examine how audible experiences and positioning is interlaced with overlapping identities within the self and its multiple geographies.

Our central questions, include:

What is Black sound?

What is geosonicology?

What are the sociosonics of a Black sense of place?

What are the sonics of intersectionality?

In what ways do Black people produce auditory ways of knowing?

How do various forms of institutional power produce racialized “listening subjects” through auditory governance and sociogeographic processes?