Preorder The Fact of Resonance

book cover august 19

To be published by Fordham UP on June 2, 2020. Available for preorder here.

The Fact of Resonance returns to the colonial and technological contexts in which anglophone and francophone narrative and novel theory developed, seeking in sound an alternative premise for theorizing modernist narrative form. Arguing that narrative and novel theory have been founded on an exclusion of sound, the book poses a missing counterpart to modernism’s question “who speaks?” in the hidden acoustic questions “who hears?” and “who listens?”

The representation of acoustical phenomena in literary fiction involves a politics of listening that inheres within the unheard (yet written) sounds resonating through the work of Joseph Conrad. Methodologically, Napolin captures and enhances literature’s ambient sounds, sounds that are clues to heterogeneous experiences secreted within the acoustic unconscious of texts. The book invents an oblique ear, a subtle and lyrical prose style attuned to picking up sounds no longer hearable. As theorized across these pages, “resonance” opens upon a new genealogy of modernism, tracking from Conrad to his interlocutors– Sigmund Freud, Frantz Fanon, W.E.B. Du Bois, William Faulkner, and Chantal Akerman– the racialized, gendered, and colonial implications of acoustical figures that “drift” through and are transformed by narrative worlds in writing, film, and music. A major synthesis of resources gleaned from across the theoretical humanities, the book argues for “resonance” as the traversal of acoustical figures across the spaces of colonial and technological modernity, figures registering and transmitting transformations of “voice” and “sound” across languages, culture, and modalities of hearing. We have not yet sufficiently attended to relays between sound, narrative, and the unconscious that are crucial to the ideological entailments and figural strategies of transnational, transatlantic, and transpacific modernism. The breadth of the book’s engagements will make it of interest not only to students and scholars of modernist fiction and sound studies, but to anyone interested in contemporary critical theory.

 

Pneumatic Memory: Listening to Listening in “The B-Side”

A new essay on the Wooster Group’s “The B-Side: ‘Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons,’ a Record Album Interpretation.” Thank you to Eric Berryman, Kate Valk, Bruce Jackson, Social Text, and the Black Sound and the Archive Working Group at Whitney Humanities Center.

“THE B-SIDE is based on the 1965 LP ‘Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons,’ which features work songs, blues, spirituals, preaching, and toasts from inmates in Texas’ then-segregated agricultural prison farms. The album was brought to The Wooster Group by performer Eric Berryman after he saw the Group’s previous record album interpretation EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS. In THE B-SIDE, Berryman plays the album and transmits the material live, by channeling, via an in-ear receiver, the voices of the men on the record. Accompanying him are Jasper McGruder and Philip Moore. Berryman also provides context from the book Wake Up Dead Man: Hard Labor and Southern Blues by Bruce Jackson, the folklorist who recorded the album at the prison in 1964 and is now a SUNY Distinguished Professor at the University at Buffalo.” http://www.thewoostergroup.org

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Elektra, 1965

Black Sound and the Archive : Symposium Feb 7-8 at Yale University

I’m pleased to present a new work. “Pneumatic Memory: Listening to Listening in ‘The B-Side'”

Friday, February 8, 8:45am-5:30pm, Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall
All-day BSAW Symposium

Roundtable Presenters & Featured Speakers:

Lara Cohen (Swarthmore)
Michael Denning (Yale)
Nina Eidsheim (UCLA)
Vijay Iyer (Harvard)
Roshanak Kheshti (UCSD)
Carter Mathes (Rutgers)
Julie Beth Napolin (The New School)
Marti Newland (Harry T. Burleigh Society)
Mendi Obadike (Pratt Institute)
Imani Owens (Univ. of Pittsburgh)
Brittnay Proctor (College of Wooster)
Anthony Reed (Yale)
Sonnet Retman (Univ. of Washington)
Wadada Leo Smith (Musician)
Gustavus Stadler (Haverford College)
Jennifer Stoever (SUNY Binghamton)
Sherrie Tucker (Univ. of Kansas)
Alexandra T. Vazquez (NYU)
Michael Veal (Yale)
Gayle Wald (George Washington Univ.)

Thank you to Daphne Brooks and Brian Kane for organizing. For more information, visit http://blacksound.yale.edu/amazing-grace-and-bsaw-symposium/

The Politics of The Musical Situation: A Response to Marina Rosenfeld

We are grateful to artist Kevin Beasley for including our dialogue on the “Perspectives” page for his current sound and sculpture exhibition at the Whitney Museum, “A view from the landscape,” open through March 10, 2019. The exhibition pursues the legacy of the South and the moment that cotton was King.

https://whitney.org/Exhibitions/KevinBeasley#exhibition-perspectives

juliebethnapolin

The Politics of the Musical Situation: A Response to Marina Rosenfeld

Cover Image
Julie Beth Napolin, Marina Rosenfeld

Author and researcher Julie Beth Napolin presents here responses to sound artist Marina Rosenfeld from a discussion at The New School in New York City. Including material from a Bomb magazine interview with Rosenfeld, the political terrains of listening and power intersect acoustic art making.

continent Issue 5.3 / 2016 “Acoustic Infrastructures

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Shoo bop shoo bop, my baby, ooooo: W.E.B. Du Bois, Sigmund Freud & Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight

The last post in my three-part blog series on maternal sound and listening in Du Bois and psychoanalysis. This post focuses on the incredible sound design of Barry Jenkins’ film, Moonlight. Thanks to Sounding Out! for their capacious forum.

Sounding Out!

Inspired by the recent Black Perspectives “W.E.B. Du Bois @ 150” Online Forum, SO!’s “W.E.B. Du Bois at 150” amplifies the commemoration of the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Du Bois’s birth in 2018 by examining his all-too-often and all-too-long unacknowledged role in developing, furthering, challenging, and shaping what we now know as “sound studies.”

It has been an abundant decade-plus (!!!) since Alexander Weheliye’s Phonographies “link[ed] the formal structure of W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk to the contemporary mixing practices of DJs” (13) and we want to know how folks have thought about and listened with Du Bois in their work in the intervening years.  How does Du Bois as DJ remix both the historiography and the contemporary praxis of sound studies? How does attention to Du Bois’s theories of race and sound encourage us to challenge the ways in which white supremacy has historically shaped American institutions, sensory…

View original post 2,350 more words

Listening to and as Contemporaries: W.E.B. Du Bois & Sigmund Freud

Part one of a three-part series on Du Bois, sound, and psychoanalysis.

Sounding Out!

Inspired by the recent Black Perspectives “W.E.B. Du Bois @ 150” Online ForumSO!’s “W.E.B. Du Bois at 150” amplifies the commemoration of the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Du Bois’s birth in 2018 by examining his all-too-often and all-too-long unacknowledged role in developing, furthering, challenging, and shaping what we now know as “sound studies.”

It has been an abundant decade-plus (!!!) since Alexander Weheliye’s Phonographies “link[ed] the formal structure of W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk to the contemporary mixing practices of DJs” (13) and we want to know how folks have thought about and listened with Du Bois in their work in the intervening years.  How does Du Bois as DJ remix both the historiography and the contemporary praxis of sound studies? How does attention to Du Bois’s theories of race and sound encourage us to challenge the ways in which white supremacy…

View original post 3,088 more words

(T)racing Mother Listening: W.E.B. Du Bois & Sigmund Freud

Part two of a three-part series on Du Bois, sound, and psychoanalysis.

Sounding Out!

Inspired by the recent Black Perspectives “W.E.B. Du Bois @ 150” Online Forum, SO!’s “W.E.B. Du Bois at 150” amplifies the commemoration of the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Du Bois’s birth in 2018 by examining his all-too-often and all-too-long unacknowledged role in developing, furthering, challenging, and shaping what we now know as “sound studies.”

It has been an abundant decade-plus (!!!) since Alexander Weheliye’s Phonographies “link[ed] the formal structure of W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk to the contemporary mixing practices of DJs” (13) and we want to know how folks have thought about and listened with Du Bois in their work in the intervening years.  How does Du Bois as DJ remix both the historiography and the contemporary praxis of sound studies? How does attention to Du Bois’s theories of race and sound encourage us to challenge the ways in which white supremacy has historically shaped American institutions, sensory…

View original post 3,506 more words

“Narrative Acoustics” : November 14 at Penn

“If there is a space of thinking, either real or virtual, then within it there must also be sound, for all sound seeks its expression as vibration in the medium of space,” writes Bill Viola. We think of narrative as being with “space”  and, while we understand literature as being with a poetics and rhetoric, we do not ask after its acoustics. What, then, is narrative acoustics? In a triple gesture, it is the making of narrative space by sound, the virtual hearing of sounds in narrative and intertextual space, and the narrative of sonic change. This talk takes us through some of the acoustical-narrative spaces of Flaubert, James, Faulkner, Ellison, and Hitchcock.

At 5:15pm in Lerner Center 102, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Music, Graduate Student Colloquium Series