Julie Beth Napolin is Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and Literary Studies at Eugene Lang College, The New School. She is former Associate Director of The Digital Yoknapatawpha Project, a musician, and radio producer (formerly of Stanford University and KALW’s “Philosophy Talk”). In 2009, she received a PhD in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley, writing a dissertation titled The Acoustics of Narrative Involvement: Modernism, Subjectivity, Voice under the direction of Ramona Naddaff, Judith Butler, Carolyn Porter, and Trinh T. Minh-ha. Her work participates in the fields of transatlantic modernism, the novel, 20th century American literature and culture, sound studies, critical race theory, and aesthetic philosophy. She asks what practices and philosophies of listening in the 20th century and beyond can tell us about the modernist novel as form. She is particularly interested in the history of sound reproduction and its intersections with the novel and narrative.
She is writing a book manuscript titled The Fact of Resonance on listening and the materiality of textual sound in the early works of Conrad. Tracing Conrad’s intersection with the history of colonial and technological listening in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the book takes resonance as theme and method. It places Conrad in circum-Atlantic discussion with Freud, Benjamin, Nietzsche, Fanon, Du Bois, Faulkner, Hemingway, Duras, and Ellison. These resonances revise the most central category of narrative theory yet to be described in its acoustics: “voice.”
Forthcoming essays include, “Elliptical Sound: Audibility, Blackness, and the Space of Reading” in Sounding Modernism, eds. Julian Murphet, Penelope Hone, and Helen Groth (University of Edinburgh Press, 2017).