What is sound? At a moment when modes of sonic representation and transmission bring into earshot sound from previously unheard realms—the deep sea, the inside of the head, outer space; when new technologies make it possible to conjoin hearing and deaf worlds through a common currency of vibration; and when techniques of “sonification” render audible nonsonic material and information (sun spots, climatechange data, nineteenthcentury visual tracings of vibration patterns)— the definition of “sound” has expanded to access worlds previously inaudible, even unimagined. Thinking through recent technologies of transduction, eduction, and sonfication, this talk asks how we should conceptualize sound — as object? as event? as waves in oceans of media?

November is National Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and so in celebration Transcriptions is hosting a panel of English and Writing faculty to discuss public (online) cultures of writing on Thursday, November 12th at 4p in South Hall 2509 (The Transcriptions Research Center).

Our panelists include Linda Alder-Kassner, Karen Lunsford, and Madeleine Sorapure.

A sample of the questions we will consider are:
How might NaNoWriMo written production be studied? How is the genre of the manuscript-as-novel coordinated through websites and writing groups? How does the 50,000 words goal, encouraged by the medium, engage with discussions on what constitutes “novel-sized”? Bring your own questions and ideas to this community research conversation on the topic of prospective research in areas at the intersection of writing studies and literary studies, with NaNoWriMo as a timely example.

Illustration: “Ideal Bookshelf” by Jane Mount

What are the most frequently read books by academics in the United States in 2015? What are the historical, temporal, and geographic peaks and valleys in reading surrounding certain books or literary collections? What books are largely read for studies on, say, “Twentieth-Century American Literature?” What books do we read under times of national stress, such as post-September 11th? The assumption since the canon wars ended in the 1990s is that our canon is more inclusive, more progressive, more expansive in what it deems as literary value. How would quantitative analysis respond to such an assumption?