[Air-L] CFP : "Listening Lines, Online Listening"

Stephan-Eloïse Gras stephan.eloise at gmail.com
Thu Jun 11 01:40:11 PDT 2015

Dear members of the AoIR list,

We would like to share with you the following CFP :

6th issue of Transposition, journal for Music studies and Social Sciences,
EHESS/Philharmonie de Paris (2016)  :
*"Listening lines, Online Listening".*
Coordination: Stéphan-Eloïse Gras and Peter Szendy

We seek submissions from the following areas:
- the sociology of musical tastes and their mediations in the digital era
- critical theory of popular music and new media
- the social history of music media and genres
- the history of musical sensibilities
- epistemology and/or the history of sound studies
- transformations of the musical instrumentarium and the history of
- the aesthetics of sound and digital imaging
- artistic works and experiences that undermine or replay the contemporary
regimes of musical experience.

Proposals should be sent before October 15th 2015 to the following address
: transposition.submission at gmail.com

We look forward to your contributions.


Stéphan-Eloïse Gras & Peter Szendy

Stéphan-Eloïse Gras, PhD
School for Communication and Information Studies (CELSA-Paris Sorbonne),
Laboratory on Contemporary Logics of Philosophy (University of Paris 8)

Transposition. Musique et sciences sociales
Issue 6 (2016): Listening lines, online listening

Coordination: Stéphan-Éloïse Gras et Peter Szendy

Since the 1990s, listening has been the subject of growing interest, in
terms of not only its social history, but the related technical media and
philosophical aspects. Research such as that presented by James H.
Johnson *(Listening
in Paris*, 1996), Peter Szendy *(Écoute, une histoire de nos oreilles*, 2001),
Jean-Luc Nancy *(À l’écoute*, 2002), Jonathan Sterne *(The Audible Past*, 2003)
and more recently, Martin Kaltenecker *(L’Oreille divisée*, 2010), Michael
Bull (*Sound Studies*, 2013) and Veit Erlmann *(Reason and Resonance*, 2014)
has given rise to a new field, although it is certainly not a homogenous
field that can simply be contained in the category of “sound studies”.

Thus, there is a renewed curiosity about listening, and the recent
attention it has garnered might say something about the major changes
permeating our contemporary practices as musicians, musicologists,
researchers, scientists, artists, music lovers and Internet users, or in
other words, the practices of*listening subjects* in general.

But what we would like to elicit with this sixth issue of *Transposition *is
a more specific approach to these reflections. In making *listening lines* the
theme of this Issue, the idea is essentially to examine a context that
prompts a rethinking of listening, that is, the massive development of *online
listening* in the second half of the 2000s. Long thought of as a fairly
marginal behaviour by music 'pirates' and a threat to the music industry,
listening on digital platforms is now the preferred means of accessing
music for a rising number of listeners. Like CDs and radio in their time,
has streaming become the ubiquitous and totalising contemporary form of a
'musical museum'? In any case, the stabilisation of digital listening
practices and media undoubtedly raises new issues in terms of the
technological, industrial, economic, political and cultural impact.

Beyond the *shifting* of music to new formats, this Issue of our review
seeks to explore the nature and scope of the significant changes in the
ways we listen to music. What effects might have the *digital age* — the
vast movement involving not only the computerisation of musical objects but
the massive socialisation of digital technologies — on listening and *listening
bodies*? At the crux of the matter is the prescriptive nature of the
formats and operations on which platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, Deezer
and Rdio are based.

In this sense, talking about *listening lines* also suggests that these
platforms are far from mere technical systems; they are in fact creating or
solidifying*guidelines* to listening, that is, (a) certain regime(s) of
listening. In trying to identify their origins, we can trace the genealogy
back well before the advent of digital distribution and streaming as such.
Studying the salons or the art of conversation might, for example, provide
insight into elements such as online automated recommendation systems ('X
likes…' as an invitation to listening) and chatting. The history of formats
(such as that explored by Jonathan Sterne in *Mp3. The Meaning of a
Format), *the history of forms of musical presentation and distribution
(evolution from concert and radio programming and discography albums to
bluetooth via mobile phones in sub-Saharan Africa) and the history of
audiovisual media (video clips, interactive experiences, etc.) also seem to
be fertile grounds for the exploration of how these new media are affecting

What this Issue seeks to do is to contextualise what is happening with the
massification of digital listening on platforms and mobile devices within
one or more genealogical *lineages*. The question we might ask is whether
online listening experiences, once placed in the broad scope of history,
indicate the emergence of a new musical culture and new audiences. In the
end, this long time span surely allows us to understand, examine and
perhaps shift the new*partition lines* of listening, i.e., the divides and
borders that appear even within the supposedly neutral and neutralising
framework of 'sharing'. Making playlists, browsing vast sound databases and
the simple act of 'liking' are all ways in which we are called, more than
ever before, to share our listening. But in a broader sense, do they not
also raise the question of *distributing* in the double sense of the French
word *partage*, meaning both dividing up and pooling?

In essence, these *partition lines* are dictated by the very distributions
of our musical sensibilities and our listening experiences configured by
contemporary digital media.

Possible areas to explore for a contribution:

— the social history of music media and genres ;

— the history of musical sensibilities;

— critical theory of popular music and new media;

— the sociology of musical tastes and culture and their mediations in the
digital sphere;

— the sociology of audiences reached by these new musical mediations;

— epistemology and/or the history of *sound studies;*

— transformations of the musical instrumentarium and the history of

— the aesthetics of sound and digital imaging;

— artistic works and experiences that undermine or replay the contemporary
regimes of musical experience.

Proposals for papers (in French or English), to include a presentation of
the research methodology and key findings, should be sent before *October
15th 2015* to the following address: transposition.submission at gmail.com. The
deadline for accepted papers is *January 30th 2016.*

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