For the first issue of Soapbox, a graduate journal for cultural analysis, we invite submissions that explore listening as a critical practice. With this topic, we aim to bring together accounts of listening as both a method and object of analysis, including everyday practices and new modes of research that articulate who or what can listen and who or what can be heard.
In an age characterised by overabundant information and a cacophony of voices, attention is increasingly a matter of selection inseparable from politics. Traditional structures that amplify dominant expressions are being contested by the rise of large-scale communication platforms, which complicates the distribution of heard voices. Listening critically, therefore, calls for an examination of the spaces – digital, urban, or discursive – in which the voices of minorities are either muted or amplified.
An attentiveness to the practices of listening also takes seriously the idea that epistemological agency is not limited to the human subject, but extends across biological, technical, and inorganic bodies. By listening to the polyphonic assemblage of humans and non-humans alike, this issue aims to politicise listening not only in the sense of interpersonal communication but also as a broader cultural logic that creates platforms for some and silences others.
We invite students, PhD candidates, and young researchers to submit proposals that discuss practices of listening directed towards, but not limited to, the following themes:
- Methodologies of cultural analysis: listening in/as analysis
- Listening as extending pedagogy beyond the privileged space of the classroom – Zoopoetics and attentiveness to practices of listening of the non-human animal – Listening to or with inorganic matter
- Listening and the primacy of language: signs and semiotics
- Contemporary protest voices
- Delistening to dominant voices in contemporary politics
- Listening as alternative to globalized, market-oriented educational discourse
- Prosthetic listening and listening technologies
- Decolonising practices of listening
- Listening and practices of care, able-bodiedness, and hearing loss
- Active or passive listening, listening as labour or consumption
- The body, synaesthesia, the sensory; audiovisual and tactile listening
- Listening to the dead: history, spectrality, occultism and hauntology
Please submit your abstract (max 300 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 30. The full papers (3000-5000 words) are due August 27. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
We also welcome submissions to our website, where a variety of styles and formats is encouraged. Please get in touch to pitch new ideas or existing projects for us to feature there.