Call | Dr. Sharon Mee and Mr. Luke Robinson are seeking keyword-essays for our proposed book: Sound Affects: A User’s Guide

Sound Affects is a collection of sonically charged concepts ranging from the onomatopoeic (buzz, creak, knocking, rustle), to the material (groove, hum, vibrate), to the spectral (echo, feedback, the nearly inaudible, the not-so-quiet), to the bodily (cackle and snort, cry). Taking Yve-Alain Bois and Rosalind E. Krauss’s Formless: A User’s Guide (1997) as a model, Sound Affects invites the reader to reflect on the ways that sounds produce affects and the ways that affects can operate as sound.

Each of the essays in Sound Affects will develop a particular perspective on sound and affect through a close analysis of audio-visual and/or sonic objects. The object chosen needs to not only illustrate the concept in question but also demonstrate how the object encourages us to rethink the relationships between sounds and affects. Influenced by the sound theory of Eugenie Brinkema (2011), the concepts of Sound Affects plot the shift in volume from the nearly inaudible to the audibly near, from the audibly near to the deadly silent. Sound Affects is an intellectual adventure for those who theorise and listen. The book can also be enjoyed as a narrative of sounds, its absences, and its shifting intensities.

We are seeking potential contributors to submit a proposal which includes a 300-350 word abstract to by the 15th August 2020. Selected contributors will be asked to write a 5000-6000 word essay (including bibliography) on their chosen keyword. The essay is to be submitted to the editors by 1st March 2021. A major publisher in sound and affect theory has shown an interest in the co-edited collection.

We have already received proposals for knock, crack or rustle, buzz, distortion, acoustic shadow, and disembodied voice so we would encourage interested scholars to think beyond these concepts. We welcome contributions from scholars with expertise in theories of sound and affect, and hope to include contributors from scholars from diverse cultural backgrounds that are underrepresented in academia.

Please submit proposals as Word document, with title, 300-350 word abstract, researcher’s full name, title, institutional affiliation (if possible) and short bio (max 100 words).

The abstract should:

• Clearly state the keyword of your essay

• Articulate how the keyword invites a reader to reflect on how sounds produce affects and also the ways that affects can operate as sound

• Identify the audio-visual and/or sonic object(s) chosen for the essay

• Describe how the audio-visual and/or sonic object(s) chosen not only illustrates the keyword in question but also demonstrates how the object encourages us to rethink the relationships between sounds and affects

• Explain how and why this particular keyword is essential for a critical understanding of theories of sound and affect

We look forward to reading your proposals. If you have any questions about the co-edited collection, please contact Dr Sharon Mee or Mr Luke Robinson at or via our Facebook event page at:


Dr Sharon Jane Mee is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Author of the forthcoming book, The Pulse in Cinema: The Aesthetics of Horror (Edinburgh University Press, 2020), Sharon’s research interests include poststructuralism and biopolitics; rhythm, movement, and affect in early cinema and horror cinema; and aesthetics and ethics.

Mr Luke Robinson is a PhD student and sessional lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is also the treasurer of the Sydney Screen Studies Network (SSSN) and a video artist working with Move in Pictures. Luke’s research interests include classic Hollywood film, theories and politics of visibility and invisibility, death and disappearance, approaches to film materiality, and theories of film sound.