The field of American studies has a long tradition of scholarship and research into the social and cultural worlds of sound. The essays in this volume highlight the key role of sound in the formation of central themes and areas of inquiry within contemporary American studies. The editors have adopted an interdisciplinary approach to their study of sound, reflecting on its cultural, political, technological, economic, socio-historical, spatial, temporal, affective, and formal contexts. The selected essays analyze sound and explore inter-American soundscapes within several areas, including media technologies and consumption; race, sex, and gender; citizenship, belonging, and community; nationalism and citizenship; time and historical method; the public sphere and social change. How have sound technologies and sonic media practices informed American identities? What roles have hearing and listening played in formations of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, community, and class? What are the political economies of sound?
The contributors to "Sound Clash" address these questions and more as they think through sound as a critical space, listening as a critical and cultural act, and sonic media as key technological sites of investigation. Supplementary sound clips are available at the American Quarterly website.