CFP: Symposium of Sound, Durham University – Deadline 14 June 2018

Call for Papers

‘The rest is silence’

Symposium of Sound

Durham University

3rd-4th September 2018

Keynote speakers and performers:

Professor Helen Abbott, Department of Modern Languages, University of Birmingham

Dr Edward Allen, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge

Aurélia Lassaque, bilingual poet and singer in French and Occitan

The Symposium of Sound is a two-day conference supported by Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership. We invite abstracts for papers of twenty minutes in length on the theme of ‘sound’: its creation, imitation, and its relationship with language. Proposals may range across fields of study, with interdisciplinary approaches particularly welcome in areas such as literature, music, performance and creative practice, modern languages, and linguistics. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Utterance, verbal and non-verbal
  • Metre, rhythm, and rhyme
  • Timbre and voicing
  • Pitch and tone
  • Echo and imitation
  • Song and lyric in performance and on the page
  • Phonetics and phonology
  • Soundscapes and sounds in place
  • Orality and aurality
  • Dialect and vernacularity
  • Gossip, rumour and bruit
  • Noise
  • Sound media (including radio and film)
  • Repetition
  • Silence and the absence of sound

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words and a short biography to by 14th June 2018.

You can find further information on our conference website.

Keep up to date with the latest conference news by following us on Twitter on @sound_symposium and liking us on Facebook.

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BIRMAC: ‘Ruin/s’ Event ‘Ruining Preservation and Preserving the Ruins: Challenges in Archiving Sound Recordings’ 27 April, 6-8pm

Join us for a talk by Will Prentice, entitled, ‘Ruining Preservation and Preserving the Ruins: Challenges in Archiving Sound Recordings’ on Thursday, 27th April, 6-8pm in the Keynes Library.

Sound and audiovisual archives globally are facing a crisis, whereby recordings on many historical, once-common formats will be permanently lost if they are not digitised within a short number of years, perhaps as few as ten. What are the ramifications of this, for the archives themselves, for their users, and for our broader collective memory? And how confident can we feel about preserving our memory digitally anyway?

This talk will explore different forms of ruin, both potential and actual, in a sound archive, from the smallest digital bit-level error to catastrophic loss, and consider the complex relationship between preservation, creativity and ruin.

Will Prentice is primarily concerned with the preservation of sound & video recordings both new and old, and is currently Head of Technical Services, Sound & Vision at the British Library, where he has worked since 1999. He is a member of the Technical Committee of the International Association of Sound & Audiovisual Archives (IASA), and co-editor of the forthcoming revision of The Safeguarding of the Audio Heritage: Ethics, Principles and Preservation Strategy, to be published by IASA in 2017. He has a Masters degree in Ethnomusicology from Goldsmiths College, London.

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