Soundscapes in the Early Modern World

Event Date: 
14 Jul 2020 to 16 Jul 2020

Liverpool John Moores University

Keynote Speakers:

  • Alexander Fisher (University of British Columbia)
  • Thomas Irvine (University of Southampton)
  • Katherine R. Larson (University of Toronto)
  • Rosa Salzberg (University of Warwick)


The history of the senses and the emotions has become a rapidly expanding field in recent years; in early modern studies, these developments segue with a growing interest in how sounds shaped everyday life. The experience of sound may be ephemeral, but its very transience highlights how acoustic ecology is relational, phenomenological and specific to its environment. Which sounds are made, how they are made, what spaces these sounds occupy, how they are listened to, and how they are heard, connect to wider questions about agency, identity and interaction. This interdisciplinary conference, the last in a series of events organised by the Soundscapes in the Early Modern World AHRC-funded research network, brings together scholars working in the fields of sound studies and early modern studies to interrogate historic sounds and agency.

We invite abstracts of 200-250 words for individual papers of twenty minutes, or of up to 850 words for panels comprising no more than three papers. In addition to the conventional panel sessions, we are also keen to explore other forms of presenting scholarly research. These might include pre-circulated papers for discussion in a seminar group, workshops and roundtables. If you would like to propose a session in an alternative format that will not last more than ninety minutes, please submit an outline of up to 600 words.

Topics might include (but are not limited to) the following:

  •     Acoustemology
  •     Architecture
  •     Archives of sound
  •     Archaeoacoustics
  •     Body and mind
  •     Colonial encounters and global perspectives
  •     Communication and miscommunication
  •     Consonance and dissonance
  •     Disability
  •     Emotions and the senses
  •     Forbidden or restricted sounds
  •     Hearing and listening
  •     ‘Incidental’ and ‘organised’ sound and space
  •     Matter, materiality and the unreal
  •     Medicine and sound
  •     Modelling sonic environments
  •     The natural world
  •     Oral and literate cultures
  •     Performance culture
  •     The phenomenology of sound
  •     Psychoacoustics
  •     Reconstructing historic soundscapes
  •     Religion, devotion and conversion
  •     Remembering and forgetting sounds
  •     Sound and social agency
  •     Science and sound
  •     Synaesthesia
  •     Time
  •     Visual culture
  •     Voice


The deadline for submissions is 20th December 2019.

For further details about the soundscapes network, and information on how to submit, please see the project website

Follow us on Twitter: @EMSoundscapes #EMSounds20


Submission date for papers: 
20 Dec 2019