CORNELL SOCIETY FOR THE HUMANITIES FELLOWSHIPS 2011-2012
SOUND: CULTURE, THEORY, PRACTICE, POLITICS
Timothy Murray, Director of the Society for the Humanities, is
pleased to announce the 2011-2012 research focal theme: "Sound:
Culture, Theory, Practice, Politics." Six to eight Fellows will be
CALL FOR FELLOWSHIP APPLICATIONS
The Society for the Humanities invites scholars to reflect this year
upon the theme of "Sound: Culture, Theory, Practice, Politics" as a
means of analyzing the resonance of historical and contemporary
representations, movements, ideas, and negations of sound.
Representations of sound abound in visual, textual, and aural realms.
Storytelling, poetry, music, theater, oral histories, political
speeches, and noise find their way in and out of texts, images, and
recordings as various kinds of sound travel through different
media. >From "voicing" to "listening," sound shapes the framework of
much critical and philosophical analysis of the body, affect, and
social publics. How does sound function in establishing parameters of
psycho-cultural imaginaries, social practice, religious ritual, and
political regulation across the globe? How do manifestations of sound
differ in the global context of capitalism and cosmopolitanism, not
to mention the specificities of ethnic difference and cultural
How are "voice," "hearing," and "listening" defined in various
disciplines and in relation to aesthetic properties of the
disciplines, such as meter, rhythm, montage, and amplification? What
criteria are used for differentiating natural from artificial sounds?
Does sound challenge disciplinary distinctions between the visual the
oral/aural/tactile? Can the loud noises of industrial culture be
distinguished from the synthetic sounds of electronic music, the
stammerings of performance and philosophical manifestos, and the
burps and sighs of the comics and cinematic sound tracks?
Beyond music's embodiment of sound as artistic form, applicants are
welcome to consider the broader sense of sonic environments, the role
of silence in private and public space and performance, and the ways
in which sound underlies life itself (the "pink noise" of earthquakes
and ocean currents) as well as the negative sense of pollution
(environment) or weapon (torture and warfare). Possible topics might
include the use of sound to mark the passage of time; the correlation
of sound to the movement of the body in dance and performance;
deafness and disability studies; the sonic promise of sonic
cartographic projects of social movements and migrations. Of equal
import are the cultural impact of the electronic and digital age and
the harmonious collusion of the virtual and the visceral in
internet-driven communities. Fellows might also consider sound's
importance to visual studies, the cultural and ethnic specificity of
acoustic fields and rhythms in the age of sampling and mixing, and
the gender import of voice and spoken narrative.
This interdisciplinary invitation is open to study of the broadest
cross-cultural range of contexts and media that cross the boundaries
of time and space, from East and West/South and North.
Fellows should be working on topics related to the year's theme.
Their approach to the humanities should be broad enough to appeal to
students and scholars in several humanistic disciplines.
Applicants must have received the Ph.D. degree before January 1,
2010. The Society for the Humanities will not consider applications
from scholars who received the Ph.D. after this date. Applicants
must also have one or more years of teaching experience which may
include teaching as a graduate student.
The following application materials must be postmarked on or before
October 1, 2010. Faxed applications will not be accepted.
1. A curriculum vitae and a copy of one scholarly paper no more than
35 pages in length. Applicants who wish to have their materials
returned should enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
2. A one-page abstract in addition to a detailed statement of the
research project the applicant would like to pursue during the term
of the fellowship (1,000-3,000 words). Applicants are also
encouraged to submit a working bibliography for their projects.
3. A brief (two-page) proposal for a seminar related to the
applicant's research. Seminars meet two hours per week for one
semester (fourteen weeks) and enrollment is limited to fifteen
graduate students and qualified undergraduate students.
4. Two letters of recommendation from senior colleagues to whom
candidates should send their research proposal and teaching proposal.
Letters of recommendation should include an evaluation of the
candidate's proposed research and teaching statements. Please ask
referees to send their letters directly to the Society. Letters must
be postmarked on or before October 1, 2010.
Send 3 copies of the full application and letters of recommendation to:
Society for the Humanities
Ithaca, NY 14853-1101
For further information:
Email: [log in to unmask]
Awards will be announced by the end of December 2010.
Note: Extensions for applications will not be granted. The Society
will consider only fully completed applications. It is the
responsibility of each applicant to ensure that ALL documentation is
complete, and that referees submit their letters of recommendation to
the Society before the closing date. Emailed applications will not be
The Society for the Humanities
The Society for the Humanities was established at Cornell University
in 1966 to support research and encourage imaginative teaching in the
humanities. It is intended to be at once a research institute, a
stimulus to educational innovation, and a continuing society of
In addition to promoting research on central concepts, methods or
problems in the humanities, the Society for the Humanities seeks to
encourage serious and sustained discussion between teachers and
learners at all levels of maturity.
Fellows include scholars from other universities and members of the
Cornell faculty released from regular duties. The fellowships are
held for one academic year. Each Society Fellow will receive
$45,000. Applicants living outside North America are eligible for an
additional $2,000 to assist with travel costs.
Director, Society for the Humanities
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
A. D. White House
27 East Avenue
Ithaca, New York 14853