Proposal and Preliminary Annotated Bibliography

    The two main foci of this class are (a) the study of sound and aurality as a social,
    technological and aesthetic practice, and (b) the relationship between these aural practices
    and related or associated visual media. With this in mind, this paper should engage some
    aspect of either of these questions. Ideally, your paper will draw on some problem, issue or
    insight from class that has sparked your attention. To help you along this path I offer some
    general questions and ideas. These are only suggested topics, so feel free to develop one
    on your own or in conjunction with me. If you’d like my help developing a topic, please
    see me in person during office hours.
    Instructions for Research Proposal and Annotated Bibliography
    Your proposal should provide a brief outline of the topic your paper will be exploring. It
    should clearly identify and explain the primary research question animating your
    investigation, as well as provide a justification for why this question is relevant within the
    context of this course. The annotated bibliography should have 2 scholarly sources, none
    of which are assigned as course readings (you can use course readings and/or nonscholarly as sources for your final paper, but NOT for the proposal). Each bibliographic
    entry should provide (1) a properly formatted bibliographic entry, (2) a brief summary of
    the source, and (2) a brief description of how it is appropriate to your chosen research
    topic.
    Suggested Research Topics
    1) Explore the history of a particular form of creative aural practice and explore its
    connection to related visual practices. For e.g.
    – phonography or DJ-ing as a cultural form
    – acoustic architecture
    – sound poetry
    – the development of multi-channel audio installations
    – sound design for film, video, gaming, theater, television, etc.
    2) Explore the work and ideas of a particular sound artist, discussing and
    contextualizing their work historically and theoretically.
    3) What are some intersections between sound (or visual) art as a “high” cultural
    practice and related or similar applications in the realm of popular culture? For
    example, how might you relate the radiophonic work of John Cage to that of
    Scanner? Are there grounds to compare the Dadaist collage art of John Heartfield
    and the music of Negativland? Can we compare the music videos of Director X to
    experimental film or videomakers?
    4) Compare the sound practice of a given communication medium in two or more
    cultural, social or historical contexts. For e.g.,
    – How does the approach/treatment/practice of sound in Indian cinema differ from
    American (or Chinese, Italian, or French, etc.) cinema?
    – How does sound of contemporary theater differ from the theater of Shakespeare’s
    time?

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