Political Concepts, Brown University

Lecture given in the context of the10th Anniversary Political Concepts workshop at the Cogut Center for the Humanities, Brown University, with the specific theme being "This World" (March 8-9, 2024)


This will be my first foray into a new research project on the problem of listening in “the worldly encounter” by which I mean the interface of human faculties—in this case, with auditory sense perception at the helm—with the social and cultural environment. I am interested in exploring the notion of listening in a vast terrain of significances—cultural, historical, political, anthropological, musicological, neurological, and aesthetic in the strictest sense of the term, which literally concerns the work of the human senses always in relation to other humans, bodies among bodies. Learning to listen to what we call context or environment, as well as what the object of inquiry might be emitting—which is never simple information to be classified and analyzed but often something inscrutable that needs to be sensed—is a key task in any humanistic research. The project is also derived from my realization that how we consider the acoustic/acousmatic space in our encounter with the world is essential to the sustenance of a democratic polity.

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