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 


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:

Program Administrator
Society for the Humanities                                               
A.D. White 
27 East 
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-1101
For further information:
Phone: 607-255-9274

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.


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