Sonophilia / Sonophobia: Sonic Others in the Poetry of Edward Sapir

Reichel, A. Elisabeth. (2015) Sonophilia / Sonophobia: Sonic Others in the Poetry of Edward Sapir. In: Literature, Ethics, Morality: American Studies Perspectives. Tübingen, pp. 215-229.

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One of the key findings in early visual culture studies is a profound ambivalence toward images, which is intricately tied up with hegemonic conceptions of cultural, racial, and sexual Others. Starting from W. J. T. Mitchell’s diagnosis of iconophilia and iconophobia for visual culture, Iargue that recent sound studies yield parallel conclusions with regard to sonic culture, as scholars such as Jonathan Sterne point to a long tradition of writing on sound that is also characterized by attraction to and repulsion of media and sign systems other than written language. On the basis of a theoretical conception of what I term sonophilia and sonophobia, then, this essay asserts that it is precisely the ambivalence toward sound that is at the center of the poetry of anthropologist and linguist Edward Sapir. In their treatment of auditory sense perceptions as the Other of written language, Sapir’s poems “Music” and “Zuni” attest to the fact that not only images but notions of sound, too, are shaped by ideological associations embedded in semiotic and sensory oppositions.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Englische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > Amerikanistik (Schweighauser)
UniBasel Contributors:Reichel, A. Elisabeth
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Publisher:Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH
Series Name:Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature (SPELL)
Issue Number:32
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
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Last Modified:16 Feb 2018 10:06
Deposited On:12 Aug 2016 08:36

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