(Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY—April 29–30, 2016)

This event is free and open to the public.

Emma Dillon (Professor of Music, King’s College London)
Stefan Helmreich (Professor of Anthropology, MIT)
Alexander Rehding (Professor of Music, Harvard University)
Emily Thompson (Professor of History, Princeton University)


Sound, like history, describes a dynamic terrain. Scholars concerned with the convergence of sound and history have, in the wake of the “sensory turn” in the humanities, worked to generate clear narratives from data that resists fixity, that seems to be in constant motion. The shared aims of sound studies and history have yielded a rich body of scholarship that interrogates, for example, the noisy illuminations of medieval songbooks, acoustic control in modern architecture, sound and the moving image, accounts of deafness and synaesthesia, and the production of aural subjects through consumer technology. The practice of thinking sound historically and history sonically is driving the growth of fresh methodologies and compelling new interpretations of sources.

Periods and Waves: A Conference on Sound and History is co-organized by the Department of Music, Department of Philosophy, and the School of Health Technology & Management at Stony Brook University, with the aim of bringing together humanities scholars and humanistic scientists, particularly those working in sound studies. In addition to two plenary sessions, featuring renowned scholars speaking about their work and engaging in a Q&A, the conference features thirty-minute papers from researchers in the myriad disciplines that investigate past aural cultures, including musicology, ethnomusicology, history, anthropology, medical history, art history, philosophy, religion, disability studies, acoustics, and sound studies.

If you have any questions, or would like to be added to our email list, please contact Erika Honisch ( or Benjamin Tausig (

Banner Image courtesy of Martin Honisch 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *