Draft of Robin James’s Introduction to her The Sonic Episteme available…

Here. The full draft of her book is now complete, which I look forward to (not least since I should have a better knowledge of music theory, but more importantly because it draws our attention to the politics of what we hear and its resonances, literally and otherwise, across our neoliberal spaces). Here is the conclusion to the introduction, which is something of a summary:

As a method of theoretical analysis, phonography focuses our attention on dimensions of verbal, visual, and musical texts that conventional methods of philosophical abstraction–including ideas of “the music itself” or “just the notes”–dispose of, such as citation patterns (McKittrick) or resonances between academic and pop culture texts (Weheliye 2005). Whereas the sonic episteme takes what Philosophy traditionally disposes of–resonance–and uses it to re-invest and revive Philosophy so it can succeed in neoliberal, biopolitical institutions, phonographies don’t reappropriate this discarded material for Philosophy. Instead, phonographies are “nondisciplinary” (Weheliye 2005 200) or “undisciplined” (Sharpe 13) practices that divest white supremacist patriarchal models for transmitting knowledge, privilege, personhood, and property, such as the academic discipline. This is why the sonic episteme perceptually codes phonographic noise out of the lines of Philosophy’s transmission–the cost of laboring on phonographic noise to domesticate it into something that contributes to the esteem and elite status of Philosophy-capital-P isn’t worth the benefit. To use sound as a tool for theorizing and realizing a more just world, we can’t just reform Philosophy, but must do something else entirely. Phonography is one model for this “something else”; certainly there are others.

Source: Introduction to The Sonic Episteme, v 2.2

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