The Listening Workshop

Some excellent workshops and seminars at RHUL this term and next, more on those directly relevant to this blog in a few days. Here’s a series on listening in relation to violence, the city, security, politics and much more.


The Listening Workshop

11 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3RF
Chaired by Professor Rachel Beckles Willson, Director of the Humanities and Arts Research Centre at Royal Holloway, London University
Royal Holloway’s Humanities and Arts Research Centre (HARC) is pleased to announce The Listening Workshop, a new central London forum for inter-disciplinary thought. Sound and listening have become focal points for a number of disciplines in recent years; they are also at the heart of political debates on topics ranging from surveillance and freedom of speech to ‘harsh interrogation’ strategies (sonic torture) at institutions of detention. What does it mean to listen, after all? How can we grasp what we hear(d)? How are social and technological changes transforming our sound worlds today? What is sonic practice in the context of aesthetics and design?
The Listening Workshop has two interlocking strands. One of these is a Reading Group, co-convened by Rachel Beckles Willson and Carlo Cenciarelli, consisting of an open meeting for discussing new and canonic texts on the history, ethnography and theory of listening. The other strand is a series of talks by speakers from a variety of disciplines (English Literature, Ethnomusicology, Geography, History, Media Arts, Musicology, Sociology). Subjects range from ‘sonic horror’ in fiction to sound design to urban soundscapes and beyond.
Please see below for the outline programme, which includes the Reading Group and talks. For the detailed programme please follow this link All are welcome.
Enquiries about the Reading Group should be sent to Dr. Carlo Cenciarelli []. 
Most meetings are at 2pm in 11 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3RF, Room F3, but please note exceptions on October 25 and November 22, when we meet at 4pm in Room G3.
October 4, Abigail Wood (SOAS and University of Haifa): ‘Listening to Jerusalem’
October 11, Shelley Trower (University of Roehampton): ‘“Savage vibrations”: Sonic Horror in L. T. C. Rolt, E. F. Benson, and D. H. Lawrence’s Fiction’
October 18, Reading Group: ‘Listening to Space’
October 25, NB 4pm   Rhys Davis (Royal Holloway, London University): ‘Zang Tumb Tuumb – Sound Design by Other Means’
November 1, Reading Group: ‘Constant Hearing’
November 15, Christopher Townsend (Royal Holloway, London University): Erik Satie and Francis Picabia’s Relâche (1924): parodying the post 1918 ‘call to order’ in ballet and in film.
November 22, NB 4pm Reading Group: ‘Listening to Noise’
November 29, Graham Smith (Royal Holloway, London University): ‘By Word of Mouth: Orality, memory and oral history’
December 6, Reading Group: ‘Listening and the City’
December 13, James Currie: ‘Listening and the Limits of Understanding: Lacanian Reflections on Said’s Late Style’
January 17, Paul Simpson (School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University): ‘Spacing politics and methods in ambiance and atmospheres research: Listenings from St Pancras and Gare du Nord’
February 7, Nick Couldry (Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics): ‘Practices of Listening: Or, What it might mean to take Voice Seriously’
February 14, Reading Group
February 21, Steve Connor (Faculty of English, University of Cambridge) ‘Violent Listening’
February 28, M.J. Grant (Musicology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen): ‘Listening to Torture’
March 7, Reading Group
March 21, Reading Group

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s