Thinking with Sound: A New Program in the Sciences and Humanities around 1900
Thinking with Sound traces the formation of auditory knowledge in the sciences and humanities in the decades around 1900.
When the outside world is silent, all sorts of sounds often come to mind: inner voices, snippets of past conversations, imaginary debates, beloved and unloved melodies. What should we make of such sonic companions? Thinking with Sound investigates a period when these and other newly perceived aural phenomena prompted a far-reaching debate. Through case studies from Paris, Vienna, and Berlin, Viktoria Tkaczyk shows that the identification of the auditory cortex in late nineteenth-century neuroanatomy affected numerous academic disciplines across the sciences and humanities. “Thinking with sound” allowed scholars and scientists to bridge the gaps between theoretical and practical knowledge, and between academia and the social, aesthetic, and industrial domains. As new recording technologies prompted new scientific questions, new auditory knowledge found application in industry and the broad aesthetic realm. Through these conjunctions, Thinking with Sound offers a deeper understanding of today’s second “acoustic turn” in science and scholarship.