Sound Culture Studies and Modernity in Asia Conference

Organised by the Asian Sound Cultures and Modernity Project at TUFS

Sponsored by the Initiative for Realizing Diversity in the Research Environment, (MEXT Funds for the Development of Human Resources in Science and Technology) and the Institute of Japan Studies CAAS Unit (TUFS Program for Japan Studies in Global Context, supported by MEXT).


14- 15 September 2018


Project Space, Agora Global, 3rd Floor
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Fuchu Campus

This interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars working on Asia to examine sound as an essential aspect of global cultural, social, political and technological change. Emotional, ephemeral and subjective, rather than concrete, empirical and scientific, the role of sound has constantly been undermined by the primacy attributed to the visual as objective, rational and, ultimately, modern. But how does attention to sound in Asia help us understand the region within a global process of modernity? What can sound tell us about the ambiguous nature of the experience of modernity within and between different cultures? Central to the conference is an examination of the ways in which ‘modern sound’ transformed individual, communal, social and national subjectivities, made clear political and social cleavages and brought new forms of social, cultural and political control. The conference therefore, will necessarily address wider interdisciplinary theoretical questions of sources, methodologies and approaches in the study of sound cultures at a time when the privileging of the visual in academia is increasingly being challenged. This conference is an invitation to rethink and re-examine the ways in which processes of modernity in Asia were and are experienced through sound.

The conference is open to all, and no registration fee is required.
Conference language: English

For inquiries please contact the conference organizers:

Dr Iris Haukamp, TUFS
Dr Martyn Smith, SOAS, (visiting researcher at TUFS)
Please replace [at] with @.

Conference Programme