Counter-Production: Noise as Critical Research in Sound Studies

Gabriel Salomon Mindel
History of Consciousness
UC Santa Cruz

Alexander Jay Ullman
UC Santa Cruz

Since the 1970s, Sound Studies has exploded as an interdisciplinary field of research across the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Despite pockets of Sound Studies inquiry on particular UC campuses, there are no formalized or funded conversations across the UC system. To fill this void, “Counter-Production: Noise as Critical Research in Sound Bites,” was proposed as a UCHRI graduate student working group for the academic year 2017-18. The working group met three times over the course of the year, with the third meeting culminating in a conference for the presentation of original research, as well as the launch of an online audio publication. Commitments from fifteen graduate students representing six UC campuses: UC Los Angeles, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and UC Santa Cruz participated in the project. These students hailed from a variety of disciplines, including Cognitive Psychology, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, English Literature, Ethnomusicology, Film and Media, History of Consciousness, Music, Music Composition, and Musicology. In the long term, the project aimed to provide a model for interdisciplinary research continuing beyond the year of the working group and providing a resource for Sound Studies research between the UC campuses.