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Sounding the Limits of LifeEssays in the Anthropology of Biology and Beyond$
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Stefan Helmreich

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164809

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164809.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Sound Studies Meets Deaf Studies

Sound Studies Meets Deaf Studies

(p.164) Chapter 13 Sound Studies Meets Deaf Studies
Sounding the Limits of Life

Michele Friedner

Stefan Helmreich

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines “sound” and “hearing” in relation to silence and deafness. Sound studies and Deaf studies would seem, at first perception, to operate in worlds apart. Sound studies privileges attention to listening and hearing in cultural experience, whereas Deaf studies emphasizes the visual, particularly as a space of communicative practice. The chapter considers four major practices that might prompt scholars in sound studies and Deaf studies into conversation. These practices ask how sound is inferred in deaf and Deaf practice; how reimagining sound in the register of low-frequency vibration can upend deaf–hearing dichotomies; how “deaf futurists” champion cyborg sound; and how signing, non-speech-based communicative practices, and listening might unwind phonocentric models of speech and move analysis away from the simple frame of “speech communities.” The chapter concludes by asking how to move beyond the ear and eye, rethinking the subjects of sound and Deaf studies.

Keywords:   sound, hearing, silence, deafness, sound studies, Deaf studies, listening, deaf futurists, cyborg sound, speech

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