November 25, 2013

Penn IUR Sound and the City Seminar Series: Hearing Urban Afterlives

past event


Marina Peterson, Associate Professor of Performance Studies at Ohio University, co-editor of Global Downtowns (Penn Press, 2011), and author of Sound, Space, and the City: Civic Performance in Downtown Los Angeles (Penn Press, 2010) shared her latest research on the intersection of sound and urban space. This talk drew on an audio recording of the Moonshine Festival parade in New Straitsville, Ohio to examine what sound tells us about relationships between past and present in a place marked by decline. Small and no longer existing cities of Appalachian Ohio were crucial for helping craft a modern nation and its cities, providing coal that laid the material foundations of the modern built environment and transformation of everyday life. The Moonshine Festival commemorates the product for which the town became famous after coal companies left around the turn of the twentieth century following a labor struggle that resulted in a coal fire that burns to this day. Bound up in their setting, the sounds of the parade convey the event in its mobility, shaping sensory experience that connects the present with the past. Following Peterson’s talk, Mimi Sheller, Director of Center for Mobilities Research and Policy and Professor of Sociology, Drexel University; Gary McDonogh, Professor, Growth and Structure of Cities Department, Bryn Mawr College; and Thaddeus Squire, Founder & Managing Director, CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia participated in a panel discussion on how sound is used in urban cultural research and how sound effects the way we experience place. Co-sponsored by Penn’s Urban Studies Program and Committee on Folklore.

Bring our latest initiatives, publications and events to your inbox.