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Absent Presences in the Colonial Archive

Dealing with the Berlin Sound Archive's Acoustic Legacies

Irene Hilden (Author),

Category: Anthropology, Media and Visual Culture, Museum and Heritage Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Social Science

Language: English

ISBN: 9789462703407

Publication date: October 5, 2022

€28.00 (including 6% VAT)

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Number of pages: 300

Size: 234 x 156 x 15 mm

Number of illustrations: 11

Illustrations and other content description:
b&w images Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

Funded by: KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access
Humboldt Universität
CARMAH

Stock item: 150214

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Category: Anthropology, Media and Visual Culture, Museum and Heritage Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Social Science

Language: English

ISBN: 9789461664709

Publication date: October 17, 2022

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Number of pages: 300

Number of illustrations: 11

Illustrations and other content description:
b&w images Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

Funded by: KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access
Humboldt Universität
CARMAH

Number of pages: 300

Number of illustrations: 11

Illustrations and other content description:
b&w images Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

Funded by: KU Leuven Fund for Fair Open Access
Humboldt Universität
CARMAH

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The colonial past through objects of sound

The Berlin Sound Archive (Lautarchiv) consists of an extensive collection of sound recordings, compiled for scientific purposes in the first half of the 20th century. Recorded on shellac are stories and songs, personal testimonies and poems, glossaries and numbers. This book engages with the archive by consistently focusing on recordings produced under colonial conditions.

With a firm commitment to postcolonial scholarship, Absent Presences in the Colonial Archive is a historical ethnography of a metropolitan institution that participated in the production and preservation of colonial structures of power and knowledge. The book examines sound objects and listening practices that render the coloniality of knowledge fragile and inconsistent, revealing the absent presences of colonial subjects who are given little or no place in established national narratives and collective memories.

Ebook available in Open Access.
This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Dealing with the colonial archive entails acknowledging the inability to know everything, accounting for the archive’s limited and incomplete condition. Dealing with the colonial archive is not merely about stories of the past but also about the history of the present, and how it is interrupted by the past. — Irene Hilden, in conversation with New Books Network

Acknowledgments Abbreviations Use of Names
1 Introduction 2 THE ETHNOGRAPHIC … 3 Failed Listening 4 … THE ARCHIVAL … 5 Close Listening 6 Collective Listening 7 … THE ACOUSTIC 8 Coda

Appendix Notes Bibliography Index

Irene Hilden

Irene Hilden is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

A richly-detailed and warmly-written ethnography of
listening, this book is poised to be a leader in the fields of archival,
curatorial and museum studies, and similarly stands out as a uniquely-well
blended contribution to sound ethnography, sound studies, ethnomusicology,
anthropology and digital humanities.
Noel Lobley, University of Virginia

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