Philosopher and musicologist Robin James will discuss her new book The Sonic Episteme (Duke UP, 2019), in which she analyzes the sonic metaphors that are reshaping understandings of materiality, personhood, and society in the image of neoliberalism and white patriarchy. James counters with alternate understandings of sound drawn from black feminist theorists as well as musical artists such as Beyoncé and Rihanna. If you ever thought, “I like Foucault, but he’s too hard to dance to,” this is the talk for you.
Robin James is Associate Professor of Philosophy at UNC Charlotte and co-editor of The Journal of Popular Music Studies. For the 2019-20 academic year she is Visiting Associate Professor of Music at Northeastern University. She is author of three books: The Sonic Episteme: acoustic resonance, neoliberalism, & biopolitics (Duke University Press, 2019), Resilience & Melancholy: pop music, feminism, and neoliberalism (Zero, 2015), and The Conjectural Body: gender, race and the philosophy of music (Lexington Books, 2010). Her work on feminism, race, contemporary continental philosophy, pop music, and sound studies has appeared in The Guardian, LARB, BELT Magazine, The New Inquiry, Noisey, popula, SoundingOut!, Hypatia, differences, Contemporary Aesthetics, and the Journal of Popular Music Studies.
Co-sponsored by the Departments of Media, Journalism & Film; Music; and Philosophy.