Sarah Kay (NYU) and François Noudelmann (Paris 8) recently put together a fabulous few days on the Sense of Sound at NYU, of which the full program can be found here (archived PDF version here).
As part of this, I found myself very happily on a panel about nonhuman sounds, alongside my medievalist colleague from Columbia, Eliza Zingesser, my writer and Proustian colleague from NYU, Eugène Nicole, and Rachel Mundy from Rutgers who is doing fabulous research on bird song in and/beyond music.
My contribution was on "Plant Sound." One might ask: why plants? and why plant sound? Almost every time over the past couple of years when I've given a talk based on my "On the Exterranean" project, about "stuff" that is extracted "ex terra," somebody inevitably asks me (productively): "don't plants come of out the ground too? what's the difference?" Each time the question came, its un-stated assumptions and provocations were different, which has usefully nudged me to read a lot of botanical texts, as well as a lot of plant theory (Nealon and such like), to think about precisely how it is different for plants to grow "ex terra" and for other "stuff" to be taken "ex terra." There are, as I'm finding, many many overlaps, and many many differences, making both more interesting. The focus here on "plant sound" was originally a detour--but I'm starting to think that it won't be! How we "access" the plan and it's plant/vegetal life is essential. In any case, 20 minutes in to the video below are some first thoughts on "plant sound."
Project THE HUMANIST anthropocene
is a thought archive and workspace of Phillip John Usher (NYU) at the crossroads of early modern humanism and the problems and insights of the Anthropocene. Main Research Page.
ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment)
Environmental Humanities (journal)
Resilience (A Journal of the Environmental Humanities)
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