Recent use of music and sound in social and political activism has recalled attention to their emotive, rhetorical, and infiltrative power. From the 2019 protests in Chile against economic inequality to the protests following the death of George Floyd in 2020, activists have seized upon music and sound--and creative methods to deliver them--not only to deploy urgent political messages, but also as tools to foster, enact, and sustain social change. We are acutely aware that change occurs not only through sonic emission but that it also requires listening. As recent studies have shown, aurality is a process through which people make sense out of the natural, social, and cultural world where they live. As such, aurality is not apolitical, since listening to sound--and to the messages it carries--is sensitive to power relations that mediate the circulation of aural messages in the public sphere. Thus, emission and listening have activist potential to contest politics of exclusion in order to effect objective transformations in the status quo.
In this spirit, Americas: A Hemispheric Music Journal invites article submissions for a themed issue seeking to advance dialogue in music studies around activism and social justice in the American hemisphere, focusing on recent events but also the historical past. We invite authors from music and sound studies, as well as from across the Humanities, who aim to expand research and scholarship in this area to consider topics such as:
• Music and sound in street activism
• Sonic strategies for confronting or combatting marginality, neglect, or
• New digital and social media strategies for musical activism
• Representations of musical and sonic activism on the large and small screen
• Explorations of the political efficacy of musical and sonic activism
• Listening, performance, and censorship
• Aurality as a political intervention
• Sound and infrapolitics
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