Animals are increasingly at the forefront of research questions – not as shadows to human stories, or as beings we want to understand biologically, or for purely our benefit – but as beings who have histories, stories, and geographies of their own.
Join PhD Candidate Claudia Hirtenfelder as she delves into some of the most important ideas emerging out of this recent turn in scholarship, thinking, and being.
Each season of The Animal Turn is set around themes with each episode unpacking a particular concept and its significance therein.
Season 4 – Animals and Sound
In Season 4 of the Animal Turn, Claudia speaks to scholars from a variety of disciplines about animals and sound.
In this Season Claudia hopes to understand how animals and sound are related as well as the ways in which thinking about sound (and sound related concepts) might help with understanding animals and their lives.
Season 4 BONUS Episode. Critical Animal Theory with Alice Crary and Lori Gruen
Sept 19, 2022
In this bonus episode, Claudia talks to Alice Crary and Lori Gruen about their recent book “Animal Crisis: A New Critical Theory.” They touch on what inspired the book and spend most of the conversation focused on what “Critical Animal Theory” means. It is a timely and theoretically dense conversation.Read more
Alice Crary is University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the New School, where she is a co-founder and steering committee member of the Collaborative for Climate Futures. She was previously Chair of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research (2014-2017) and Founding Co-Director of the Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies (2014-2017). As a moral and social philosopher, Crary has written widely on issues in metaethics, moral psychology and normative ethics, philosophy and literature, philosophy and feminism, critical animal studies, critical environmental studies, critical disability studies, and Critical Theory. Alice is also the author of Inside Ethics: On the Demands of Moral Thought as well as Beyond Moral Judgment. You can find out more about Crary and her work at www.alicecrary.com.
Lori Gruen has been involved in animal issues as a writer, teacher, and activist for over 30 years. She is currently the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy at Wesleyan University. She is also a professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Science in Society, and founder and coordinator of Wesleyan Animal Studies. She is the author and editor of over a dozen books, including Entangled Empathy ; Critical Terms for Animal Studies ; and Animaladies: Gender, Animals and Madness, to name a few. Gruen’s work lies at the intersection of ethical and political theory and practice, with a particular focus on issues that impact those often overlooked in philosophical investigations, e.g. women, people of color, incarcerated people, non-human animals. Find out more about Lori on her website (www.lorigruen.com) or connect with her on Twitter (@last1000chimps)
Animal Crisis: A New Critical Theory by Alice Crary and Lori Gruen; Animal Liberation by Peter Singer; Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypse by Dave Goulson; Summertime: Reflections on a vanishing future by Danielle Celermajer; Multispecies Love and Grief with Danielle Celermajer on Knowing Animals Podcast; Entangled Empathy by Lori Gruen; Radical Animal by Alice Crary (forthcoming).
Season 4 Episode B. Bat Communication with Gloriana Chaverri
March 29, 2022
In this bonus episode, Claudia talks to conservationist and ecologist Gloriana Chaverri about the numerous and diverse ways in which bats communicate. This bonus episode deviates from the usual focus on concepts to a more sustained focus on this large order of animals.Read more
Gloriana Chaverri is an Associate Professor at the Golfito campus of the University of Costa Rica. She is also a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Her research with bats first focused on the topic of mating systems and social organization, and her past and current projects have a broad focus on the ecology, behavior and conservation of bats. However, Gloriana’s main interests is currently on bat vocal communication, a topic that she has been developing since 2009. Connect with Gloriana on Twitter (@morceglo) and learn more about her work on her website (www.batcr.com).
Social communication in bats by Gloriana Chaverri, Leonardo Ancillotto, and Danilo Russo; Social calls used by a leaf-roosting bat to signal location by Gloriana Chaverri, Erin H. Gillam and Maarten J. Vonhof; A short history of nearly everything by Bill Bryson; bat sound recordings made by Richard Ranft from the British Library’s Wildlife & Environmental Sounds.
Season 4 Episode 10. Grad Review with Bailey Hilgren and Hannah Hunter
May 2, 2022
In this final episode of Season 4 two graduate students, Hannah Hunter and Bailey Hilgren, chat with Claudia about some of the core themes and tensions to emerge from the season. This includes a focus on sound methodologies, such as issues with how we collect animal sounds to how (or even indeed whether) there is something special about sound in trying to understand the lives of animals.Read more
Bailey Hilgren is a musicologist and sound studies scholar about to begin a PhD in ethnomusicology at New York University. Her most recent research project traced environmentalists’ construction of a wilderness area in northern Minnesota as a primarily silent place, an idea and legal practice that has undermined non-human animal agency and limited Ojibwe sovereignty in related but distinct ways. Bailey has also explored soundscapes of recently burned areas in Oregon, data sonifications as art-science collaborations and Anthropocene technology, and historical conceptions of Nature in romantic and classical music. She holds master’s degrees in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon and Historical Musicology from Florida State University, and she completed undergraduate studies in biology and music performance from Gustavus Adolphus College.
Hannah Hunter is a PhD Candidate at the Sonic Arts of Place Laboratory at Queen’s University. Her research explores the intersections of animals, sounds, and extinction through the case study of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Hannah is particularly interested in how we can build relationships with distant and lost beings through sound, and how sound may be a potent force for representing and challenging the sixth mass extinction. Connect with Hannah via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on Twitter (@HannahfHunter)
Animal Musicalities: Birds, Beasts, and Evolutionary Listening by Rachel Mundy; Hungry Listening: Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies by Dylan Robinson; The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction by Jonathan Sterne; Introduction to Special Issue Ethics in Multispecies Research by Lauren van Patter and Heather Rosenfeld; Problematizing the Ethics Process: An Anthrozoological Perspective Part 1 by the Anthrozoology Podcast; Audible Infrastructures: Music, Sound, Media edited by Kyle Devine and Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier; Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit; One Square Inch of Silence: One Man’s Search for Natural Silence in a Noisy World by John Grossmann and Gordon Hempton.
Season 4 Episode 9. Time in the field with Denise Herzing
March 23, 2022
Claudia talks to Denise Herzing about her decades of fieldwork with Atlantic Spotted Dolphins in the Bahamas. They touch on some of what she has learnt about dolphins in the wild and the ways in which they communicate using sound. They also talk about the significance and challenges of doing extended field studies.Read more
Denise Herzing is the Founder and Research Director of the Wild Dolphin Project. Denise has spent decades working with Atlantic spotted dolphins in Bahamian waters. She has a B.S. in Marine Zoology, an M.A. in Behavioral Biology and a Ph.D. in Behavioral Biology/Environmental Studies. Denise is an Affiliate Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. In addition to becoming a Guggenheim Fellow in 2008, Denise is a fellow with the Explorers Club, a scientific advisor for the Lifeboat Foundation and the American Cetacean Society, and on the board of Schoolyard Films. Over and above her numerous academic articles, Denise is the author of Dolphin Diaries: My 25 years with Spotted Dolphins in the Bahamas and The Wild Dolphin Project as well as the co-editor of Dolphin Communication and Cognition. You can learn more about Denise and her on the Wild Dolphin Project Website.
The Wild Dolphin Project by Denise Herzing; The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau; The Dolphin Defender by Hardy Jones; all sound files were supplied by Denise Herzing; Ogre-Faced, Net-Casting Spiders Use Auditory Cues to Detect Airborne Prey by Jay Strafstrom et al.
Season 4 Episode 8. Sonic Specimen with Rachel Mundy
March 23, 2022
In this episode Claudia chats to Rachel Mundy about the concept “Sonic Specimen” they talk about the historical categorisation of sound illustrates some of the ways in which humans and animals have been hierarchically thought of. They touch on how this has shaped and is shaped by the institutional production of knowledge also hinting at the usefulness of related concepts like “animanities” and “translation”.Read more
Rachel Mundy is an Associate Professor of Music in the Arts, Culture and Media Program at Rutgers University. She is primarily concerned with the way animal musicality has defined modern notions of life and rights in a post-climate change world. For Rachel, this is an interdisciplinary question that brings musical science into conversation with Western beliefs about race, gender, nation, and other forms of difference. In a series of nationally-recognized books, articles, and public lectures, Rachel has explored these questions through cases that connect human rights to animal voices. Find out more about Rachel on her university website or email her questions directly (email@example.com).
Animal Musicalities: Birds, Beasts, and Evolutionary Listening by Rachel Mundy; Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science by Donna Haraway; Songs of the Humpback Whale by Roger Payne and the whales; On being human as praxis by Sylvia Wynter; The Life of Reason by George Santayana.
Season 4 Episode 7. Republic of Noise with Jeremy Gordon
March 7, 2022
Claudia talks to Jeremy Gordon about the concept “Republic of Noise”. They discuss the relationship between noise and politics and think through how noise might be used as a tool that enables listening and democracy. They “riff” with each other trying to think through the tensions between noise and harmony as well as whose sounds are considered pleasant or not and how that shapes how one belongs to place.Read more
Jeremy Gordon is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Gonzaga University who studies and teaches where environmental communication, environmental studies, and critical animal studies get entangled. He is obsessed with questions of how ecological relations are “rhetorically” animated – by human and more-than-human messmates. Specifically, how urban ecologies and feral spaces are, and should be, shaped by everyday creaturely encounters. Jeremy has co-edited a special volume on “animal rhetoric” for Rhetoric Society Quarterly, and is currently enchanted by, and kinning with, the feral chickens of Tampa, Florida’s Ybor City. Those chickens have scratched and strutted their way into The Journal of Urban Affairs and Dr. Laura Reese’s edited book on Animals in the City. Find out more about Jeremy on his University website.
A fowl politics of urban dwelling. Or, Ybor City’s republic of noise; Of fowl feet, beaks, and streets: eyes on the ground in Ybor City by Jeremy G. Gordon; Ybor Chicken Society ; The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening by Jennifer Lynn Stoever; Practices of Space and Walking in the City by Michel De Certeau; The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World by David Abram; Wild dog dreaming: Love and Extinction by Deborah Bird Rose; When Species Meet by Donna Haraway.
Season 4 Episode 6. Voice with Eva Meijer
Feb 21, 2022
Claudia talks to Eva Meijer about voice as a concept that helps us to think about animal sounds and practices in a more politicised way. Eva touches on how a broader conception of politics and voice allows for a more nuanced actions in response to animals and the lives they are trying to lead. They also touch on the usefulness of a variety of languages, mediums, and disciplines in becoming proficient in listening to animals.Read more
Eva Meijer is a philosopher and writer. Meijer works as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam (NL), on the four-year research project The politics of (not) eating animals, supported by a Veni grant from the Dutch Research Council. She is the chair of the Dutch study group for Animal Philosophy. Recent publications include Animal Languages (John Murray 2019) and When animals speak. Toward an Interspecies Democracy (New York University Press 2019). Meijer wrote eleven books, fiction and non-fiction, that have been translated into eighteen languages. More information: www.evameijer.nl
When Animals Speak: Toward an Interspecies Democracy and Zwaan Eva Meijer; Phenomenology of Perception by Maurice Merleau-Ponty; Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights by Will Kymlicka and Sue Donaldson; Inclusion and Democracy by Iris Marion Young; Deep Listening: A Composer’s Sound Practice by Pauline Oliveros; Living with Birds by Len Howard; Canada Goose calls March 1966; Blue Tit song 1960s ; Blue Tit 1979 from the British Library of Sounds.
Season 4 Episode 5. Animal Music with Martin Ullrich
Jan 31, 2022
In this episode Claudia talks to musicologist Martin Ullrich about animals and music. Together they touch on the multiple ways in which music and animals intersect from how animals inspire human music, to how animals make and listen to music, and the ethics of more-than-human musical encounters. They find that the focus on animals and music destabilizes anthropocentric understandings of both culture and aesthetics.Read more
Martin Ullrich studied piano in Frankfurt and Berlin as well as music theory in Berlin too. He received his PhD in musicology in 2005. His main research area is sound and music in the context of more-than-human aesthetics (nonhuman animals and music, artificial intelligence and music), with an emphasis on human-animal studies. He has presented and chaired at international conferences and has published on animal music and the relationship between animal sounds and human music. Martin was a professor for music theory at Berlin University of the Arts from 2005 to 2009 and the president of Nuremberg University of Music from 2009 to 2017. Since 2017, he has worked as a professor for interdisciplinary musicology and human-animal studies at Nuremberg University of Music. Find Martin on Facebook and Twitter (@MResearchHAS).
Human-Elephant Encounters in Music by Martin Ullrich; Animal Music: David Rothenberg, Dario Martinelli, and Martin Ullrich Exchange Their Views on the Topic Minding Animals: Studies and Research Contributions by Jessica Ullrich; The Critical Posthumanities; Or, Is Medianatures to Naturecultures as Zoe Is to Bios? by Rosi Braidotti; Piano for Elephants by Paul Barton on Youtube; The War Against Animals by Dinesh Wadiwell; The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith; How Musical are Animals by Hollis Taylor; Sound files: Woodland in Late Spring; Piano trio in C minor op.1 no.3 / Beethoven (1905) from the British Library.
Season 4 Episode 4. Sound Archives with Cheryl Tipp
Jan 17, 2022
In this episode Claudia talks to Cheryl Tipp about sound archives, how they are managed and the ways in which animal studies scholars might use them in trying to research animals. Together they think about why some sounds are included in national archives more than others as well as how recordings of nature and animal voices are valued.Read more
Cheryl Tipp is the British Library’s Curator of Wildlife & Environmental Sounds. With a background in zoology and library services, Cheryl has spent the past 16 years looking after the Library’s world-renowned collection of 300,000 species and habitat recordings. She has worked extensively on projects that encourage the creative reuse of archival content, from student videogames to short films from emerging filmmakers, and has written widely on the history of wildlife sound recording. Connect with Cheryl on Twitter (@CherylTipp)
Environment and Sound Archive at the British Library; Grey Wolf by Tom Cosburn; Haddock by A.D. Hawkins; Animal Language: How Animals Communicate by Julian Huxley, The Sound and Vision Blog, The Zooniverse Project; Wildlife Sound Recording Society; Seaspiracy; What a Fish Knows by Jonathan Balcombe; Recording of the Ivory Bill Woodpecker by Arthur Allen.
Season 4 Episode 3. Bioacoustics with Mickey Vallee
Nov 29, 2021
In this episode Claudia continues the focus on methodology as it relates to animals and sound. This time Mickey Vallee joins The Animal Turn to talk about the concept of bioacoustics and how using bioacoustics methods alters the ways researchers relate to their research subjects – who are often animals. They discuss some of the theory and ideas circulating bioacoustics generally and Mickey’s experiences more specifically.Read more
Mickey Vallee is an associate professor of interdisciplinary studies at Athabasca University in Alberta, where he also holds the Canada Research Chair in Community, Identity and Digital Media. His work focuses on developing interdisciplinary sonic methodologies to develop new insights on human/animal relations. He has been working on a theory of critical bioacoustics, which grows out of his empirical research with bioacoustics researchers across Canada and the United States. Against a mechanistic ideology of bioacoustics sciences, critical bioacoustics, by contrast, builds a new ethical system that is less focused on the atomistic constitution of the organism than it is on the primacy of relations in sonic communication. Read more about Mickey here or connect with him on Twitter (@mickeyvallee).
Keynote Lecture by Prof Rosi Braidotti at the Posthumanism and Society Conference; Wikipedia page about Little Nipper; A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia by Gilles Deleuze and Flex; What would animals say if we asked the right questions by Vinciane Despret; Listening by Jean-Luc Nancy and Charlotte Mandell; Indri Lemur by Mark H. Barsamian and Amy E. Dunham; Giant Lemurs are the First Mammals beside us found to use Rhythm by Jack Tamisiea
Season 4 Episode 2. S4E2: Sonic Methods with Jonathan Prior
Oct 12, 2021
In this episode, Claudia talks to Jonathan Prior about sonic methods and together they try to explore the ways in which methods such as recording, sound walking, and listening could help animal studies scholars better understand and appreciate the animals and worlds they are most concerned with.Read more
Dr Jonathan Prior is a lecturer in Human Geography at Cardiff University, Wales. His research and publications take an interdisciplinary approach, spanning environmental philosophy, sound studies, and landscape research. His first book, Between Nature and Culture: The Aesthetics of Modified Environments, co-authored with Emily Brady and Isis Brook, was published in 2018 by Rowman & Littlefield. You can access some of Jonathan’s recordings on his audio project website (12 Gates to the City) or archived on the Internet Archive. You can also learn more about Jonathan’s work on his university’s website or connect with him on Twitter (@jd_prior).
Sonic Geographies, exploring phonographic methods by Michael Gallagher and Jonathan Prior; The reintroduction of beavers to Scotland by Kim Ward and Jonathan Prior; Making Noise in the Roaring twenties: Sound and Aural History on the Web by Emily Thompson; Acoustic Ecology and the World Soundscape Project by Barry Truax; Chris Watson’s website; David Dunn and The Acoustic Ecology Institute Website; In the Field: The Art of Field Recording by Jana Winderen.
Season 4 Episode 1. Soundscapes and Soundscape Ecology with Bryan Pijanowski
Oct 7, 2021
In this first episode of season 4, Claudia speaks to Bryan Pijanowski about soundscapes and sound ecology. They discuss what soundscapes are, how to study them and why thinking about sound might help scholars to think more deeply about animals and their environments.Read more
Dr. Bryan C Pijanowski is Professor and University Faculty Scholar in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University. His work focuses on the use of sounds to study nature and how humans perceive their environment through their senses, especially through sound. He is also the Director of the Center for Global Soundscapes, which serves as a focal point for comparative global soundscape work that focuses on classifying sounds for use in biodiversity research. His group also spans into informal learning. He is the Executive Producer of an IMAX-Giant Screen-Domed Experience interactive film called Global Soundscapes! A Mission to Record the Earth. He has published over 170 peer-reviewed articles, conducted research at over 54 locations around the world, and is close to reaching his personal mission of conducting a study in every major terrestrial and aquatic biome in the world (only four more to go!). His soundscape archive now exceeds 4 million recordings. The longest research project is now starting its fifteenth year. Dr. Pijanowski received his PhD (Zoology) from Michigan State University and his BS from Hope College (Biology).
Soundscape Ecology: The Science of Sound in the Landscape by Bryan Pijanowski et al; Soundscape conservation by Sarah Dumyahn and Bryan Pijanowski; Introduction to the special issue on soundscape ecology by Bryan Pijanowski and Almo Farina; Global Soundscapes: Mission to Record the Earth narrated by Bryan Pijanowski; the cicada sound recording and dawn chorus in Borneo are sound recordings from Bryan Pijanowski’s archive; the sound recordings of the common nightingale are credited to Tristan Guillebot de Nerville (XC678935)
Host: Claudia Hirtenfelder is a PhD Candidate in Geography and Planning at Queen’s University and is currently undertaking her own research project looking at the historical relationships between animals and cities. Contact Claudia via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow her on Twitter (@ClaudiaFTowne).
Sponsored by Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics – A.P.P.L.E
Member of iROAR an Animals Podcasting Network
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