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 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 (email@example.com) 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
Bed Music created by Gordon Clarke (Instagram: @_con_sol_ )
Podcast Logo created by Jeremy John (Website)