New Book: The Auditory Culture Reader, 2nd Edition


Many of you may already know The Auditory Culture Reader, a wonderful compilation of essays and reflections edited by Michael Bull and Les Back and contributed by a fine selection of authors. Such edition is completely fantastic, well organized and able to address a lot of interesting questions and explore interesting and well documented topics, from the ways we think about sound to the ways we can approach its historical, anthropological and cultural dimensions, exploring different perspectives from an inter-disciplinary standpoint.

First published in 2003, this edition still has a lot of importance for current developments in sound studies. However, Bloomsbury Academic has announced a new, revisited and expanded second edition in which the editors aim to extend the contents by reflecting “the changes to the field since the first edition”, hence offering a new outline and content, which includes better organization of key topics/concepts, a section dedicated to methodology and educational processes, as well as new writings, completing a must-read collection of essays which “are accessible to non-experts and encompass scholarship from leading figures in the field, discussing issues relating to sound and listening from the broadest set of interdisciplinary perspectives”.

Here is the table of contents for the new edition, which is by the way, very different to the first one and more directed to actual concerns in sound studies:

  • Introduction
  • Part 1: Sound Engagements
  • Part 2: Sound Methodologies
  • Part 3: Spaces of Sound
  • Part 4: Conflicting Sounds
  • Part 5: Music, Technologies and Materialities
  • Part 6: Economic Sounds
  • Afterword
  • Index

“Inspiring students and researchers attentive to sound in their work, newly-commissioned and classical excerpts bring urban research and ethnography alive with sensory case studies that open up a world beyond the visual. This book is core reading for all courses that cover the role of sound in culture, within sound studies, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, history, media studies and urban geography.”

The Auditory Culture Reader, 2nd Edition will be available at Bloomsbury on November 19. Is also available for pre-order at Amazon, from where it will be shipping on December 31.