Humanities Society - Toward a Black Ecomusicology, 1853? Listening to Enslavement with Solomon Northup

detail of a string instrument
Dr Peter McMurray University of Cambridge & Queens' College
Date 02/02/2021 at 18.00 - 02/02/2021 at 19.00 Where Zoom webinar

The Humanities Society organises regular talks during term time. During Lent term 2021, all talks take place as zoom webinars, make sure to register.

detail of a string instrument

In his 1853 autobiographical narrative, Twelve Years A Slave, violinist Solomon Northup recounts his own experience being abducted and sold into slavery. Northup offers considerable detail about his sonic (and musical) experiences, frequently situating them in a broader environmental context of slave plantations, land- and riverscapes of the American South, and their remediations in print/musical notation. In asserting a salient connection between environment, race, and sound, Northup's memoir points to possible limitations in conceptualizations of the environment that have predominated in recent ecocritical musicology, and especially the tendency of ecomusicology to efface the centrality of race in conceptualizing notions of the environment and its histories. It also offers an alternate genealogy for a long history of thinking about sound, ecology, and power. Bio: Peter McMurray is a lecturer at the Faculty of Music with interests in the critical and cultural study of sound. He is completing a book and media project on sound and Islam among migrant communities in Berlin and editing a volume on histories of sound, media and empire in the long nineteenth century. 

This is a virtual event held as a zoom webinar. Please register to attend.

As a webinar attendee, you can view the speakers' and hosts' videos and see their presentations. The Q&A facility allows you to engage with the speakers after the talk. You do not need a camera yourself, as attendee videos are not shown. More information on how to join a webinar is available here.

What's on

Black man in Britain

Daughters and Sons of the Post-Windrush Generation: Reflections and New Directions

22/06/2021 at 15.00

This Windrush day, join us and the Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement for a special panel discussion.

The Wolfson courtyard spring 2019

Pathway to a sustainable future: Wolfson Who’s who (Fellows-only)

05/07/2021 at 17.00

For the Anniversary Week of the Wolfson Sustainability & Conservation Interdisciplinary Research Hub, a space for views from many disciplines to discuss the pathway towards a sustainable future at Wolfson College

Wants and Offer graphic

Wants + Offers: Year Past Year Ahead

08/07/2021 at 17.00

For the Anniversary Week of the Wolfson Sustainability & Conservation Interdisciplinary Research Hub, a space to discuss the year past and the year ahead.

Wolfson gardens 2019

Beyond Net-Zero: what does a regenerative College look like?

09/07/2021 at 17.00

The formal end of the Anniversary Week of the Wolfson Sustainability & Conservation Interdisciplinary Research Hub, an in-person event to discuss and workshop to discuss what a regenerative Wolfson college might look like, and how we might get there.