The sounds of India are inextricably tied to issues of citizenship, identity, and belonging
From the cinema to the recording studio to public festival grounds, the range and sonic richness of Indian cultures can be heard across the subcontinent. Sound articulates communal difference and embodies specific identities for multiple publics. This diversity of sounds has been and continues to be crucial to the ideological construction of a unifying postcolonial Indian nation-state.
Indian Sound Cultures, Indian Sound Citizenship addresses the multifaceted roles sound plays in Indian cultures and media, and enacts a sonic turn in South Asian Studies by understanding sound in its own social and cultural contexts. “Scapes, Sites, and Circulations” considers the spatial and circulatory ways in which sound “happens” in and around Indian sound cultures, including diasporic cultures. “Voice” emphasizes voices that embody a variety of struggles and ambiguities, particularly around gender and performance. Finally, “Cinema Sound” make specific arguments about film sound in the Indian context, from the earliest days of talkie technology to contemporary Hindi films and experimental art installations.
Integrating interdisciplinary scholarship at the nexus of sound studies and South Asian Studies by questions of nation/nationalism, postcolonialism, cinema, and popular culture in India, Indian Sound Cultures, Indian Sound Citizenship offers fresh and sophisticated approaches to the sonic world of the subcontinent.
Laura Brueck is Chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and Associate Professor of South Asian Literatures and Cultures at Northwestern University.
Jacob Smith is Professor in the Department of Radio/Television/Film and Director of the Master of Arts in Sound Arts and Industries and Northwestern University’s School of Communication.
Neil Verma is Assistant Professor in the Department of Radio/Television/Film at Northwestern University’s School of Communication.