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Caribbean Studies Speakers Series (CSSS)– “Tuning into the Caribbean: Sonic Practices and Technologies”

Alejandra Bronfman, SUNY-Albany; Ren Ellis Neyra, Wesleyan University; Carter Mathes, Rutgers; Christina León, English

September 22, 2022 · 5:00 pm7:30 pm · 010 East Pyne

Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Rafael Trelles, "Escuchando el silencio"

The Caribbean Studies Speakers Series (CSSS) represents a collective effort to foreground Caribbean Studies at Princeton University by convening a group of scholars on the basis of their innovative research in and on the region. The series will consist of three panels, to take place on September 22, October 31, and November 15 of 2022. This first panel, “Tuning into the Caribbean: Sonic Practices and Technologies,” will feature leading scholars of Caribbean Sound Studies: Alejandra Bronfman (The State University of New York at Albany), Ren Ellis Neyra (Wesleyan University), and Carter Mathes (Rutgers University), as well as Princeton Professor Christina León (English) as discussant.

In his seminal work Poetics of Relation (1990), Martinican poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant invites the reader to auscultate the Plantation matrix, that is, to examine its guts and memory by listening to it closely. A term borrowed from medical discourse, “to auscultate” entails using an ear or a stethoscope to tune into an interior sound, whether it emanates from a human body, vibrates throughout a text or reverberates within a space. What does it mean, then, to auscultate the Caribbean? And why is it imperative that we do so today? This series aims to explore modes of listening to Caribbean cultural production that interrogate the region’s histories and cultures. As our site of focus, the Caribbean—in its insular, archipelagic, continental, and diasporic forms—constitutes a critical zone that informs and allows us to grasp contemporary processes of migration, dispossession, devastation, decolonization, anti-imperialism, and memorialization.

This event is made possible by the generous support of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Department of African American Studies, the Humanities Council, Princeton Graduate Student Government, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS), the Princeton Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS), and the University Center for Human Values.

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