Survival and Desire

Following the theme of covering and uncovering hidden lives and histories is artist and writer Emma Hedditch’s installation We’re Alive, Let’s Meet! (2005). Hedditch’s installation is one of the five main works commissioned and displayed for the duration of the Her Noise exhibition at the South London Gallery in 2005. Hedditch’s many and often conceptual […]

Corporeal Style

Within Cathy Lane’s Hidden Lives (1999) lies claim about the speech acts within The Book of Hints and Wrinkles, as textual performances that have historically silenced any protestations to refute the text’s supremacist, heteropatriarchal demands. As a speech act that silences contestation against the norms and conventions that it proscribes, the text renders the speech of its […]

Failing Frustration

Rae Langton, in “Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts”, addresses three types of speech acts that silence. Firstly there is the failure to perform the locutionary act at all: locutionary failure, where a speaker may be too afraid to speak or be in the belief that they will not be listened to anyway and where any form […]

Silencing Speech

There is a claim, it can be proffered, within in Cathy Lane’s Hidden Lives (1999), that certain kinds of speech can be heard as illocutionary acts of subordination, as those that have a power to silence. Rae Langton, writing in “Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts”, asserts that there are three features by which speech acts […]

By Utter Force

Speech acts, forms of writing, modes of public expression, all become crucial to revolutionary action and to understanding and fomenting social change. It wasn’t just that women took up a position in public space, but that public space also became configured in such a way that women could find themselves speaking; and it wasn’t just […]

Repairing the Self as Other

Turning to the recent disdain within some narrations of queer feminism for interpretation and paranoid critique in favour of a ‘newer’ reparative turn, Robyn Wiegman asks the right question; “what precisely motivates the widespread embrace of reparative reading for queer feminist readers [listeners] today?” (Wiegman 2014: 12). For within this debate, as Wiegman astutely points […]

More Paranoid Repairs

In a way that speaks to Georgina Born’s assertion that an “analytics of mediation…encompasses and addresses conceptually the kinds of difference and antagonism that routinely inform musical experience” (Born 2010: 88), J.Jack Halberstam working directly within the queer feminist archive, articulates a nuanced politics of negativity and radical passivity through a particularly queer feminist and […]

Practicing Balancing Acts

Ellen Koskoff’s reflection upon the main ‘phases’ of feminist musicology as ‘woman-centric’ and ‘gender-centric’, provides a useful paradigm through which to think about the two main themes identified as emerging from these previous approaches.  For between “older-style research paradigms” and between “those of the present and future” – as those between previous practices which sought […]

Destabilisation of the Subject

The displacement and transformation of orthodox beliefs is a major strategy within much post-structural theory, within feminism and queer theory as much as within post-colonial scholarship. Displacement and transformation are strategies invested, in part, in repeating stereotypes to expose and subvert the fallacy of dominant assumptions about authenticity that are bound up within hegemonic representational […]

Resistances of History

At the fourteenth international New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) conference of 2014, Georgina Born organised and chaired a panel/workshop titled Gender, Education, Creativity in Digital Music and Sound Art (Born et al 2014).  This was the first panel to address issues of gender in sound and music in NIME’s fourteen year history. Born, along […]

Written Out of History

Whilst Tara Rodgers’ and Jonathan Sterne’s work in particular seeks to historicise sound reproduction technologies and audio-technical discourses by charting their shifting histories, the question of how to write a feminist history of the present in sound arts and experimental musics that focuses upon feminist compositional process is not such an easy question to answer […]

Gender-Centric Feminisms in Music and Sound

Through what Ellen Koskoff identifies as a ‘second-wave’ of feminist musicology and ethnomusicology, is scholarship that has sought to question productions of gender through productions of music such as Susan McClary’s Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality (1991), Marcia Citron’s Gender and the Musical Canon (1991) and Elaine Barkin’s and Lydia Hamessley’s Audible Traces: Gender, […]

Written into History: ‘Woman-Centric’ Feminist Musicology

Hegemonic discourses and power relations which sought to write women as a category out of musical history have been met with numerous attempts by feminist musicologists and feminist ethnomusicologists to write women into the histories they have been erased from.  Early feminist musicology, which gained momentum and recognition predominantly within Euro-American discourses in the 1980s, […]

Silenced as Noise

Excluded as she was from political intelligibility within historical continental discourses of individuality (Scott 1996), “woman” throughout Anglo-American histories of sound and music has similarly been been ignored, negated and generally written out of existence. The title of Lina Džuverovic’s and Anne Hilde Neset’s project, Her Noise, whilst for the co-curators may be an anagram […]

Mapping the Masculine Universal

Feminist sound studies scholar Tara Rodgers expands upon Jonathan Sterne’s critical analysis of the original/copy dialectic embedded within sound reproduction technologies as those that have implicitly sought to reinscribe “the reproduction of an existing cultural order” (Rodgers 2010b: 26; Sterne 2003). Instead, Rodgers considers the potential of “a logic of synthesis” as one that might […]

Listening Out For a Feminist Subject

Sound studies, as Trevor Pinch and Karin Bijsterveld wrote in 2004, “is an emerging interdisciplinary area that studies the material production and consumption of music, sound, noise, and silence” (Pinch and Bijsterveld 2004: 636). In particular, theorists engaged within this relatively new field of enquiry have sought to address ways in which auditory organisational systems […]

Politics of Location

I began this research project, now populating posts on Feminist Frequencies, with a focus upon the Her Noise Archive. Firstly, because I knew about this archive before beginning this research as it resonated with concerns I had previously begun to address in my undergraduate studies; secondly, because I believe it is an important body of […]

Feeling out the limits of history

Women’s representation in the field of sound studies in the UK reflects a fraught history, as similarly reflected in wider Western feminist musicological discourses, where women have struggled for recognition among their male peers. Feminist theory at the end of the last century developed a critical self-reflexivity through the development of gender studies, in part […]

What’s the situation?

Feminist Frequencies is situated within an emerging field of feminist research in sound studies with a focus upon sound arts and experimental musics. The writings that will slowly populate the posts and pages of this blog will be predominantly informed by discourses of critical feminism, critical race, post-colonial and queer theories combined with feminist epistemologies […]