Award Information

Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Asian Languages and Cultures
Acoustics of Emergency: Sound Culture, Transnational Encounters, and Historical Upheavals in Mid-Twentieth-Century China

My dissertation traces the transnational origins and evolution of Chinese sound culture from the 1930s to the mid-1960s. The three decades witnessed the advent of the age of sound with the global dissemination of media technologies, and the period also corresponds to the most tumultuous age in modern Chinese history of intensely fought hot wars and the global Cold War. Together, sound technologies and wartime experiences inform the invention of a distinct mode of sound and hearing that I define as "acoustics of emergency": the artistic experiments that testified the expressive and affective potentials of sound in responses to political crises, from which subjecthood and nationhood could be formulated anew.