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The post-9/11 voice : sound, materiality and relationality as memory

This is an ethnographic examination of the practices of giving vocal testimony to the experience of 9/11 in contemporary New York. I argue for an understanding of such practices as a process of externalizing interior states of being and rendering them contagious. Through recourse to the dynamic materiality of the voice, the experience of the past event comes to move between bodies, producing memory. I focus chiefly on instances where this voice is subject to “mediation”, particularly by sound recording technologies. As the voice moves between bodies, technologies, times and spaces an assemblage is drawn together. It is from the assemblage – a complex gathering of atomic elements – that the specific qualities of the “post-9/11 Voice” emerge. This contagious voice then goes on to provide the ground for the political and ethical memory of the event in the present. I follow this voice on its path through a number of different arenas in the memoryscape of post-9/11 New York. Discussing its deployment in archives and museums, in public gatherings and in everyday conversations I recursively relate it back to the ethnographic project itself. The configuration of a voice which instantiates a contagious movement of experience between bodies – producing subjects in the process – reveals a number of parallels between “field” and “academy”; parallels which produce both the memory of 9/11 in contemporary New York and the ethnographic description of this memory.
Date January 2014
CreatorsAp Stifin, P.
PublisherUniversity College London (University of London)
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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