The Digital Audiobook Seminar

QM Music & Sound invites you to an upcoming talk by Iben Have and Birgitte Stougaard Pedersen titled “The Digital Audiobook: A New Medium, New Literary Experiences, New Users?”

2pm, Thursday 13 December 2012
Lock Keeper’s Cottage (Mile End campus)
Queen Mary
Mile End Road E1 4NS

The Digital Audiobook: A New Medium, New Literary Experiences, New Users?

During recent years the book as a medium has faced several challenges as a result of technological breakthroughs in digital formats. For instance, with the appearance of the iPod and iPhone, the audiobook is being more frequently used and thereby challenges the concept of reading and the concept of the book as a medium. This paper aims to investigate these challenges from a technological, social and aesthetic point of view in order to gain a better understanding of the epistemological consequences that come along with the changed appearance and use of literature in new media.

The audiobook can be studied as a currently ongoing remediation of the literary experience from the viewpoint of the history of technology. However, we consider it at least as interesting to study the audiobook as part of the culture surrounding mobile sound media, with compact formats and online streaming apparently offering a flexibility that appeals to entirely new user groups. We thus pose an open question regarding the extent to which the use of audiobooks can and should be studied as a new type of literary experience, and/or as an example of mobile listening related to the everyday experience of, for example, commuting or exercising. In our approach to the audiobook, we will involve both research into auditory culture and a literary examination of the voice in relation to narrative discourse.

Iben Have is an associate professor in Media Studies at the Department of Aesthetics and Communication, Aarhus University. She gained her PhD in 2004 with a thesis in the field of Musicology concerning the use and significance of underscore music in Danish TV documentaries. Since 2005, IH has been employed at Information and Media Studies, first as an assistant professor and then as an associate professor. She teaches in topics that include qualitative reception analysis and media use, and audiovisual culture and communication. IH has published a book entitled Lyt til TV (Listening to television, 2008) and a number of articles, including “The musicalized soundtracks of Armadillo: Emotional realism and real emotions” (2011, forthcoming), “Attitudes towards documentary soundtracks: Between emotional immersion and critical reflection” (2010) and “Aestheticizing politics: Non-verbal political communication in Danish TV documentaries” (2008). She is a member of the organising committee of the Scandinavian network“Sound as Art – Sound in History, Sound as Culture – Sound in Theory”. In addition to the audiobook, IH’s most recent research interest involves a project on Danish music radio, in which she is engaged in a sub-project on the relationship between radio show hosts and music. Throughout her life, IH has been a constant user of audiobooks in different technological formats.

Birgitte Stougaard Pedersen is an assistant professor at Aesthetics and Culture in the Department of Aesthetics and Communication, Aarhus University. She has written from a phenomenological and basic theory viewpoint and in interdisciplinary contexts on rhythm, the voice, aesthetics, and meaning theory in the interrelationship between literature and music. Among her publications is Lyd, litteratur og musik: Gestus i kunstoplevelsen (Sound, Literature, and Music: Gesture in the Art Experience, 2008), a revised version of her PhD thesis of 2004, in which she studies the phenomenology and mutual relationships between music and literature in a historical and methodologically alternating perspective.  BSP is co-editor of Pluralizing Rhythm (Rodophi, Amsterdam, 2011). Between 2006 and 2009, BSP worked on Danish rap music as part of a research project supported by the Danish Council for Independent Research | Humanities (FKK)~and entitled “Rytme, groove og gestik – dansk hip hop mellem det lokale og det globale” (Rhythm, groove and gesture – Danish hip hop, between the local and the global),  publishing a number of articles based on her work. She was co-editor with Mads Krogh of Hiphop i Skandinavian (Hip hop in Scandinavia, 2008). As a singer, she has worked with groups that include the professional vocal ensemble Musica Ficta.

Iben Have and Birgitte Stougaard Pedersen are founding editors of the international online journal SoundEffects: Interdisciplinary Journal of Sound and Sound Experience.

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