In this presentation, Casey Mecija considers how sound offers a methodological framework that uniquely captures slippages between affect and the emotional conflicts of racism, homophobia and national belonging. In doing so, she offers a theory of “queer sound” that considers how sonicity might be used as a conceptual resource for making sense of the affective and psychic lives of diasporic communities, particularly Filipinx. She emphasizes how—in the queer valences of sound—we might take notice of empathies and capacities for Asian diasporic desires that are otherwise repressed or disregarded. In discussing how this works, her presentation includes examples of Filipinx aesthetic expression, such as music, viral new media such as a YouTube karaoke performance and other sounds that may be characterized as coincidental or mundane. These sonic moments offer insight into the many ways that diasporic people practice care, enliven creativity and repair from colonial violence across multiple geographic spaces such as Canada and the Philippines.
Casey Mecija is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at York University. Her current research examines sound as a mode of affective, psychic and social representation, specifically in relation to diasporic experience. Drawing on sound studies, queer diaspora studies and Filipinx Studies, her research considers how sensorial encounters are enmeshed and disciplined by social and psychic conditions. In this work, she theorizes sounds made in and beyond Filipinx diaspora to make an argument about a “queer sound” that permeates diasporic sensibilities. She is also a musician and filmmaker whose work has received several accolades and has been presented internationally.
This event is co-hosted with the Sound and the Humanities Research Cluster, UBC. Photo credit: May Truong.
Attending to sound opens up myriad potentialities. While historically silence has been wielded as an instrument of oppression, and listening practices have served to categorize acoustic expressions into hierarchical binaries—sound/noise, melody/racket, speech/babel, human voice/animal howl—recent scholars, practitioners and ordinary people have become attuned to the ways in which sound and listening may prove a potent source of empowerment, resistance and care. This series attends to the decolonizing and disruptive potential of sound in its many manifestations. Through a speaker series with some of the most dynamic thinkers in humanistic sound studies, as well as reading groups and a capstone symposium, participants are invited to note the entanglement of sound, silence and power in our everyday lives, politics and dwelling.
Join us for invited speakers exploring the potentialities of sound from a diversity of disciplinary perspectives, including Black Studies, Indigenous Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, More-than-Human Geographies, Transpacific Studies, Decolonial Studies and Disability Studies.
Series Conveners: Tamara Mitchell, French, Hispanic and Italian Studies; and Rosanne Sia, Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice