Call for papers: Sound Archives

Sound Archives


Among the many changes that the emergence of digital culture has produced during the past decade, the increase in media archives is one of the most prominent. Most of us carry large music collections with us on our mobile devices or have access to millions of music tracks through the streaming services that we subscribe to. These archives have come to structure essential parts of our daily lives, and have maybe even turned listening into an associative endeavor determined by similarities and choices by friends. The archives not only change the way we experience and consume in the digital age, they open new paths into our cultural and societal past enabling new questions to be asked. Thus, the emergence of the digital media archive has drawn attention to historical analogue archives: broadcast archives, wax cylinders with collections of historical voices, collections of documentation of various art forms (performances, readings etc.) and many more. These archives and the archival practices they produce call for theoretical discussion, historical contextualization and analysis. These archives harbor essential parts of our cultural and media history and can be said to pre-figure contemporary digital culture in its technological, cultural and legal complexity.


For this special issue of SoundEffects vol. 5.1 we invite scholars from the humanities, the social sciences and beyond to reflect upon and analyze the sound archive from its early manifestation in the analogue area through to the digital age. Possible themes to explore in this volume include (but are not restricted to) the following:


– Digital and analogue sound archives

– Everyday life and mobile technologies

– Archives, music industry, formats and streaming

– Relation between oral cultures, voice archives and memory

– Media sound archives

– Artistic or cultural manifestations of the sound archive

– History writing, archives and sound

– Sound archives, copyrights and cultural policy


Important dates:

Abstract deadline (300 words): September 15, 2014

Decision regarding the abstracts: October 1st, 2014

Article deadline (depending on a positive review of the abstract): February 15, 2015

Published: Summer 2016


Please send the abstract to Nina Gram, secretary at SoundEffects:




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