Talking and Listening in the Age of Modernity

Talking and Listening in the Age of Modernity

Essays on the history of sound

Edited by: Joy Damousi, Desley Deacon

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Historians have, until recently, been silent about sound. This collection of essays on talking and listening in the age of modernity brings together major Australian scholars who have followed Alain Corbin’s injunction that historians ‘can no longer afford to neglect materials pertaining to auditory perception’.

Ranging from the sound of gunfire on the Australian gold-fields to Alfred Deakin’s virile oratory, these essays argue for the influence of the auditory in forming individual and collective subjectivities; the place of speech in understanding individual and collective endeavours; the centrality of speech in marking and negating difference and in struggles for power; and the significance of the technologies of radio and film in forming modern cultural identities.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Nov 2007
ANU Press
Arts & Humanities: Art & Music, History

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Talking and Listening in the Age of Modernity »

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Part I

  1. A ‘Roaring Decade’: Listening to the Australian gold-fields (PDF, 130KB)Diane Collins doi
  2. A Complex Kind of Training: Cities, technologies and sound in jazz-age Europe (PDF, 140KB)James Donald doi

Part II

  1. Speech, Children and the Federation Movement (PDF, 132KB)Alan Atkinson doi
  2. Sounds of History: Oratory and the fantasy of male power (PDF, 122KB)Marilyn Lake doi
  3. Hunting the Wild Reciter: Elocution and the Art of Recitation (PDF, 196KB)Peter Kirkpatrick doi

Part III

  1. World English? How an Australian Invented ‘Good American Speech’ (PDF, 184KB)Desley Deacon doi
  2. ‘The Australian Has a Lazy Way of Talking’: Australian character and accent, 1920s–1940s (PDF, 160KB)Joy Damousi doi
  3. Towards a History of the Australian Accent (PDF, 219KB)Bruce Moore doi
  4. Voice, Power and Modernity (PDF, 125KB)Bruce Johnson doi

Part IV

  1. Modernity, Intimacy and Early Australian Commercial Radio (PDF, 126KB)Bridget Griffen-Foley doi
  2. Talking Salvation for the Silent Majority: Projecting new possibilities of modernity in the Australian cinema, 1929–1933 (PDF, 3.2MB)Brian Yecies doi

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