Daphne A. Brooks is the acclaimed author of Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound (Harvard University Press, 2021) and is the recipient of a 2022-2023 Guggenheim Fellowship. She has written liner notes for recordings of Aretha Franklin, Tammi Terrell, Prince, and Nina Simone, and stories for the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Pitchfork, and other outlets.
On May 9, 2023, Sound Practices, a multidisciplinary research collaboration funded by the Simpson Center, hosts Black feminist pop culture and music scholar Daphne Brooks (African American Studies, American Studies, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Music, Yale University) as a Katz Distinguished Lecturer in the Humanities (event registration is now open for those interested in attending). Brooks is the acclaimed author of Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound (Harvard University Press, 2021) and is the recipient of a 2022-2023 Guggenheim Fellowship. She has written liner notes for recordings of Aretha Franklin, Tammi Terrell, Prince, and Nina Simone, and stories for the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Pitchfork, and other outlets.
Sound Practices hosts on and off-campus activities in conjunction with her Katz Lecture on May 9. In anticipation of her visit, below is an overview of related events. We invite you to learn more about the history of sound studies at the UW leading up to this visit in an article posted to the Simpson Center Medium platform by Writer-in-Residence nanya jhingran (English).
Read the full article, "The Sound Collaboratory: Building Relational Infrastructure for Radical Sound Practice" by nanya jhingran.
Title: Katz Distinguished Lecture by Daphne Brooks, "Kitchen Insurrections: Porgy & Bess, Mamba’s Daughters & the End of an Era/Error"
Date, Time, Location: May 9, 2023 | 6:30pm | Kane Hall 210
Description: This is a story about modern music-making and Broadway, about “highbrow” and “lowbrow” cultures, opera and jazz, the politics of race, gender, class and the early recording industry. It’s the story of how intimate and joyous artistic collaboration as well as tense, sometimes fractious competition framed the conditions of creative labor forged by Black women theatrical pioneers and music luminaries—Anne Brown, Ethel Waters, Eva Jessye, to name a few—and white auteurs: George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, Virgil Thomson, Gertrude Stein and others. This talk sets out to reveal how Black women musicians' aesthetic revolutions in 1920s and ‘30s sound and theater culture were artistic obsessions and objects of inquiry in the lifeworlds of white moderns. Their sounds, this talk argues, are the driving force at the heart of Gershwin and Heyward’s landmark opera Porgy and Bess (1935) as well as Heyward’s lesser-known Broadway drama, Mamba’s Daughters (1939).
Title: The "Sound Pedagogies Roundtable" with Daphne Brooks, Maureen Mahon (Music, New York University), Alexandra Vazquez (Performance Studies, New York University), and Gayle Wald (American Studies, George Washington University)
Date, Time, Location: May 11, 2023 | 4pm | Communications 120
Description: In this roundtable, leading feminist scholars of popular music studies and sound studies explore approaches to teaching that center the relationship between sound and social relations of power. Reflecting on the intellectual and political stakes of listening, panelists tune in to Black and Latinx feminist frequencies in and beyond the official archive, to sound listening practices that remix the archive. They share ways to engage these possibilities with students and broader publics. From sound walks and podcasts to oral histories and songwriting workshops, they draw upon their own pedagogical experiments, some successful, some thwarted, to ground this discussion in teaching.
Title: Polyphonic Research: A Conversation with Daphne A. Brooks
Date, Time, Location: May 12, 2023 | 11am | Communications 202
Description: In this informal presentation and conversation, Daphne Brooks will reflect on her own cross-disciplinary research practices and methods. At one time appointed in five departments—African American Studies; American Studies; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Theater; and Music—Brooks has worked at the intersection of these disciplinary spheres to achieve an extraordinary breadth, depth, and reach in her scholarship. The expansive range of her inquiry is evidenced in her numerous publications in academic and popular mediums including books, journals, edited anthologies, liner notes, newspapers, magazines, and on-line music media, where she engages many overlapping audiences. Brooks’ impact as a scholar and mentor is nothing less than field-changing in the realm of Black Studies, Black feminist theory, theater and performance studies and popular music studies. In this conversation, Brooks will discuss her polyphonic practice as it pertains to writing, research, mentoring, teaching, and audience.
Michelle Habell-Pallán, Womxn Who Rock, and The Sound Collaboratory hosted a related event in May 2022 titled, "Plurifeminisms Across Abya Yala." In the below video, Habell-Pallán defines keyword "Plurifeminism" and key takeaways from the event for public and community-based scholarship.