Hearing History: Libraries, Listening, and the Performance of Queer Kinship
This paper analyzes queer kinship through a series of audioguides to the collections I am making together with a Berlin-based Canadian sound and visual artist. It asks how artistic re-rendering might create new opportunities for an affective and bodily engagement with the receding past. In this sense, the audio-guides serve as both a representation and re-enactment of the libraries on the level of sentiment. The question to be analyzed, then, is how might aesthetic experiences based around sound and listening transmit portions of the past into the present, creating new opportunities to access and understand the relevance of these libraries to the emergence of gay, lesbian, and queer personal and professional life. By combining elements of social and cultural history with guiding theories in performance studies and public history, the paper – and the larger research project it is a part of – aims to create new ways of conceptualizing how aesthetic re-rendering through sound functions as historical production.
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