CfP: Postdigital Soundscapes

While sound has always occupied a central place in educational practices and research—from questions of student voice and silence to the roles of songs and recitation in classrooms—scholars in various fields are increasingly interested in the intersection between sound and education, so much so that Walter Gershon and Peter Applebaum (2018) have even called for the creation of new interdisciplinary fields of inquiry like ‘sound studies of education’. At the same time, the ongoing digital transformations that were first partly identified in music (e.g., Cascone and Jandrić 2021) are fundamentally transforming our understanding and experience of sounds. Dominic Pettman, for instance, conceptualizes ‘electronic, prerecorded, and synthesized voices’ as part of what he terms the vox mundi or voice of the world (2017: 17).  Indeed, it’s difficult to hear any contemporary music that isn’t digitally mediated in some ways, so much so that the ‘digital traces’ or ‘sonic fingerprints of digital technology’ are increasingly hard to discern (Brøvig-Hanssen and Danielson 2016: 2).

Perhaps the most radical and controversial way in which digital technologies challenge the division between the human and the machine is through auto-tune, Vocaloid, and other vocal digital technologies, as they force us to confront deep-seated assumptions about the ‘essence’ of the human voice (e.g., Eidsheim 2019).

In addition to changing the political ecologies of musical production, distribution, and reception as well as the sounds of finance and political economy (e.g., Knouf 2016; Ritchey 2019), the postdigital soundscape raises a new set of questions for educational theory, research, and practice—from educational practices from writing and listening (e.g., Ford 2020; Ford and Sasaki 2021) and pedagogical logics like studying and learning (e.g., Lewis and Alirezabeigi 2018) to the political and ethical dynamics and goals of educational and aesthetic structures, systems, and processes (e.g., Robinson 2020), and more. Articles in this special issue continue to build on, articulate, and respond to the problematics and promises of the postdigital educational soundscape as they pertain to all aspects of educational praxis from a variety of perspectives and concerns, including but not limited to:

  • Biopolitics, bioinformational capitalism, and biomodernity
  • Critical disability studies
  • Cultural and human geographies
  • Data, surveillance, and privacy
  • Decolonial, anti-imperialist, and anti-colonial studies and movements
  • Educational theory and philosophy
  • Global and geopolitical educational studies
  • Identity and intersectionality
  • Philosophies and pedagogies of music education
  • Political economy of education
  • Postdigital aesthetics and art
  • Revolutionary politics and pedagogies
  • Sounds and social struggles

Important dates

1 October 2021 Deadline for 500-word abstracts 
15 October 2021 – Authors notified and invited to write full manuscript
01 March 2022 – Deadline for full draft manuscripts 
15 April 2022 – Deadline for reviewer feedback 
01 July 2022 – Deadline for final submission of revised articles

Guest Editor

Derek R. Ford, Assistant Professor of Education Studies, DePauw University. Please feel free to contact Derek at [email protected] to discuss a possible contribution.


Brøvig-Hanssen, R., & Danielsen A. (2016). Digital signatures: The impact of digitization on popular music sound. Cambridge; MA: The MIT Press.

Cascone, K., Jandrić, P. (2021). The failure of failure: Postdigital aesthetics against techno-mystification. Postdigital Science and Education, 3(2), 566–574.

Eidsheim, N. S. (2019). The race of sound: Listening, timbre, and vocality. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Ford, D. R. (2020). The sonic aesthetics of writing: Pedagogy, timbre, and thought. Pedagogy, Culture & Society.

Ford, D. R., & Sasaki, M. (2021). Listening like a postdigital human: The politics of knowledge and noise. In M. Savin-Baden (Ed.), Postdigital Humans: Transitions, transformations, and transcendence (pp. 111-124). Cham: Springer.

Gershon, W. S., & Applebaum, P. (2018). Resounding education: Sonic instigations, reverberating foundations. Educational Studies, 54(4), 357-366.

Knouf, N. A. (2016). How noise matters to finance. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Lewis, T. E., & Alirezabeigi, S. (2018). Studying with the Internet: Giorgio Agamben, education, and new digital technologies. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 37(6), 553-566.  

Pettman, D. (2017). Sonic intimacy: Voices, species, technics (or, how to listen to the world). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Ritchey, M. (2019). Composing capital: Classical music in the neoliberal era. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Robinson, D. (2020). Hungry listening: Resonant theory for Indigenous sound studies. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash

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