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The University of Southampton
Archaeologies of Media and Technology Research group

Annie Goh Guest Talk: Sonic Knowledge Production in Archaeoacoustics - Theorising an “aural gnoseology” Event

image for Goh talk
16:00 - 18:00
10 May 2019
WSA, Lecture Theatre B

For more information regarding this event, please email Dr. Mihaela Brebenel at .

Event details

We are glad to have Annie Goh (Goldsmiths) giving a talk on her ongoing PhD research on sonic knowledge production in archaeoacoustics.


Archaeoacoustics (or acoustic archaeology), since its inception as an academic field in the early 2000s, has sought to integrate long-neglected questions of sound and listening into archaeological method. Caves, architectural formations, buildings, rock-faces, and sound-producing objects, the subject of study of sound archaeologists, are considered forms of sonic media through which knowledges can be produced in this project. In the absence of a greater interrogation of larger ontoepistemological questions in the field of archaeoacoustics, my PhD research draws on feminist epistemologies (Haraway, Harding) and decolonial traditions of thought (Quijano, Santos, Wynter, Lugones) to assess the ramifications of sound and the sensory on Western ocularcentric epistemological traditions.

However, rather than relinquishing to the easy alterity of the sonic, as encapsulated by Sterne’s diagnosis of the widespread “audiovisual litany”, the challenge is to remain “situated” in a Harawayan sense when conceptualising sonic pasts. Against an imaginary which implies a depoliticized, ahistorical and unmediated sonic past of “sonic naturalism”, I attempt to carefully posit a theory of sonic knowledge I call “aural gnoseology”. In doing so, I follow Walter Mignolo’s conceptualisations of “gnosis”, inspired by Valentin Mudimbe’s call to think outside Eurocentric modes of knowledge production and transmission as “gnosis” and Gloria Anzaldua’s “thinking of/from the ‘border’” which moves towards a propositional new mestiza consciousness. Aural gnoseology seeks to undertake a grounded, situated mode of speculation which asks what a theory of sonic knowledge – one which acknowledges the historico-epistemological implications of colonality/modernity, patriarchy and capitalism – might embody, effect and enact. 


Annie Goh is an artist and researcher working primarily with sound, space, electronic media and generative processes within their social and cultural contexts. She has published in parallax, n.paradoxa: feminist art journal, & Flusseriana: An Intellectual Toolbox. She co-curated the discourse program of CTM Festival Berlin 2013-2016 and has lectured at Berlin University of Arts (Art and Media) and Humboldt University (Media Theory). She is currently an Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths College and London College of Communication whilst also undertaking a PhD at Goldsmiths Department of Media and Communications as a Stuart Hall PhD fellow and funded by CHASE/AHRC.

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