CFP: Sonic pedagogies and politics

Call for Papers:

Sonic pedagogies and politics: The educational and political resistance of sounds

Guest Editor: Derek R. Ford

Assistant Professor of Education Studies

DePauw University, USA

As sound studies continue to proliferate, so too do questions about pedagogy and educational theory. There are pressing issues of the relationship between pedagogical forms, theories, strategies, or tactics and their relationships to the content and form of the sounds. How can, for example, one learn about or through sounds, how can one study a song or a soundscape, how can one teach listening and hearing (e.g., Abramo 2014; Gallagher, Prior, Needham, and Holmes 2017; Tinkle 2015)? What does sound education have to do with other educational disciplines (e.g., Carvalho 2019; Weaver 2012)? Then there are questions about the pedagogical forms of sounds themselves—what do sounds and the sonic—by themselves—teach (Gershon 2011)? How might we educationally approach the soundscape or a musical piece—if we should at all (Robinson 2020)?

Scholars in a range of fields around the sonic have more significantly moved to reconsider how pedagogical practices and beliefs can contribute to political struggles, like those against racism (Eidsheim 2019), LGBTQ oppression (Bennett, 2009; Wozolek 2018), colonialism (Denning 2015), ableism (Churchill & Bernard 2020), settler-colonialism (Robinson 2020), liberalism (Brooks 2020), and contemporary capitalism (Reuben 2015; Tomazos 2020; Wozniak 2017). What kinds of sonic engagements might we theorize and practice in resistance struggles (Caines 2019; Ford 2020; Lewis 2017; Waitt, Ryan, & Farbotko 2014)? We educate—teach, study, learn, and practice—through sounds and sounds teach us, forcing or inspiring us to study, learn, and theorize, all of which are inherently political.

This special issue of Contemporary Music Review invites papers that develop approaches, questions, theories, case studies, experiments, and theoretical and philosophical innovations and proposals that consider and develop the sonic pedagogies that have, do, and might exist in our world by considering the unique educational properties of the sonic, and the unique sonic properties of the pedagogical and political. Articles can take any disciplinary approach, from geography and philosophy to education and political economy and, of course, sound studies. Submissions are encouraged to consider sonic pedagogies as they relate to, reinforce, mitigate, or combat systems of exploitation and oppression, such as imperialism, racism, national oppression, and white supremacy, colonialism and settler-colonialism, ableism, heterosexism, and LGBTQ oppression.


01 October 2021: Deadline for 250-500 word abstracts

01 November 2021: Deadline for editor feedback

01 June 2022: Deadline for papers

Please submit papers and proposals to Derek Ford at


Abramo, J. (2014). Music education that resonates: An epistemology and pedagogy of sound. Philosophy of Music Education Review, 22(1), 78-95.

Bennett, D. (2009). Lyotard, post-politics and riotous music. New Formations, 66(1), 46-57.

Brooks, A.N. (2020). Fugitive listening: Sounds from the undercommons. Theory, Culture & Society, 37(6), 25-45.

Caines, R. (2019). Resonant pedagogies: Exclusion/inclusion in teaching improvisation and sound art in communities and classrooms. Contemporary Music Review, 38(5), 490-503.

Carvalho, B. (2019). The sound of thunder. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 24(6), 384-386.

Churchill, W.N., & Bernard, C.F. (2020). Disability and the ideology of ability: How might music educators respond? Philosophy of Music Education Review, 22(1), 24-46.

Denning, Michael. (2015). Noise uprising: The audiopolitics of a world musical revolution. New York: Verso.

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

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

Gershon, W.S. (2011). Embodied knowledge: Sounds as educational systems. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 27(2), 66-81.

Gallagher, M., Prior, J., Needham, J., & Holmes, R. (2017). Listening differently: A pedagogy for expanded listening. British Educational Research Journal, 43(6), 1246-1265.

LaBelle, Brandon. (2018). Sonic agency: Sound and emergent forms of resistance. London: Goldsmiths.

Lewis, T.E. (2017). Walter Benjamin’s radio pedagogy. Thesis Eleven, 142(1), 18-33.

Reuben, F. (2015). Imaginary musical radicalism and the entanglement of music and emancipatory politics. Contemporary Music Review, 34(2-3), 232-246.

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

Tinkle, A. (2015). Sound pedagogy: Teaching listening since Cage. Organised Sound, 20(2), 222–230.

Tombazos, S. (2020). Capital as ‘abstraction in action’ and economic rhythms in Marx. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 44(5), 1055-1068.

Waitt, G., Ryan, E., & Farbotko, C. (2014). A visceral politics of sound. Antipode, 46(1), 283-300.

Weaver, Adam. (2012). Writing through Merce: John Cage’s silence, differends, and avant-garde idioms. Mosaic, 45(2), 19-37.

Wozniak, J.T. (2017). Towards a rhythmanalysis of debt dressage: Education as rhythmic resistance in everyday indebted life. Policy Futures in Education, 15(4), 495-508.