‘What could be Feminist about Sound Studies?’: (in)Audibility in Young Children’s Soundwalking
Sound methods, including soundwalking, are increasingly being used across the humanities and social sciences. Yet, while scholars are drawn to such methods for their potential to disrupt the ocular-centrism of Euro-Western knowledge frames, the interdisciplinary field of sound studies (from which such research draws) has been consistently critiqued for its uncritically white and masculinist epistemological emphasis. In this short essay, I draw together examples of four soundwalking methods: soundwalks, listening walks, phonographic walks, and audio walks. I explicate each, thinking with examples from my ongoing in-school doctoral research project, to suggest that a compositional attention to voice, music, and inaudibility might make audible those populations whose oppression is enacted through their very inaudibility. This essay has implications for educators and walking scholars, as well as for the wider field of sound studies.