Kristin Gee Hickman joined the Croft Institute in the fall of 2019 as Croft Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Studies, specializing in urban Morocco. She received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and French & Francophone Studies from Barnard College, and completed her Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Chicago in 2019. Her current research examines the relationship between language, politics, and cultural production in contemporary urban Morocco. She is particularly interested in debates over colloquial Moroccan Arabic (Darija) and its changing presence in the Moroccan public sphere. She has been working and conducting research in Morocco since 2006, and has studied in Egypt, Oman, and France.
What is sound, and what is its place in anthropology? Is sound a method of ethnographic inquiry? An object of study? In this course, we will begin by broadly examining the interdisciplinary field of “Sound Studies,” and then move towards a sustained reflection on anthropology’s disciplinary specific engagement with sound. Half of the course will be dedicated to reading three full ethnographies of sound, which will serve as a foundation for exploring a wide range of topics: the role of sound in transducing social relations, the aurality of archives, the vibrational tactility and materiality of sound, auditory subject formation, the politics of soundscapes, and, of course, the ethnographic innovations that emerge out of an attention to sensory registers. We will complement our ethnographic readings with practice-based experiments of listening to and visually inscribing actual soundscapes. By the end of the semester, students will have developed an analytical toolkit for analyzing the sonic nature of contemporary phenomena (e.g. racism, religious belonging, trauma) as well as a capacity for attending critically to their own sonic environment.