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This entry presents a genealogy of “acoustemology,” a 1992 coinage by the author to conjoin “acoustics” and “epistemology” and theorize sound as a way of knowing. The genealogy is traced theoretically as well as ethnographically. In terms of lineages of philosophy and social theory, acoustemology derives from the concept of “relational ontology,” the position that substantive existence never operates anterior to relationality. In terms of ethnographic research, acoustemology is grounded in twenty-five years of research on the anthropology of sound, and particularly vocality, interspecies relationality, embodiment, and emplacement in the Bosavi rainforest in Papua New Guinea. Developing a methodology of and for listening to histories of listening and dialogic feedback recording, acoustemology investigates sounding-as- and sounding-through-knowing as an audible archive of long-lived relational attunements and antagonisms that come to be locally naturalized as “place” and “voice.”

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