This essay responds to Louis Chude-Sokei’s The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics by highlighting the book’s crucial musical threads in order to examine how it reorients specific histories of black music, offers new openings for musicology and sound studies, and makes the case that the power of an audible, creole technopoetics, as best embodied by dub reggae, can remake our very conception of the human. In addition to dub, the author brings minstrelsy, blues, jazz, and the like into his broader discussion of black engagements with sound technologies, arguing that such popular engagements stand as “the primary space of direct black interaction with technology.” Chude-Sokei’s intricately nested account is at turns provocative and profound, the response contends, but could go further in explicating precisely how such a technopoetics becomes audible.
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Wayne Marshall; Listening to the Sound of Culture. Small Axe 1 March 2018; 22 (1 (55)): 172–180. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-4379044
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