I awoke inexplicably early this morning, and decided to use my mental freshness to rework my intro lecture to the sound studies seminar. Now I’m totally psyched to teach it and I have to wait 29.5 hours to do it. Oh well. Such is life.
I last taught the course 2 years ago in the fall of 2004. Since then, lots of material has been published and the field has really grown–and in some senses matured.
Not that I like maturity. Academics have a bad habit of legitimating new objects of study and then going back to the same old theories and methods to study them. Part of that, I suppose, has to do with the legitimation process: once a new object of study is brought on board, insecure types (or people who are more or less coerced to do so) must show that the new object can work within existing paradigms of whatever discipline in which it appears. And I’m all for old theories and old methods when they’re used with imagination and a little panache. But I found myself writing a lot of stuff that wasn’t sound-studies specific in terms of what I want the students to get out of the course, and what I thought was important about learning a field (and writing this just got me to jot down some more stuff).
We’ll see how it works out in just about 29.25 hours.