Organized Panel Session
This panel addresses the political impact of sound within broader regimes of power, and specifically within the context of various forms of imperialism in 20th century Asia. Our speakers, including early career researchers and more established faculty in the fields of sound studies, history and musicology, will ask how sound was employed to advance the objectives of occupying or colonial forces across Asia over the last hundred years, and how conditions of imperialism and the dissemination of audio propaganda were negotiated through the listening practices of local audiences. These questions are addressed from a variety of disciplinary angles, including ethnomusicology, history, and anthropology. Kevin Sliwoski discusses how an escalated US military presence during the Vietnam War informed a commensurate rise in the industrial sounds of US bases in the Philippines. DJ Hatfield traces how indigenous-language popular musics in 1950s Taiwan created a “dual voice” negotiating the rhetoric of state multiculturalism while expressing resistance to these projects. Odila Schroeder analyzes Chinese "collaborationist" song-writing during the Second Sino-Japanese War, focusing on how the vocal performances of power helped to legitimize so-called “puppet-regimes.” Russell Skelchy discusses the ambiguous role of faith-based radio broadcasting as part of a sonic colonization of the Philippines. Our discussant, Andreas Steen, a specialist in the history of sound and recorded music in East Asia, offers his insights, on the panel’s key ideas. This panel explores new questions relating to the emerging study of sound and imperialism in Asia.