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|Title:||Neither French Nor Savage : A Sonic History of the Eastern Woodlands of North America|
|Keywords:||America History America History 19th Century America History To 1810 United States History United States History 19th Century United States History 1783 1815 United States History 1783 1865 United States History 1797 1801 United States History 1801 1809 United States History 1809 1817 United States History 1815 1861 United States History Songs And Music|
Sound History Sound History 17th Century Sound History 18th Century Sound History 19th Century
|Abstract:||Recent histories of the colonial American soundscape have offered readers the popular story of a sonic frontier between Europeans and indigenous inhabitants, in which the latter is silenced by the former’s “sensory imperialism.” This thesis begins by deconstructing this popular, mythological American soundscape and proceeds to apply Richard White’s influential Middle Ground theory to the Eastern Woodlands soundscape as a case study. Rather than a simplified story of one sonic community drowning out another, the author argues that soundscapes weaken at their peripheries and begin to mix with soundscapes traditionally considered to be their antithesis. The result is a “middle sound” or polyphonic soundscape, to which multiple sonic communities contribute equally, independently and simultaneously. National myths, the author demonstrates, are the only place monophonic soundscapes exist; for when multiple sonic communities fuse and create a middle sound, in time, the fusion becomes so seamless that the members of the hybrid community cease to think of themselves as bicultural individuals. This shift in their conception of reality makes them deaf to the plurality of sounds that had seemed so awkward, even horrifyingly dissonant, when they were first fused. Ultimately, then, despite the tendency for people to differentiate themselves from one another, close contact finally impels them to emphasise their similarities and unify as an imagined community. The sonic history of the Eastern Woodlands of North America is a story in which sound was central to both the prevention and creation of a sense of community between two previously distinct worlds.|
|Description:||Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of a B A (Hons) in History, 2006.|
|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this thesis|
|Type of Work:||Thesis, Honours|
|Appears in Collections:||Honours Theses - Department of History|
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