Resources on Sound and Rhetoric

"Sonic Eloquence" is of course not the first exploration of how sound intersects with rhetoric. Here is a partial list of works that take up rhetoric and sound:

  • Ball, Cheryl and Byron Hawk, Eds. Special Issue: Sound in/as Compositional Space: A Next Step In Multiliteracies. Computers and Composition 23.3 (2006)
  • In this special issue, scholars evaluate the role of aurality as generated in digital and new media forms. By examining the role sonic literacy plays in rhetorical theory, researchers challenge traditional theoretical and pedagogical assumptions about musical literacy. The issue includes contributions from Jeff Rice, Mickey Hess, Jodie Shipka, Heidi McKee, Thomas Rickert and Michael Salvo, among others.

  • Special Issue: Writing with Sound. Currents in Electronic Literacy (2011)
  • Offering both performative and critical pieces, this special issue concentrates on sound writing or what writing with sound can look like. Contributors include Jenny Rice, Kyle Stedman, Geoffrey Sirc and Steph Ceraso, among others.

  • Goodale, Greg. Sonic Persuasion: Reading Sound in the Recorded Age. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011.
  • Goodale identifies sounds produced in multiple mediums to show how sounds persuade in subtle and sometimes subconscious ways. He offers a method to analyze and “read” sounds like texts in order to deconstruct meaning and purpose.

  • Hawk, Byron and Thomas Rickert Eds. Special Issue: Writing/Music/Culture. Enculturation 2.2 (1999)
  • Enculturation’s special issue examines where and how composition and rhetoric has overlooked the impact music has had on our cultural makeup, theories of rhetoric, and theories of cultural studies. Contributors to the issue include Steven Gregory Erickson, David Pattie, Steven Best and Douglas Kellner, among others.

  • Koehler, Adam. ""Frozen Music, Unthawed": Ka-Knowledge, Creative Writing, and the Electromagnetic Imaginary." Enculturation 7 (2010)
  • Koehler extends the conversation of how to construct and analyze sound forms of rhetoric previously laid out by special issues in both Computers and Composition (2006) and Enculturation (1999). He considers sound as it connects creative writing to composition and rhetoric and how composition and rhetoric’s theoretical approach to multimodality may enhance the field’s opportunity to do aesthetic work with the help of creative writing through its attention to sound.

  • Rickert, Thomas. “Language’s Duality and the Rhetorical Problem of Music.” Rhetorical Agendas: Political, Ethical, Spiritual. Ed. Patricia Bizzell. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2006. Print. 157-63.
  • Rickert returns to Nietzsche’s discussion of music to locate an intersection between rhetoric and music. Considering music a rhetorical trope, Rickert opens up the opportunity for sound as rhetorical invention.

  • Selfe, Cynthia L. "The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing." College Composition and Communication 60.4 (2009): 616-63. Print.
  • Selfe traces multimodal composition’s history with aurality arguing that not enough attention has been paid to the dimension of sound in meaning making. She encourages scholars of composition and rhetoric to consider critically aurality’s position and potential in multimodal pedagogy.

  • Stedman, Kyle D., "Musical Rhetoric and Sonic Composing Processes" (2012). Graduate School Theses and Dissertations.
  • Stedman researches music composition practices by turning towards the history of musical rhetoric as studied and performed by musicology, as well ask musical composers. He looks at how music affects rhetorical production and delivery.

  • Stone, Jonathan, and Steph Ceraso, Eds. Special Issue: Sonic Rhetorics: A Mashed-Up Introduction in Sound." Harlot 9 (2013)
  • In Harlot’s special issue, guest editors Stone and Ceraso provide a mashup of the voices of each author as an introduction to the issue. Scholars consider the intersection of sound and rhetoric through everyday persuasion while experimenting with form and what sound can offer for a rhetorical perspective. Contributors include Kyle Stedman, Keith Dorwick, and Abigail Lambke, among others.