Urban Soundscapes and Critical Citizenship Conference

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In this interdisciplinary conference, we explore the intersection of soundscapes and acoustic ecology studies (Murray Schafer 1977; Truax 1978) with urban, applied ethnomusicology’s focus on human subjects (Hemetek and Reyes 2007; Jurková 2012) and with sociological understandings of the cultural restructuring of urban space (Fainstein and Campbell, 2011; LeGates 2011; Bridge and Watson 2010), through an evocation of ‘critical citizenship’ (Nell et al, 2012).

The conference features individual papers and panel presentations that address the following questions:

  • Where is the individual located in urban (soundscape) studies?
  • How do the sounds of a city shape human experience?
  • What role does sound play in the cultural restructuring of urban space?
  • Might soundscape projects be part of urban regeneration and renewal and if so, in what ways?
  • How can we create/capture urban soundscapes and what motivates us to do so?
  • How might the relationship between the city and the individual be reframed sonically?
  • What critical potentials are unleashed in applied soundscape work?
  • Are soundscapes mere reflections of acoustic and other realities, or might they construct pathways for greater interaction between cities and their people?
  • What are contemporary methodological challenges in representing urban soundscapes?
  • What new technologies allow for the reimagining of applied soundscapes production and manipulation?
  • How can we productively bring together lessons from different disciplines in relation to urban, societal, cultural and acoustic ecologies in order to imagine a better, lived, urban experience?

Keynote speakers include:

 – Dr. Ursula Hemetek, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (Applied/Urban Ethnomusicology)

 – Dr. Giacomo Bottà, University of Helsinki (Urban Studies)

 – Milena Droumeva, Simon Fraser University (Sound Studies)

 – Peter Cusack, CRiSAP/University of the Arts, London (Sound Arts Practices).

Programme and local arrangements committee:

  • Dr. Aileen Dillane, Irish World Academy, University of Limerick
  • Dr. Tony Langlois, Dept. of Media, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick.
  • Dr. Martin Power, Dept. of Sociology, University of Limerick.
  • Dr. Eoin. Devereux, Dept. of Sociology, University of Limerick.
  • Dr. Mikael Fernström, Interaction Design Centre and Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, University of Limerick.
  • Dr. Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain, Irish World Academy, University of Limerick


This conference is funded by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, by The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and by the Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Limerick.