Museum of Portable Sound Conference

Abstract/Bio Submissions due 11pm GMT 1 November!
Email submissions to museumofportablesound [AT] gmail [DOT] com.

Watch our Conference Infomercial to learn more about the topics it will cover!

It’s time for a new take on Sound Studies.

Are you a Sound Studies scholar? Can you present a conference paper, audio paper, or essay film about sound that is NOT based on:

  • Music*
  • John Cage
  • Oral History
  • Soundscapes
  • Scores/Composition
  • Phenomenology
  • Installation
  • The ‘Immersive’
  • Pierre Schaeffer
  • R. Murray Schafer
  • ‘Sound Art’

If so, then MOPS (aka The Museum of Portable Sound) want to invite you
to participate in our first-ever conference, to be held online in November 2021. Date(s) TBA.

250-word abstracts due 1 NOVEMBER.

Please also include a brief (100-word) bio.

As the conference is intended for a global audience, we ask that submissions and final presentations be made in English only.

Email your submission (or any questions) to: museumofportablesound [AT] gmail [DOT] com.


*MUSIC is defined here as sound that is selected, organised, performed, or otherwise generated by a human and/or instrument/machine and/or intentionally included non-human animal for the purpose of being received by the listener(s) as an emotive, aesthetic, or otherwise entertaining experience.


What will the conference’s presentations be like?

We’ll ask the researchers whose abstracts are accepted to send us a pre-recorded video of their presentation, which will then be premiered on the day(s) of the conference.

Presentations should be no longer than 15 minutes.

Presentations can follow one of the following formats:

Traditional Vanilla Conference Paper
You write a research paper of no more than 6,000 words. Your presentation will cover its highlights – you will hopefully not just read your paper out loud. You can use Keynote or Powerpoint to add some visual pizzazz. And remember, it will only be 15 minutes long.

Audio Paper
You create an audio piece that is no more than 15 minutes long. It’s not just you reading a traditional paper. It’s also not a musical composition, since this conference forbids the discussion of music as a topic. So it’s got talking in it, along with other stuff to listen to. Some of it can be music. It can be collaborative. When in doubt, consult the Audio Paper Manifesto. TL;DR?:

Audio papers resemble the regular essay or the academic text in that they deal with a certain topic of interest, but presented in the form of an audio production. The audio paper is an extension of the written paper through its specific use of media, a sonic awareness of aesthetics and materiality, and creative approach towards communication. The audio paper is a performative format working together with an affective and elaborate understanding of language. It is an experiment embracing intellectual arguments and creative work, papers and performances, written scholarship and sonic aesthetics.

– Kristine Samson and Sanne Krogh Grogh

Essay Film
You make a film that is no more than 15 minutes long. You juxtapose sound and image to make your arguments. The narrator (you) may not always be a reliable one. You’ll more than likely work with montage. The film will probably be opinionated, risk-taking, and/or polemical. Maybe you mashup or sample stuff like commercials or popular films or television, throwing in a meme or two. You might even – gasp! – parody something, or use comedy as a method of critique. Think Chris Marker or, if you want a more recent example, Lara Torres. If you still aren’t quite sure what we mean, check out this great article about essay films from the British Film Institute.

Questions? Contact us!


Conference Judges

A team of three judges will be reviewing abstract submissions for the Museum of Portable Sound Conference.

Thaís A. Aragão

Thaís A. Aragão
Thaís holds a doctoral degree in Communications from Unisinos and works as cultural producer at Federal University of Ceará – UFC, Brazil. She developed doctoral research as visiting scholar at the University of Westminster’s School of Media Arts and Design, London, and has a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from UFRGS. Her website Escuta Nova Onda includes published articles, academic presentations, interviews with other researchers, scientific communication in media outlets, field research insights and work in progress, focusing on sound, space, and media. She currently works as producer for/at the Universidade Federal do Ceará’s radio station.

Stefania Zardini Lacedelli

Stefania Zardini Lacedelli
Stefania is a PhD researcher at the University of Leicester, School of Museum Studies. Her research – funded by the AHRC Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership – explores the emerging role of sound culture in the digital transformation of museums. In particular, she investigates how the curation of sound in a platform context can foster the adoption of a new museum conceptualization: the ‘Platform-Museum’. Inspired by this museum model, in 2016 she co-founded DOLOM.IT, a participatory digital-born museum that involved more than 1000 participants in the creation of digital exhibitions, sound maps, audio tours among the Dolomites landscape. As part of her research placement at the Science Museum Group, in 2020 she designed the #SonicFriday online project, inviting people to share memories and stories around sound technologies in response to the Covid-19 emergency. She lives between UK and Italy, where she supported the digital transformation of more than 50 cultural organizations and 150 museum professionals. In 2019 she received the M4C Cultural Engagement Award for impact of her research in the museum sector.

Kwame Phillips

Kwame Phillips
Kwame is Associate Professor of Communications and Media Studies at John Cabot University, specializing in sensory media production, visual anthropology and mixtape scholarship. Phillips’s work focuses on resilience, race, and social justice. He is co-author (with Dr. Shana Redmond) of the chapter and mixtape “‘The People Who Keep on Going’: A Radical Listening Party” in The Futures of Black Radicalism (Verso, 2017). He is also co-creator (with Dr. Debra Vidali) of the multi-sensorial sound art work, “Kabusha Radio Remix: Your Questions Answered by Pioneering Zambian Talk Show Host David Yumba (1923-1990).” Learn more about his work at kwamephillips.com.


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