2012—2013 Forum on Peripheries
SAS Postdoctoral Fellow
The Documentary Impulse: A History of Sound Media in Twentieth-Century Poland
In my project, I consider the impulse to document history across the complex world of sound media in twentieth-century Polish culture: wax cylinders capturing folk song traditions, letters recorded on postcards, foreign radio programming broadcast across borders, cassette tapes shared through communities of political opposition, and documentary films coauthored by directors and avant-garde composers. Throughout, the document represents at once the goal of historical agents to capture and preserve the grain of their present and the explicit confluence of historical and artistic creativity in sound media. Through my engagement with sound and music in Polish cultural history, I suggest that practice of making and hearing media provided generations of individuals living through the century’s tumult an opportunity to collaborate creatively.