Price DH Working Group Meeting

WIP Talk by Chris Mustazza
April 5, 2017 - 2:00pm

Vitale II, 6th floor, Van Pelt Library

Chris Mustazza is pursuing a Ph.D. in the English department, and his work focuses on the poetry audio archive, from the 1930s to contemporary digital manifestations. He works extensively with PennSound, has a particular focus in the materiality of recording media, and is also interested in digital approaches to poetics, especially poetry audio.

Chris will be presenting his latest work in progress (WIP) for feedback.


Machine-aided close listening: Prosthetic synaesthesia and the 3D phonotext

This paper proposes a new listening methodology that lies, in some sense, between Charles Bernstein’s close listening and Tanya Clement’s distant listening. While it’s tempting to think of these approaches as presenting an integral of scope, Bernstein’s work proposes the use and tuning of the human ear for understanding the sonic materiality of the phonotext, while Clement’s work, following its namesake of Moretti’s distant reading, calls for a form of surrogate listening—using the machine in place of the ear. Building on Bernstein’s work and toward Clement’s, I suggest Machine-Aided Close Listening as a methodology that uses data visualization as a prosthetic extension of the ear. This is to say that by considering three dimensions of the phonotext—1) the textual manifestation of the poem, 2) the audio of the poet performing it, and 3) a visualization of that audio—the reader-listener can empirically confirm the ear’s impressions and expose new facets of the sonic materiality of the performed poem. In support of this methodology, I will demonstrate a new digital tool for aligning these three facets of the phonotext.


Part of a series of Graduate Student meetings to discuss Digital Humanities projects and research.