Sound at Home

Journal issue, 1. July 2020.

Journal of Sonic Studies - Call for Papers: Sound at Home

Sound at home is the hum of appliances, the babble of water piping, the chatter of media, and the creaking of a wooden floor; it seeps in from other homes and from the world outside – traffic, music, shouting; it is the disconcerting, unfamiliar sounds of the places that have become temporary homes; it is sounds which go unheard in their familiarity.

In this call, the Journal of Sonic Studies asks authors to explore relationships between notions of home and the auditory. We encourage studies that consider home as a permanent dwelling for families and individuals as well as studies that consider the homely in a more abstract sense, as an ideal to long for or a place to dream of or run from. The broad aim of this special issue is an interest in explorations of the home as that which is close, most habitual – and perhaps therefore often overheard – as well as the methodological considerations that follow. Examinations might follow the home as private and secure, but we also encourage studies where sound at home reveals itself as problematic and “unheimlich” (cf. Raahauge 2009; Freud 1919).

Concretely, we ask how home designs and technologies shape the soundscapes and atmospheres of the home, how they are negotiated and how they influence the dynamics of the different occupants of the home? What kind of “acoustic agency” (Cusick 2013) is expected of the home – and what is available? How do we explore “acoustemologies” (Feld 2012) of the homes of the present and the past? What can we learn from the changes they might have undergone? What methodologies allow us to explore habitual sounds, and can we re-enchant (Mannay 2010; Sikes 2006) these sounds? What is the meaning of sounds that are transported into or out of the house deliberately or inadvertently? How do the other beings that we share our homes with influence our sense of home through their “sonic traces” (Schulze 2018) and kinetic melodies? What characterizes our own “homebody” (Steinbock 1995)?

Proposals for this special issue might speak to some of the following subjects and points of discussion, but are not limited to:

-   Soundscapes and acoustemologies of the home and the homely
-   The shifting historical role of sound technologies in homes
-   Power relations and acoustic agency of the homely
-   Methodological approaches to studies of the intimate and the well-known
-   Histories of sensing, habituation and overhearing sounds
-   Sounds as mediations between the home and its surroundings
-   Sound as indicators of safety versus uncanny sounds.


Potential contributors are invited to submit full articles by July 1st, 2020.

For more information, or to submit an article, please contact or

Guest editors

Mette Simonsen Abildgaard (cultural historian of technologies, Aalborg University), Marie Koldkjær Højlund (composer and audio designer, Aarhus University) and Sandra Lori Petersen, (anthropologist, University of Copenhagen) will be guest editors of this special issue.

The Journal of Sonic Studies is a peer-reviewed, online, open access journal providing a platform for theorists and artist-researchers who would like to present relevant work regarding auditory cultures, to further our collective understanding of the impact and importance of sound for our cultures. The editors welcome scholarly as well as artistic research and also expect all contributions to have a firm theoretical grounding. Priority is given to contributions that explicitly use the Internet as a medium, e.g. by inserting A/V materials, hyperlinks, and the use of non-conventional structures. JSS invites potential contributors to use the Research Catalogue as the platform in which the submission is presented (see Other submission guidelines can be found at