"Listening for Labour: Feminist Close Listening in the Literary Audio Archive"
What kinds of labour are visible in historical accounts of literary communities? What kinds of labour are audible? Drawing on collaborative research with Deanna Fong on archival recordings from the SoundBox Collection held at the the University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus), this talk interrogates how attending to the medium of sound recording can remap history by citing gendered affective labour as an important foundation to collectivity and community. In its account of that labour, the talk outlines and reflects on a practice Fong and Shearer have termed "feminist close listening."
Karis Shearer is an Associate Professor in English & Cultural Studies at UBCO where her research and teaching focus on literary audio, the literary event, the digital archive, book history, and women’s labour within poetry communities. She has published essays on Sina Queyras’s feminist blog Lemonhound, George Bowering’s little magazine Imago, and Michael Ondaatje’s The Long Poem Anthology. She is the author of a chapter in Canlit Across Media: Unarchiving the Literary Event (McGill-Queens UP, 2020) and is co-editor with Deanna Fong of the forthcoming Wanting Everything: The Collected Works of Gladys Hindmarch (Talonbooks, April 2020). She directs the AMP Lab at UBCO and sits on the Governing Board of the SpokenWeb SSHRC Partnership.
Deanna Fong is a Postdoctoral Fellow in English and History at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, where her research focuses on the intersections of auditory media, ethics, and listening. She is a member of the federally funded SpokenWeb team, who have developed a web-based archive of digitized sound recordings for literary study. With Ryan Fitzpatrick and Janey Dodd, she co-directs the audio/multimedia archive of Canadian poet Fred Wah, and has done substantial cataloguing and critical work on the audio archives of Japanese-Canadian poet and painter Roy Kiyooka. She is the author of chapters in Canlit Across Media: Unarchiving the Literary Event (McGill-Queens UP, 2020) and Pictura: Essays on the Life and Work of Roy Kiyooka (Guernica Editions, 2020).