Sound is Golden: Case Studies of Industry Practices

Golden Ages: Styles and Personalities, Genres and Histories
The 2014 Film & History Conference

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DEADLINE for abstracts: 1 June 2014

Histories of Classical Hollywood sound often privilege the technological stability and aesthetic uniformity of recording, editing, and dubbing practices between the 1930s and 1950s. While there is no doubt that Hollywood's "golden age" did involve a great deal of stability and uniformity, this area seeks specific case studies that continue to nuance or challenge this particular characterization of Classical Hollywood sound practices. We are also interested in papers that offer new contexts for understanding the sound technologies and aesthetics of Hollywood's "golden age," contexts that might include case studies of the radio, television, and music industries, as well as case studies of other national cinemas.

In what ways did advances in sound technologies help to create Hollywood’s “golden age”? How might case studies of industry sound practices dismantle our conception of this age? How did sound technologies affect the golden ages of individual genres and the careers of individual artists?

Potential topics might include studies of:

Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (

Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by 1 June 2014, to the area chairs:

Eric Dienstfrey
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Katherine Quanz
Wilfrid-Laurier University

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