Peculiar Animations: Listening to Afro-Atlantic Music in Caribbean Travel Narratives

Peculiar Animations: Listening to Afro-Atlantic Music in Caribbean Travel Narratives mary caton lingold   Virginia Commonwealth University Peculiar Animations Listening to Afro-­ tlantic Music in Caribbean Travel Narratives When Michel-­ olph Trouillot theorized the way structures of power impede the production of history, he emphasized the language of aurality. His framework, and particularly the metaphor “archival silence,” has become emblematic for scholars studying the Atlantic world, helping to galvanize an effort to fill in the gaps in the historical record through new forms of evidence and innovative methods of interpretation. Yet the term archival silence entails an irony that is not always appreciated: that is, the very events that regimes of power “silenced” were, in fact, often noisy activities. Silence is, after all, a matter of listening. For if you sit silently as you read this essay, there will still be sound: the barely perceptible rhythm of your heart beating, the hum of an air conditioner, footsteps falling in the hallway, the tick of a clock, or the vibrating of your phone that has been set to “silent.” In order to experience silence, one must actively not listen to intruding noises. So it was for the authors of colonial documents who chose to listen to some people and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Early American Literature University of North Carolina Press

Peculiar Animations: Listening to Afro-Atlantic Music in Caribbean Travel Narratives

Early American Literature, Volume 52 (3) – Oct 31, 2017

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of North Carolina Press.
ISSN
1534-147X
Publisher site
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Abstract

mary caton lingold   Virginia Commonwealth University Peculiar Animations Listening to Afro-­ tlantic Music in Caribbean Travel Narratives When Michel-­ olph Trouillot theorized the way structures of power impede the production of history, he emphasized the language of aurality. His framework, and particularly the metaphor “archival silence,” has become emblematic for scholars studying the Atlantic world, helping to galvanize an effort to fill in the gaps in the historical record through new forms of evidence and innovative methods of interpretation. Yet the term archival silence entails an irony that is not always appreciated: that is, the very events that regimes of power “silenced” were, in fact, often noisy activities. Silence is, after all, a matter of listening. For if you sit silently as you read this essay, there will still be sound: the barely perceptible rhythm of your heart beating, the hum of an air conditioner, footsteps falling in the hallway, the tick of a clock, or the vibrating of your phone that has been set to “silent.” In order to experience silence, one must actively not listen to intruding noises. So it was for the authors of colonial documents who chose to listen to some people and

Journal

Early American LiteratureUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Oct 31, 2017

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