mary caton lingold â Virginia Commonwealth University Peculiar Animations Listening to Afro-Â tlantic Music in Caribbean Travel Narratives When Michel-Â 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 âarchival silence,â 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 âsilencedâ 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 âsilent.â 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
Early American Literature – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Oct 31, 2017
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