AHRC-funded Aural Diversity Network Workshops for 2021-23

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The Aural Diversity Network is funded by the AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) and will run for two years from July 2021. To join the network, please use the contact form on this website or email Prof Andrew Hugill directly. This page details the workshops that will take place over the next two years.

More information is here.

Workshop 1: Hearing Care and Hearing Technologies

University of Leeds, September 1st & 2nd, 2021.
Led by: Dr Alinka Greasley.

CALL FOR PAPERS (Deadline for submission of contribution proposals: July 16th 2021).

This workshop will examine the ways in which hearing care and hearing technologies currently address hearing differences, and how they might be improved in the future in an interdisciplinary context that includes the arts and humanities alongside technical and scientific fields. It will address questions such as: In what ways do hearing healthcare practitioners (e.g. audiologists, hearing therapists, medical practitioners e.g. ENT specialists) address aural diversity in their practice? How can we improve hearing care through increased understanding of different hearing and listening types? How have hearing and assistive technologies been designed over time to account for hearing difference? What new developments would improve hearing technologies for aural diversity? How could changes in hearing care and hearing technologies affect developments in the arts and humanities?

Workshop 2: Hearing Sciences and the Arts and Humanities

University of Nottingham, January 2022
Led by: Prof David Baguley

Deadline for submission of contribution proposals: early December 2021
This workshop will explore representations of aural diversity in the arts and in the humanities. The discussion will have both breadth (e.g. the wide range of such depictions and descriptions) and depth (e.g. consider both negative and positive aspects of hearing differently, and insights into lived experience). Perspectives from the clinic as well as those from arts and humanities practitioners and academics will be sought, and a fresh and vital dialogue between these two will be encouraged.

Workshop 3: Acoustics and Psychoacoustics

University of Salford, May 2022
Led by: Prof Bill Davies

Deadline for submission of contribution proposals: early February 2022
Up to now, the acoustic design of almost everything has assumed a typical listener with “normal” hearing. This includes the physical environment (homes, workplaces, public space), products (transport, appliances, audio systems), and digital systems (TV, radio, games). There is a pressing need to explore how acoustic design can improve accessibility for an aurally diverse population. What are the problems? How can the sounds of places, things and systems be reimagined? What new design methods, case studies and information are needed?

Workshop 4: Soundscape and Sound Studies

Goldsmiths, University of London & Queen Mary University of London, September 2022
Led by: Prof John Drever/Prof Josh Reiss

Deadline for submission of contribution proposals: July 2022
With its inclusion of “hearing impairments and hearing aids” as factors that may “influence auditory sensation”, within the criteria of the ISO definition and conceptual framework of soundscape (BS ISO 12913-1:2014), we are charged to move beyond the fixed, universal and generalizable metric predicated on the otologically normal (BS ISO 226:2003), rather consider hearing as a spectrum, a shifting and unsteady human trait that we implicitly know from our own day to day experience. This session will explore creative strategies and methods that help us to address this challenge, including artistic approaches, supported by recent case studies and prototypes.

Workshop 5: Music and Performance

University of Leicester/Attenborough Arts Centre, January 2023
Led by: Prof Andrew Hugill

Deadline for submission of contribution proposals: November 2022
It is clear that listening encompasses a far greater range of hearing types than has heretofore been generally acknowledged. How may music and performance best address this wide range of aural diversities? What are the technical, aesthetic and sociocultural consequences of aural diversity for musical practice and theory? What are the aural skills that are required? What technologies exist or may be created to support musical engagement by aurally diverse practitioners and how may aurally diverse audiences be reached? What are the historical contexts and characteristics of aural diversity that have affected music? How may we envisage a new kind of music-making that encompasses every kind of listener? How may discussions of equality, diversity and inclusion be improved by awareness and acceptance of aural diversity?

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