Craig Eley: A Resonant Boom

On Thursday October 15, the Media and Cultural Studies Colloquium in the Department of Communication Arts will host a public talk by Craig Eley. His talk will be entitled “A Resonant Boom: Supersonic Flight, Psychoacoustics, and Environmental Sound” and will take place from 4:00-5:30pm in Vilas Hall 4028

Craig’s talk examines the relationship between jet engines and environmental sound media in the United States through the sound of the sonic boom. The boom emerged in the early 1950s into a cultural moment dominated by hi-fi audio, where demonstrations of loud sounds inside and outside the home were markers of masculinity and military power. But as the sonic boom moved to commercial applications in the 1960s, it was met with opposition from a grassroots coalition of scientists, authors and environmental activists who argued for quietude as a natural resource and even a human right.

Craig Eley is an ACLS Public Fellow working with To the Best of Our Knowledge, a weekly radio program produced at Wisconsin Public Radio. He has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa. He has research interests in a wide variety of sound-based phenomena, including sound and the voice, the history of field recording and acoustic ecology, and sound technologies.Previously he has had fellowships with the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Penn State University and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution.