Sonic Constellations in Process: Challenges and Outcomes of a Multi-Faceted DH Project

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Main contributor
Jillian Rogers
Sonic Constellations: Circulations of Music, Sound, and Emotion in Interwar France is a digital humanities project focused on making research on music, sound, and trauma in France in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century widely available to scholarly and non-scholarly publics. As a significant launchpad for researchers and teachers interested in musical, artistic, and emotional life in interwar France, two central components of Sonic Constellations that have been the focus of our research team over the last year are 1) a series of sound maps that visualize where sonic events—from bombings and artillery fire to musical performances and singing in the streets—took place; and 2) a series of social network maps that focus on the shifting emotional relationships between historical actors in interwar France.  

In this presentation, the Sonic Constellations team will recount the challenges these project components presented, discuss how we have dealt with these challenges, and showcase some of the outcomes of our work on this project. In addition to presenting several sound maps created via ArcGIS, we will discuss the particular challenges of determining and mapping the emotional lives of and connections between musicians, artists, writers, and patrons in interwar France. We will also present prototypes for the social network maps that Sonic Constellations will eventually feature through Net.Create. This presentation sheds light on DH tools in historical praxis, while also addressing the importance of collaboration and discussion in finding meaningful ways of presenting research to audiences through DH tools and technologies. 
Freja Cole; Jackie Fortier; Kate Hamori; Mingfei Li
IDAH Spring Symposium
Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities
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