Olivia Bloechl, University of Pittsburgh, presents "Listening as a Contact Zone in the Jesuit Relations: A Global History Approach."
Ways of listening and knowing the world through sound ("acoustemologies") are culturally specific, and they have had a role in histories of colonial interaction and integration, as sense-based "contact zones." The speaker will illustrate this point with a case drawn from the history of missionization in Nitassinan (Innu territory in eastern Quebec/Labrador), as documented in the Jesuit Relations (1632–1673). Especially in the earliest field reports, the priests' minute documentation of song, sound, and listening outlines distinct Innu and French Jesuit acoustemologies, whose differences clearly mattered for all sides. Focusing on these listening "bodies in contact" (Ballantyne and Burton, 2005) offers a unique perspective on the close, improvisatory engagement of Indigenous and European people in a period of enormous regional upheaval. It also directs our attention to the larger stakes that can attach to sonic micro-interactions in world history.
This lecture is sponsored by the Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme of Migration, Mobility and Immobility and the Department of Comparative Studies. Lectures in Musicology is co-sponsored by The Ohio State University Libraries.
Lectures are held Mondays at 4 p.m. in the 18th Avenue Library, 175 W. 18th Ave. (Music/Dance Library, second floor, room 205). These events are free and open to the public.