Research Roundtable session with guest speaker, Gregory Goodale

Dr. Gregory GoodaleOn Friday, September 28, Syracuse University Library’s Belfer Audio Archive will welcome Dr. Gregory Goodale, Associate Professor at Northeastern University, who will lead a roundtable discussion entitled Reading Sound: Theories & Perspectives.  The roundtable will be held in the classroom at Belfer from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.

Can sound be read like words or images? Do ambulance sirens, coughs, and train whistles mean anything? Dr. Goodale believes that sounds have meaning and more importantly, sounds can be read. From the pause in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “the only thing we have to fear is … fear itself” to the noise that Wile E. Coyote makes every time he falls off of a cliff, sounds matter.

During this discussion, we will listen to the sounds of presidents from the turn of the 20th century, blues from the 1930s, and political advertising from the present. We’ll hear people screaming at each other in defense of their political opinions. And, we’ll wonder whether we all might become better citizens by learning how to read sound.

Dr. Goodale’s scholarship on sound has been quoted in political magazines like The New Republic and Les Influences, as well as news radio programs. He has explored his findings in the book, Sonic Persuasion: Reading Sound in the Recorded Age (University of Illinois Press, 2011). For more information about the roundtable and Dr. Goodale’s research, please visit

Due to limited seating, advanced registration is required. To register, contact Barbara Brooker at or at 315.443.9763.

Co-sponsored by the Humanities Center, the Research Roundtable series in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) is designed to connect outside scholars who have used special collections with Syracuse University faculty and students having similar interests.

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