The Appeal to be Heard and the Trope of Listening in Classic Film and African American Literature

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/299069
Title:
The Appeal to be Heard and the Trope of Listening in Classic Film and African American Literature
Author:
Kolakoski, Mike
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation analyzes the narrative use of sound, the rhetorical appeal to be heard and the trope of listening in African American literature as well as Hollywood and international cinema. Contributing to the burgeoning fields of film sound and listening studies, Chapter One explores the relationship between the first experiments with synchronous sound recording technology and the construction of subjectivity along the lines of ethnicity, religion and gender in early talkies such as Al Jolson's The Jazz Singer and Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail. Chapter Two surveys a range of abolitionist texts and select essays from the Civil Rights movement--particularly David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, Frederick Douglass's first autobiography Narrative of the Life and his novella "The Heroic Slave," W. E. B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk and Richard Wright's White Man, Listen!--in order to review the role of listening across racial divides in the United States. Chapter Three analyzes the multiple ways in which listening functions for narrative purposes in Wright's best-selling novel, Native Son; and Chapter Four addresses the trouble with listening in Wright's posthumous novel A Father's Law and Hitchcock's first color film, Rope.Contributing to film studies, gender studies, and critical race theory, this thesis argues that the act of listening comes to function figuratively as a trope, signifying not only a means of recognition, interpellation and subjugation of an Other but also an instrument of justice; a matter of politics; a means of education; a potential remedy for alienation, while at the same time working as a tool of oppression; a formative act in familial and other social relations; a governing form of surveillance; an audial gaze, so to speak; a way to frighten, or more generally, evoke emotion; a part of the therapeutic process; an indication of trust or confidence; a manifestation of (sexual) desire; and, last but certainly not least, an age old form of entertainment forever transformed by sound technology of the industrial age.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
constructions of subjectivity; listening studies; narrative use of sound; race and gender relations; the rhetoric of abolitionists and Civil Rights activists; English; American literature
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; English
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Scruggs, Charles

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleThe Appeal to be Heard and the Trope of Listening in Classic Film and African American Literatureen_US
dc.creatorKolakoski, Mikeen_US
dc.contributor.authorKolakoski, Mikeen_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation analyzes the narrative use of sound, the rhetorical appeal to be heard and the trope of listening in African American literature as well as Hollywood and international cinema. Contributing to the burgeoning fields of film sound and listening studies, Chapter One explores the relationship between the first experiments with synchronous sound recording technology and the construction of subjectivity along the lines of ethnicity, religion and gender in early talkies such as Al Jolson's The Jazz Singer and Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail. Chapter Two surveys a range of abolitionist texts and select essays from the Civil Rights movement--particularly David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, Frederick Douglass's first autobiography Narrative of the Life and his novella "The Heroic Slave," W. E. B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk and Richard Wright's White Man, Listen!--in order to review the role of listening across racial divides in the United States. Chapter Three analyzes the multiple ways in which listening functions for narrative purposes in Wright's best-selling novel, Native Son; and Chapter Four addresses the trouble with listening in Wright's posthumous novel A Father's Law and Hitchcock's first color film, Rope.Contributing to film studies, gender studies, and critical race theory, this thesis argues that the act of listening comes to function figuratively as a trope, signifying not only a means of recognition, interpellation and subjugation of an Other but also an instrument of justice; a matter of politics; a means of education; a potential remedy for alienation, while at the same time working as a tool of oppression; a formative act in familial and other social relations; a governing form of surveillance; an audial gaze, so to speak; a way to frighten, or more generally, evoke emotion; a part of the therapeutic process; an indication of trust or confidence; a manifestation of (sexual) desire; and, last but certainly not least, an age old form of entertainment forever transformed by sound technology of the industrial age.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectconstructions of subjectivityen_US
dc.subjectlistening studiesen_US
dc.subjectnarrative use of sounden_US
dc.subjectrace and gender relationsen_US
dc.subjectthe rhetoric of abolitionists and Civil Rights activistsen_US
dc.subjectEnglishen_US
dc.subjectAmerican literatureen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorScruggs, Charlesen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWhite, Susanen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberZwinger, Lyndaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberScruggs, Charlesen_US
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