Assistant Professor Jim Sykes publishes article in the interdisciplinary journal "Sound Studies"



An essay by Prof. Jim Sykes, entitled “Ontologies of acoustic endurance: rethinking wartime sound and audition,” has been published in the intertdisciplinary journal Sound Studies (at

This article argues that when recent writers in sound studies claim primacy for nonrepresentational experiences of the sounds of military weaponry in definitions of the “ontology” of wartime sound and audition, the result is that a universalised, Western, male listener and the sounds of weaponry are positioned as the proper subject and object for writings in sound studies on war. Turning to the sonic lifeworlds of women and children (as soldiers, civilians, mothers, widows, and so on) in Sri Lanka’s civil war (1983–2009), I argue that wartime sound and audition are best described as processes that structure wartime endurance at several overlapping temporal registers, through culturally-determined ontologies of personhood, violence, sonic efficacy and sonic protection.