Sounding Islam provides a provocative account of the sonic dimensions of religion, combining perspectives from the anthropology of media and sound studies, as well as drawing on neo-phenomenological approaches to atmospheres. Using long-term ethnographic research on devotional Islam in Mauritius, Patrick Eisenlohr explores how the voice, as a site of divine manifestation, becomes refracted in media practices that have become integral parts of religious traditions. At the core of Eisenlohr’s concern is the interplay of voice, media, affect, and listeners’ religious experiences. Sounding Islam sheds new light on a key dimension of religion, the sonic incitement of sensations that are often difficult to translate into language.
“Sounding Islam is both a pathbreaking contribution to the anthropological study of sound and media and a convincing engagement with core issues of religious transformation and experience. A sensitively written, insightful, and thought-provoking ethnographic account.” DON BRENNEIS, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz
“Eisenlohr’s marvelous Sounding Islam overcomes the dualism between discursive and materialist conceptualizations of voice through exploration of the ‘sonic atmosphere’ of Muslim devotional practice.” DOMINIC BOYER, Professor of Anthropology, Rice University
“Sounding Islam is a tour de force whose ethnographic sensitivity and analytic insights will reconfigure understandings of bodies, voices, mediatization, and religion. The book pinpoints questions that have intrigued scholars of Islam, linguistic anthropology, sound studies, semiotics, and the anthropology of media as it illuminates ways that bodies resonate with sounds that incite experiences of the divine.” CHARLES L. BRIGGS, coauthor of Making Health Public: How News Coverage Is Remaking Media, Medicine, and Contemporary Life
PATRICK EISENLOHR is Professor of Anthropology and Chair in Society and Culture in Modern India at the University of Göttingen. He is the author of Little India: Diaspora, Time, and Ethnolinguistic Belonging in Hindu Mauritius.
Eisenlohr, P. 2018. Sounding Islam: Voice, Media, and Sonic Atmospheres in an Indian Ocean World. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.53
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