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Introduction: Silent Reverberations: Potentialities of Attuned Listening

Annemarie Samuels is co-editor and co-writer of the introduction of a special collection on silences: Silent Reverberations: Potentialities of Attuned Listening. This collection of essays delves into the intricate world of silences, examining their profound impact on social, political, and interpersonal dynamics within complex historical and uncertain contexts.

Annemarie Samuels
12 September 2023
Read the article in the American Anthropologist

Drawing on a diverse range of academic fields, it explores how silence is a pervasive element in various aspects of human existence. While it acknowledges that giving voice to silence is not always inherently positive, it also challenges the assumption that silence is always an impediment to emancipation.

The essays illuminate how "silent reverberations" paradoxically possess the power to resonate across time and space, transcending mere absence of sound. These reverberations manifest through affective communication, encompassing unspoken emotions like intimacy, solidarity, and grief, as well as acts of care and expressions of social and political histories. They can haunt, demand attention, or serve as enigmatic markers of discomfort and possibility. Through the lens of "attuned listening," which emphasizes embodied and intersubjective engagement, this collection highlights the intricate ways in which silences shape human experiences and sociopolitical realities. It underscores the importance of acknowledging the affective and relational aspects of silence and its potential to either reinforce or challenge existing power structures. In doing so, the essays provide a valuable contribution to the anthropological study of silence and its multifaceted impact on human lives.

Read the full article 'Introduction: Silent Reverberations: Potentialities of Attuned Listening'

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