[csaa-forum] New Book, Review: Somatechnics and Popular Music

Laura Glitsos lauraglitsos at outlook.com
Wed May 6 10:19:28 ACST 2020

Please find Jannie Pranger's insightful review of Laura Glitsos' new book, Somatechnics and Popular Music in Digital Contexts, out through Palgrave MacMillan<https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783030181215>.

Laura Glitsos begins her text by announcing the object of her research: the body in the world, oriented by the experience of listening. She immediately follows this by stating that there is no such thing as the body in itself. Rather, the body exists in the world, interactively torn apart and stitched together via philosophical, discursive, material, and technological means. By stating that there is no such thing as the body in itself, Glitsos takes us to the postmillennial digitised environment in which the popular music fan now perceives and experiences music. A plethora of material and technological settings are presented, exemplifying a listener's bodily systems mobilised through and with the digital specificities of smartphones, personal computers, and the 3-D mapping technologies of virtual reality. Glitsos argues that the inherent relationality between a listener's body and such technologies, as suggested by somatechnics, offers a research model that enables an exploration of the relationship between digital technologies and said listener's body. Further, she proposes a concept of sensorial somatechnics with its emphasis on the productive relationality between a body's sensorial capacities and a world of digitised material objects. For Glitsos, sensorial somatechnics enables the exploration of the affective realm of listening to popular music, opening up to the relationality of changing technologies and a perceiving and experiencing body that is interactively changing with them. The underlying aim of her argument is to introduce the sensorial somatechnics approach to popular music studies, the necessity of which she discusses by demonstrating how the body shapes, and is shaped by, the ‘language [and] … organizing practices of the material world’ (8). With the conceptualisation of sensorial somatechnics, Glitsos complements other popular music studies that focus on the interconnectedness of bodies, technologies, and music.

The book is part of Palgrave's series ‘Pop Music, Culture and Identity’, which investigates the impact of new technologies on popular music culture, thereby including informed fan testimonies in academic models of research. Glitsos's scholarly background, her expertise in the media and the music industry, combined with her experience as a professional vocalist, are an excellent fit with the general orientation and research strategy of the series.

Please follow this link for the full review:


To contact the author directly, please email:

laura.glitsos at ecu.edu.au<mailto:laura.glitsos at ecu.edu.au>

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