The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


Allie Martin | Unmuting Black Life: Digital Humanities and Listening to Gentrification

10 March 2021, 5:00 pm–6:00 pm

CASA Seminar Series 2020/21

Event Information

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Dr Max Nathan

As the population of the rapidly gentrifying Washington, DC hurtles toward one million, the city is dealing with the frictions accompanying a drastic wealth gap, a significant homeless population, and its ever looming its lack of statehood. Much of this friction and the city’s subsequent negotiations are sonic, and speak to the complex relationships between sound and race that manifest across urban spatialities.

In this talk, I argue for the use of digital humanities methods to listen to processes of gentrification in DC, thinking through how DH might aid in resisting the surveillance that so structures Black life in order to imagine more equitable soundscapes. Listening to gentrification in this way has the potential to change the way we hear and study Black life, especially with an incorporation of digital tools and methods such as mapping and soundscape analysis.

This talk is part of a larger project that calls for engagement with the sonic right to the city, histories of legislating music and sound, and with the sonorities of memory and nostalgia.

About the Speaker

Allie Martin

Mellon Faculty Fellow at Dartmouth College

Dr. Allie Martin is a Mellon Faculty Fellow at Dartmouth College in the Music Department and the Cluster for Digital Humanities and Social Engagement. Her work explores the relationships between race, sound, and gentrification in Washington, DC. Utilizing a combination of ethnographic fieldwork and digital humanities methodologies, Allie considers how African-American people in the city experience gentrification as a sonic, racialized process. She is currently working on her first book, tentatively entitled Intersectional Listening: Gentrification and Black Sonic Life in Washington, DC.

You can follow Allie on Twitter at @alliejrmartin

More about Allie Martin