TALK: The Democracy that Society Allows: Protest Sounds in Japan and the US, Noriko Manabe

Event Date: 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022 - 4:00pm to 6:30pm

Event Location: 

  • Social Sciences and Media Studies Room 2135

Date: Wed, May 4, 4:00-6:30PM

Location: Social Sciences and Media Studies Room 2135

Perceived attacks on the foundations of democracy in recent years have sparked large demonstrations, often numbering in the hundreds of thousands, in both Japan and the US. This paper will explore the ways in which democracy is sounded differently in street protests of two densely populated cities—Tokyo and New York—as shaped by urban geography, urban acoustics, participatory practices, and perhaps most importantly, policing. Analyzing protests as an interplay between urban space, cyberspace, police, and activist-musicians, the talk considers the ways in which the sounds of street protests reflect the kind of democracy that society allows.

Noriko Manabe is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Ethnomusicology at Temple University and a visiting Associate Professor in East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford (AY2021-22), researching music and social movements as well as Japanese popular music. Her monograph, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music after Fukushima (Oxford University Press) won the John Whitney Hall Book Award from the Association for Asian Studies. She is currently writing a book on the intertextuality of protest music and editing the Oxford Handbook of Protest Music (with Eric Drott) and 33-1/3 Japan, a book series on Japanese popular music.

Takashima Talks in Japanese Cultural Studies feature cutting-edge scholarship that probes the field's methodologies and boundaries. This talk is co-sponsored by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music.