My Talk/Paper on Musical Ineffability

I’m talking Saturday at the American Philosophies Forum meeting at Emory. This year’s theme is ineffability, so I’m talking on musical ineffability. In particular, I’m talking about Jankelevitch, Abbate, & Spivak.

I’m also going to attempt to do some “drastic” (i.e., performative, non-gnostic, extra-proposital or verbal media) work in my talk. I’m using gifs, sound bites, and musically intertextual references (to Attrition & Extreme) to push “philosophical” practice beyond conventionally philosophical media. Part of what I’m arguing is that if philosophers really are serious about “the ineffable”–i.e., what is conventionally ineffable to philosophy, which philosophers often frame in terms of sound & music–then we can’t just fall back on conventionally verbal/propositional media and methods for analyzing ineffability. That’s like making the subaltern speak in colonizer’s terms. Which is bad for a lot of reasons. If “ineffability,” especially “musical ineffability” are going to be anything more than ways for philosophers to, like Spivak’s “Western intellectual,” re-center their own position of mastery through invocation of some illegible “other” in need of theorizing/rescuing/speaking for, well, we have to address (musical)ineffability in and on their own terms, which aren’t necessarily terms that we train philosophers to use.

Here is the link to my remarks, which I will deliver drastically/performatively/live.

Here is the link to the paper that my live philosophical performance (so to speak) summarizes/expands on. 

And, FWIW, here’s the Attrition song I refer to in my talk:

And here is the Extreme song: