The New Soundtrack Journal 7.1 – Call for Papers

Published by Edinburgh University Press, The New Soundtrack is a peer reviewed journal bringing together leading edge academic and professional perspectives on the complex relationship between sound and moving images.

Special Issue: The Theory of Practice

Are ‘tensions’ between theory and practice overstated, over-determined, useful or insightful? In contrast with more traditional theory-focussed approaches to film studies, film sound studies has usually engaged with the practical aspects of film and moving image media. For instance, the initial academic attention to cinema’s conversion to sound in the late 1920s and the early 1930s meant an attention to the interface of technology, economics, and to a lesser extent aesthetics. Key film sound studies publications, such as Weis and Belton’s Film Sound: theory and practice (1985) addresses the deficit of attention to soundtrack aesthetics in film studies, yet (as its title indicates) still maintains a crucial attention to practice and the work of practitioners. Overall, a significant proportion of subsequent academic work relating to film sound has paid some attention to the practice and the production contexts of the soundtrack.

For this special issue to be published in March 2017, The New Soundtrack seeks writing that accounts for shifts in thinking and practice about sound and soundtracks. Possible themes and topics could include (but are not limited to):

Theorising practice – articulating new ideas behind the practice of making and shaping a soundtrack
‘Listening’ forward – how might new practices (afforded by new technologies) update our understanding of sound theory?
‘Listening’ back – how might new theories update our understanding of historical sound practice?
What does it mean to ‘do’ theory and to ‘think’ practice in relation to sound design?
Teaching and pedagogy – is teaching sound theory really different to teaching sound practice, and in what ways? Is separating theory and practice helpful or not? How? Why?

We are looking for papers of between 6000 – 8000 words, which will be subject to peer review. We are also interested in shorter pieces of writing (between 2,000 and 3,000 words), taking the form of interviews, reports, creative writing pieces, manifestos, ‘think pieces’ and provocations.

Please send short proposals (150-300 words) by 11th of July 2016 to Dr Nessa Johnston ( and Dr Philippa Lovatt ( Please indicate in the proposal what length and form the proposed piece will take.

Subject to acceptance, the deadline for completed pieces will be 1st of October 2016.


Issue 6.2 will be published in September 2016. It features articles by Andy Birtwistle, Paul Newland, David Chapman, Yati Durant, Dong Liang and Nessa Johnston.

For more information about subscribing and submitting articles, see The New Soundtrack page on this website.